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Preventing food shortages and being self sustainable.

 
pollinator
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I typically eat 1600 calories a day,  but I know that's on the low side for many. I was more referring to the amount of 1200 calories a day as being what is required for basic bodily functioning.

I suppose that what it is you are trying to survive would impact whether or not you would need to expend more calories. If you are fighting, then your caloric needs would be high. If you are watching over grazing animals because fencing isn't available anymore, not so much.
 
pollinator
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Blake the simple answer is yes.  We used flurescents for years to grow micro greens in our living room for sale to restaurants.  We don't farm for money any more and are trying to come up with a system where we can at the very least grow leafy greens inside from November to Februrary.  We are on the 45 parallel here in Maine, and nothing much grows for 4 months.  We live on the coast and the winds are horrible.  We had greenhouses back in NY but I cannot imagine them lasting long here.  Organic mixed greens at the store are in the 12-15 dollars per pound range.  Old style flurescents are a pain and the LED grow lights are really expensive.  Recently started using a brand called Barrina T5 LED's.  6 at 4'-0" for $45 on Amazon.  They appear to be working really well.  Whether than can keep us supplied with greens remains to be seen.  

 
pollinator
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Blake Lenoir wrote: How can we make our own oil from sunflower, etc? Oil will be most valuable in scarce times. Are there other plants out there that I could make oil from outta scratch?



There are small oil presses available.  Last time I checked several years ago they were around $100 and have a worm screw to tighten down on the seeds.  
 
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I'm considering buliding a mud oven this year if I wanna live off grid. How I bulid a mud oven? Many folks bulid ovens in ancient days.
 
Faye Streiff
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Blake Lenoir wrote: I'm considering buliding a mud oven this year if I wanna live off grid. How I bulid a mud oven? Many folks bulid ovens in ancient days.



Lots of YouTube videos on how to do this, from very simple to the super duper deluxe versions.  Had a friend who built a huge one in her backyard, under an open pole barn type roof to keep rain off.  Dirt daubers (wasps who don’t sting), made so many tunnels through it it collapsed anyway.  It was a work of art with 3D sculptures of flowers, squirrels, and frogs on the outside.  She used to bake bread in it, or 4 pizzas at the time, as it was that large.  I wonder if you could mix cement in the outside layer of mud to preserve it better in wet climates like we have in the mountains here.  Anyone have any experience with that?

We built a small rocket stove out of recycled, repurposed bricks and concrete blocks, with a small sheet of galvanized metal  on the top.  Works fine for cooking things in a pot, and I’m not using up our good firewood.    I also sometimes bake bread in a Dutch oven cast iron pot over an open fire after letting it die down to coals and then scooping some of the coals on top.  Best bread I’ve ever had.  
 
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Blake,
There are many different forums here at permies. Check the list to your left.  This thread is about preventing food shortages. Most of your questions are better answered in other threads and other forums. Let's not hijack this thread for every possible topic.
Thanks,
John S
PDX OR
 
Blake Lenoir
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I'll be careful next time. I wanna just address ways to substain ourselves in case society go down. I'm looking for jars that hold a strong shelf life to help food last for a very long time. Which types of jars out there will do that?
 
John Suavecito
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Here's the food preservation forum:
https://permies.com/f/97/food-preservation

John S
PDX OR
 
Blake Lenoir
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I'm looking into making my own milk and cheese, but this time from plant material. How could we make them happen from plant base products such as walnuts almounds and stuff like that? Dairy prices are gonna fly over soon!
 
Blake Lenoir
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I'm wondering how much land I need to feed a community or even a city for the next decade or two to survive many famines and things of that nature. How wide and long do my food garden have to be in order to feed a wider population in my neighborhood or a small town?
 
pollinator
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Blake Lenoir wrote: I'm wondering how much land I need to feed a community or even a city for the next decade or two to survive many famines and things of that nature. How wide and long do my food garden have to be in order to feed a wider population in my neighborhood or a small town?



If we divide all for human suitable ground of the world and give each of us today the same share we have about 19000 square meter.
Which means a little less than 5 acres or 1.9 hectares.

This can feed a few families if we stick to that what the Stores are offering us produced by Monoculture farming,
but if we use in a sustainable manner all Layers of a Food Forest, knowing all perennial Shrubs and Weeds that are edible and BBQ also a sustainable amount of critters living in this area we sure could feed 10 fold the amount of bellies.

A Minority (pick pocketing Food Industrials) control a Minority (Farmers) that feed the Majority on this world.

Globally agricultural land area is approximately five billion hectares, or 38 percent of the global land surface.
About one-third of this is used as cropland, while the remaining two-thirds consist of meadows and pastures for grazing livestock.
or in another Number:
Human beings take up a lot of real estate -- around 50-70 percent of the Earth's land surface.

Imagine how people would be going the step ahead to get back living with the nature.
A Supermarket stuffed with common Veggies, edible Tree leaves and edible Weeds, Beef, Fish and roasted Black Soldier fly grubs and Crickets by the pound.
That would be a lot of space created to make the nature coming back and giving all small homesteaders a fair share.

So the answer on how many Land you need to feed a community is based on the question:
How much does a community know about the Flora and Fauna in the world and how much they learn about the nutrition values including health benefits, taste and preparation method of other things than cabbage and pork?
 
pollinator
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Blake Lenoir wrote: I'm wondering how much land I need to feed a community or even a city for the next decade or two to survive many famines and things of that nature. How wide and long do my food garden have to be in order to feed a wider population in my neighborhood or a small town?




