So it's all very well growing a large garden but you have to store everything extra, where do you do it? it takes a lot of room to store any serious amounts of food. I have a 10m2 cellar under the house, the access is just outside the kitchen in the hallway so pretty convenient, we have two chest freezers one in the house in the utility room and one in the barn, (rather less convenient) What I would like to see are peoples storage solutions for large amounts of jars/fruit and veggies that are being stored from one harvest to the next. My modest start is here;
From left to right
A few bought spares
tinned tomatoes salsa
pickeld red cabbage
Asier (large sliced cucumbers)
Hot dog relish
Pickled onions and dried chillies
Pickled non spicy jalapenos
sweet chilli sauce.
The soda bottles on the lower shelf are plum wine and all the visible veg are onions!
Back when we were trying to sell our house, one feature I tried to let people know about was that our Kitchen was made by homesteaders, for homesteading. We have a lot of storage, because homesteading requires a lot of storage!
1) Our home's most unique feature is a deep freezer right in the kitchen it is in one of our islands so there is no need to go out to the mud room or the garage for frozen items for dinner. You access it by lifting up the countertop, and the freezer door. Normally it is used as an island top, and has a cantilevered countertop that acts as a single person table...the kids like to do homework here.
2) Another item is our big pantry. It does not look big from the outside because of the small double doors to get into it, but opened up it has floor to ceiling shelves, is 4x4 feet square, and is 8 feet high. It is really nice to have a walk-in pantry.
3) Another storage feature this home has, is two sets of refrigerators. We have a little one next to the coffee maker just for our cream and milk.
4) While really not storage, this house has two kitchen sinks as well, one being just to fill the coffee decanter, but is also so big, it does well at washing veggies fresh out of the garden. (This second sink can be seen in the second picture of our pantry, the water to fill the sink is routed through pipes through the pitcher pump and has hot/cold water to the sink. Antique faucet valves control the water...no pumping required).
It is kind of hard to see in the chaos of our kitchen, but hopefully people can see how the "small island" as we call it, opens up to be a in-the-kitchen deep freezer. And in the second picture, that is of our pantry for canned and dry goods.
We have other little storage features too like a big double island next to the small island (freezer island) with a drop leaf that allows us to serve buffet style on a 13 foot long island, or flip it up out of the way so Katie can walk around both islands with ease. We also have bins for root stock (they can be seen as cubbies in the big island to the left in the first picture), storage for cook books, shelves for display vases and stuff. The amount of storage in this kitchen is so vast, half of the drawers and cabinets are actually empty.
All we have right now is dried goods in gallon sized plastic containers. Dried beans, rice, pasta etc. Our pantry is a camper attached to our cabin and it's a mess so no pics. Kind of a foyer/pantry. We do keep sugar in a 5 gallon bucket and only buy it on sale which is about this time of year here. Harvest time leading into holiday cooking time is when it goes on sale. We've done home canning before but haven't in a while. Didn't do a garden this year and only did some taters last year. This coming year, I plan to ramp things up including a new high tunnel. I just picked a spot for a root cellar and started digging/scraping a little. It's the only North facing slope we have but I think it's going to work out good. We have two types of soil here. One is classified as "poorly drained" and the other "somewhat excessively drained" and the latter is what's in the root cellar spot which is good. It will be dug half way into a hill and whatever comes from the dig, will be piled up around and on top of it. There's mines around here and a mine supply store that will sell to the general public. The mines all have something called tailings ponds and they're lined with black poly that's just about as thick as cereal box cardboard so that will be the waterproofing for the roof and three buried walls. Floor will be dirt naturally for humidity purposes. It's real close to the garden area and pretty close to the home site so it should work out good.
I grew a bunch of canning tomatoes one year but did a group canning thing with a neighbor but they mixed up all the jars and evidently they/she didn't know anything about headspace, plus she did water bath because that's what gramma did. I did pressure canning. When done, I left for a while and when I came back, all the jars were mixed up together. I was too scared to use any. We put all the tomatoes together and she did a stewed tomato kind of thing by adding peppers etc. That's why I pressure canned mine. I also did some brandied apples once and we weren't real big on them but these same neighbors loved them so I brought them several jars. These were quart sized jars with straight sides. Months later I got a bunch of jars back from them after hounding them about it. Hardly any were straight sided jars and some were really old. I now have 7 out of the original 12. I also tried going in on a batch of meat chickens with these people. Turned out about the same. I no longer deal with them. Still friendly but that's about it.
