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An Ode to Preserving

By: Everett S
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Stocked Pantry ShelvesI was reading one of my favorite homesteading blogs today and was inspired by their post about our relationship with food. The post had an incredible image of a stocked pantry shelf, which just struck me as one of the most beautiful, comforting things in the world.

So I’ve decided to dedicate a blog entry to canning, preserving, root cellars, pantries and “putting things up” in general.

I hope you enjoy these images and find them as beautiful as I do. Click on any image to be taken to the site where it was found. For those of you interested in canning and preserving your own food, the two books on the left are absolute MUST HAVES for any beginner. Just think of how content, safe and confident you’ll feel when looking at row upon row of food for your family. Who knows, it might come in handy in case of a zombie apocalypse, war on American soil, fall of the government, chaos, anarchy, return of the ice age…
Or just a long cold winter. ;-)

Canning Jars Canning shelves

“This is close to a two year supply.  When I’m finally done preserving for the year, I will make a pantry page, with tallies, homegrown or purchased, etc.”

Basement pantry

“Food in the root cellar in the pantry in the basement.

 

Strawbale Home Canning Pantry

“In its floor is a 2-foot by 6-foot cement pit which is our root cellar.”

Home Made Root Cellar

Pile of O’Melay’s: A Home Made Root Cellar in Progress.

Old Root Cellar seen on hike Root Crops

An old root cellar found on a hike, along with classic root crops.

Old Root Cellar Picture

Vaulted root cellar that is about 6 1/2 feet high inside, W. B. Township, Potter County, PA.

Root cellar crops like squash, potatoes, apples and onions

“Root cellar crops like squash, potatoes, apples and onions.”

Redneck Root Cellar

This is a great idea that recycles something that otherwise would have ended up in a landfill. Nevertheless, we found it on a site about “redneck” inventions.

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Category: Sustainable Living

Comments (24)

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  1. Uncle B says:

    We must incorporate the latest technologies into our quest for a more reasonable individual lifestyle. We will be exporting our developments to the Chinese and Indians and other ‘Third World’ folks, who will augment them with a considerable and educated contribution as soon as they tire of their “nouveau-riche” corporate enslavement. Solar refrigeration has been developed and is available on this web, as we speak. Solar, wind, battery lighting is in it’s infancy but is rapidly becoming a reality. Aquaculture, still ignored in the U.S. can and will provide protein locally in the near future. Solar distillation is available on the web, and needs more development. Super – insulated, passive solar heated dwellings are a current reality. We can use ground heat to our benefit. New super-magnets make wind power a practical local power source. Microwave cooking is a modern day reality. Solar battery powered cell phones do away with transmission lines. Modern plastics provide previously unheard of moisture control. We need GMO’ed beetle resistant potatoes, cucumbers. We need GMO’ed worm proof cabbages. We have GMO’ed bug proof corn! Drying foods for preservation needs expanding and home-supportable technologies applied to perfect methods. (dried potatoes keep forever!) Pressure canning needs refining. With digital thermometers explained, and some electronic controls, all home preserving can be enhanced. Changing from the five-day work week and using rapid transit bus and train commuting, combined with ultra-light carbon fiber and polymer composite plug in vehicles to do the short local hauls can improve lives. Schools are run on destructive archaic agricultural schedules enforced by irresponsible unions. Modernization of this system will Help us hold our own with evolving nations and provide us with a supply of really well educated, savvy contenders for survival in the twenty-first century but the curiculm needs overhauling, modernizing.”The Great Depression”, upon us now, will force paradigm shifts in the very basic fabric of our society and only the fast, flexible, adaptable and smart will survive. An Era has ended in the complete economic collapse first of the U.S.S.R. and now, of the U.S.A, Europe and Asia! The markets will not recover! The current system does not work! It is not sustainable! It is not renewable! It is wasteful! It is unhealthy! (look at all the fat indolent unhappy slobs it creates) We must now take the best from the past, and build a new ecologically, environmentally friendly society, a sustainable, renewable and humane way to live with one-another, or die slaves to the oil, uranium and coal barons in putrid filth and pollution, fighting war games and dieing to satisfy their childish needs! We escaped Imperialism in Europe and are once again faced with bad rulers. Time for a Change. Wake Up America, Last Call! Last Call!

  2. goodwin says:

    Hitler had a root cellar.

    Goodwin strikes again!

  3. See the jars on the shelves reminded me of my mom. We did massive jarring. Almost a lost art these days!

    Great post!

  4. Bob Dahse says:

    The photo you have captioned as “In its floor is a 2-foot by 6-foot…” is a photo from our website of our pantry. But the jars you see aren’t all canned foods. The ones on the left are, but the ones on the right are nearly all canning jars filled with solar-dried foods. That’s our preferred method of food preservation since it uses no fossil fuels or CO2-production in the process (other than a tiny bit, sometimes, for foods that must be blanched to deactivate ripening enzymes). And when we do can, we use a steam-canner (or pressure cooker with the vent weight removed) in order to use less energy (less water = less heating energy). My absolute favorite methods of preservation are none at all (fresh eating out of the garden, greenhouse, or window sills) or “live-storage” (root-cellaring or dry storage of stuff with built-in biological hibernation).

  5. [...] backup generator, freezing vegetables instead of canning them can save time and money. Either way, preserving food is a wonderful – and useful – [...]

  6. Burt says:

    “That’s our preferred method of food preservation since it uses no fossil fuels or CO2-production in the process…”

    LOL, Don’t plants Breathe In CO2 and give us O2?

  7. [...] you want more easy, cheap root cellar ideas, check out our Ode to Preserving article from last [...]

  8. Have just bought a house in Kentucky with a stunning old root cellar. It was obviously built by a Celt following the engineering principles used to build the monks’ cells on Iona and other Welsh and Irish buildings. I will make fixing it door frames, etc. a project over time. It has a burial vault entrance and the interior is as dry as can be. I will put some photos on my blog in the next week or so (have been too busy to blog since beginning negotiations and buying this place). or Google padimelons blog

  9. [...] those who enjoy preserving food; who have a backup generator; who have their own water source… can still encounter periods of [...]

  10. DeniseAnn Crenshaw says:

    Reality of “good eating” and a healthy body…I agree with others…an almost lost art. Keep up the good work! DC

  11. goatboy says:

    You’ll need a good supply of bullets too….for the zombies.

  12. chuck haakma says:

    like your root celler information. like to have more good basic ideas

  13. judy says:

    how long can you keep preserved food before it goes bad? one two years ???

  14. Judy you can keep food for far longer than that if it was preserved correctly. I’d probably limit dried or frozen food to a year, but canned goods can last many years, even decades. I’m not brave enough to eat a ten-year-old can of beans, but I know people who swear they’ve opened decades-old food stored in mason jars and that it tasted just fine, and hadn’t gone bad. Personally, I’d like to rotate my canned goods so I’m never eating any older than two years, but five would probably be very safe if they were canned correctly.

  15. Mrs. Morris says:

    I’d like to borrow some of the photos off this site to use with my class. We’re making a movie about the civil war, and the children don’t know what a root cellar is. A picture tells a thousand words, and these are beautiful pictures.

    Thank you!

  16. [...] new-found interest in foraged foodstuffs follows the inclination towards home gardens, “putting up“, and backyard chickens.  Like so many culinary fashions, what’s old is new [...]

  17. Glenda says:

    Mrs. Morris on Mar 9th, 2011 at 7:45 pm

    You might show the school bus used as a cellar. I am sure the kids could relate to that.

  18. Sharon says:

    Great post! I love all kinds of ideas for a root celler, not only how to build one but how to fill it! We found a very pretty one and an old one, built out of local field rock on a drive down the back dirt roads the other day. See the picture of it at: http://ozarkmountainfamily.blogspot.com/2011/09/secret-places-in-ozark-mountains.html

    It is what we’re hoping to do with ours!

  19. everettlastingobstopper says:

    i love your site i found it very informative!!! and also thinking that old schoolbus celler is a good idea lol…found you on stumble upon when searching for info on how to provide for my family in the event of a zombie apocolypse! ;)

  20. Kay Bosquet says:

    This is so wonderful, thank you!!! I haven’t read completely but will…I recently got back into gardening and canning and freezing….so enjoyable and rewarding. We all need to go back to the land, helps with inner peace…….God Bless You…

  21. Laurie Bitz says:

    Your pictures remind me of my canning room (as we call it. I have ben home preserving since I was a young girl. I grew up on a small farm in Washington State and my father taught me to garden, Hunt, fish and preserving. My grown children refuse to eat store canned veggies.

  22. Amada (pronounced: a.m.a.th.a) says:

    Hello,

    My family and I are looking into figuring out some sort of cellar for or canned goods. Our pantry just doesn’t have the room we need for everything that needs to be canned! :) I’ve been seeing TONS of great ideas online (I LOVE the bus one you have shown here, and I wish we had a bus! LOL!) and we’re considering using the idea of burying an old refrigerator. I understand about putting in vents for root vegetables, but does an old refrigerator that will only store canned goods need vents?

    Thank you for your time, Amada (pronounced: a.m.a.th.a)
    Acts 16:31

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