I had a Sam's Club membership years ago and among other things, we bought a big bag of salt. I still have a 4 gallon bucket full and gave one away. Hard as a rock but if need be, it could be scraped out of there. We were into prepping for a while. When we moved from FL to MO, I think we probably hauled 4-500 pounds of storage food with us. Still got a few MREs. Got two 4 gallon bucket of black beans. Probably 7 years old so I don't know if they'd even soften up. We were about broke not too long after moving out here so we did end up eating a lot of the food storage so it was somewhat of a life saver. We lived on $20 a week for a few months.That gave us gas for the vehicle to make the trip to the local discount grocery store to buy a little meat and some milk for the kids.
Our hard times were self inflicted by moving half way across the country with not enough money but hard times can fall on anyone for many reasons so there's nothing wrong with having a bunch of food set back.
If I am not for myself, who will be for me?
If I am only for myself, what am I?
If not now, when?
Here's our canned good storage shelf. Quart jars can fit 4 deep so it holds a ton (probably literally). The shelves get closer together near the top and it's sized for pints and quarts. The shelves are two jars apart and I use a thin piece of plywood as an in-between shelf. That way I didn't have to waste the space of a 3/4" thick piece of plywood for each layer of jars. There are metal legs in the front center to help hold the weight. It works for us...
Here is some more storage in my kitchen. This is just beside the front door, and does a lot of different things.
The biggest thing is the slate. I split these from boulders taken out when I cleared some forest into field out back of my house...there is a lot of natural slate here. But the slate, different than the wide pine floors, gives the mental image to guests that this is a shoeless home, and so they seldom get deep into our house, there is a visual barrier here.
But while utilitarian in nature, a lot of people naturally sit on the bench as they converse with us. The I-Cannot-Stay-That-Long people, but enough to get comfortable people.
But it has storage too. The bottom opens up for some deep storage, especially seasonal stuff like hats. The back also opens up and holds keys and mittens and such. It also has a semi-secret spot where I put a gun in case I need to encourage someone to leave my home.
(Edited to say: NO...my house is not that dirty, but for some reason the picture has a film on some of the wood. I am not sure why the picture is like that).
Not too much to show. Just a garden variety of meals, meats and veggies. I just went and picked most of my stuff up from Michigan a couple of weeks ago including my pantry. I left a lot of home canned goods for my daughter to have. That pantry when in Michigan was much fuller than it is now! Lol It measures approximately 6'x4'x18 inches deep.
The pantry itself was bought at home Depot for a 125 bucks. I added the extras shelving and a piece of drywall in the back for extra support.
Here is how I store chickenfeed, or other dry grainy substances.
I cut the top couple inches of a bucket, with the lid on it .
This gives the bucket extra head room, an easy on and off lid, and, when it comes to it, a higher place to sit on.
I haven't tried it with people food, but I would.
While it's obviously not sealed like a gamma lid, it's easy to access and cheap(free).
For grains or beans destined for human consumption , I might bag them inside the bucket, or add food grade DE.
I need to work on modifying the handles, so they are long enough to use with the higher lids.
Right now I just take the lid off and carry it by its own handle, when I need to move a bucket.
The when I'm gathering a feed mix, I scoop right into the lid till I have what want and pour from the lid into the masons trough that the chooks eat from.
I have serious rodent issues.
Every time I think I have it fixed they make their presence known by spoiling a bag of something precious.
With that in mind, we have been trending towards rodent proof storage.
Since I'm frugal and I like solutions that work, we have landed on this solution:
So it's all very well growing a large garden but you have to store everything extra, where do you do it? it takes a lot of room to store any serious amounts of food. I have a 10m2 cellar under the house, the access is just outside the kitchen in the hallway so pretty convenient, we have two chest freezers one in the house in the utility room and one in the barn, (rather less convenient) What I would like to see are peoples storage solutions for large amounts of jars/fruit and veggies that are being stored from one harvest to the next.
Skandi, this is a great topic, for your awesomeness you are awarded an apple. Thanks for being a brilliant conversation starter!