At one point I calculated an eating plan that would provide a person with 100% of all macro- and micro-nutrients, using real food. That was a while ago, and a lot of my notes have been lost since then. But, I do remember that the plants-only portion of the foods needed could be grown in a 1500sqft area, assuming reasonably good soil. Round it up to 2000 so you have a better margin of error.

I was never able to calculate how much space was needed to feed the animals required for the non-plant portions, and I also never found a combination of vegan foods that supplied all necessary nutrients in amounts a person could be expected to eat. But, that 2000sqft per person number gives you a starting point to work with.

If you want the amount of space per type of plant, I'm sorry, that was one part that got lost, and it would take me a while to recalculate. I do know that the list was:
Potatoes
Tomatoes
Carrots
Peas
Sunflower seeds
Sesame seeds
Flax seeds*
Parsley

Add to this one egg, 3 cups of milk, and 2 oz of meat per day. In the right combinations, this supplied 100% of everything the body needs, at least according to the official RDAs.

*Flax seeds were needed for the omega-3 content. I would guess that chia seeds or purslane would work for that nutrient, but I didn't analyze those.
 
Blake Lenoir
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Looking for 50 or more acres at an affordable price at a time where all prices are sky high right now. How can we afford more acres at a suitable price to our families and folks in need in times like this?
 
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You don't need 50 acres to be self sufficient.  It's nice to have room, but not necessary.  It's a lot of land to care for, unless a lot of it is left wild. You can live on smaller acreage and NEAR wilderness.  Unless you have a large extended family, then maybe you can manage larger acrage.
 
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Anna Bo - Naturally you can't be self sufficient in an apartment, but there are a few things you can do to get through times when food is scarce.  A 120 lb store of rice and beans along with 100 lb of wheat flour for bread will provide 2,000 calories a day for 6 month and cost less than $100 total at today's prices (just checked Walmart online prices).  Any fresh vegetables you can grow in pot gardens will help of course.  When I was a struggling student I lived the best part of a year eating nothing but rice, lintels, and wheat, along with salt and a few spices.  I ate rice and lintels and made wheat bread.  Boring maybe, but tasty, filling and nutritious.  I supplemented with sprouted wheat and lintels as a substitute for fresh vegetables.  Don't forget a sprouting garden.  Sprouts deliver an amazing amount of nutrition from just a couple square feet indoors.  They don't even need light!

Regarding a tiny indoor garden... it won't provide a sustaining diet, but you will still learn valuable skills that can be applied to larger gardens when the opportunity arises.  Even if you don't grow anything at all, you might learn to store locally grown produce.  Storing is a big part of growing and you will end up saving along the way.  Can, dehydrate, or ferment.  No special equipment is needed to ferment.   You might even practice storing seeds of purchased varieties (grocery gardening).  Complete the loop by planting them and getting them to sprout.  Now you have a set of valuable skills that can be transferred to larger gardens.  Along the way you will be eating healthier and might put a dent in food costs.

For those who have larger gardens but still struggle with self sufficiency, I suggest purchasing and storing basic calories as I do with grains and legumes, then supplement with self-grown fruits and vegetables.  The reason is that basic calories are still relatively inexpensive but require a lot of land.  If you are land limited, focus on the more expensive plants with high nutritional value like fruits and vegetables.  Think of it as growing 80% of the value of your food rather than growing 80% of the calories.

I learned this lesson several years ago when I came across a study done by the city of Willits, California.  Like us, they were looking at how to maintain food security for their community in turbulent times.  They discovered there wasn't enough acreage available locally to grow all their food.  However, of the total land required, less than 6% was needed for fruits and vegetables.  The rest would be dominated by fields of grains and dry beans.  So they settled on a system where they would purchase and warehouse relatively low cost grains and dry beans that could supply most of their caloric needs, and then grow the high value more perishable but nutrition packed fruits and vegetables locally.  A copy of their slide presentation is still available online here:

https://slidetodoc.com/local-food-security-global-and-community-perspective-jason/
 
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Stacy Witscher wrote:I typically eat 1600 calories a day,  but I know that's on the low side for many. I was more referring to the amount of 1200 calories a day as being what is required for basic bodily functioning.

I suppose that what it is you are trying to survive would impact whether or not you would need to expend more calories. If you are fighting, then your caloric needs would be high. If you are watching over grazing animals because fencing isn't available anymore, not so much.



What I have been wondering is would it be possible to prevent food shortages and get enough vitamins and minerals?

Or would this just be "being self sustainable" only producing enough to get 1200 calories or less?
 
pollinator
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Anne Miller wrote:

Stacy Witscher wrote:I typically eat 1600 calories a day,  but I know that's on the low side for many. I was more referring to the amount of 1200 calories a day as being what is required for basic bodily functioning.

I suppose that what it is you are trying to survive would impact whether or not you would need to expend more calories. If you are fighting, then your caloric needs would be high. If you are watching over grazing animals because fencing isn't available anymore, not so much.



What I have been wondering is would it be possible to prevent food shortages and get enough vitamins and minerals?

Or would this just be "being self sustainable" only producing enough to get 1200 calories or less?



You'll quickly starve on 1200 per day that's crash diet territory. There's lots of calculators online to show how much you need for your age, weight, sex and activity level. If I sit still and do nothing all day I need over 1500 to maintain weight, If I have to raise my heartbeat for only 30minutes a day I need over 2100. I would not feel comfortable with a subsistence plan that didn't allow closer to 3000 per day. You may not need them all but when something goes off or you have to chop wood for a week straight you'll at least still be able to stay alive.

Watching grazing animals would count as standing/walking so even assuming you never have to chase one you're adding an extra 50kal PER HOUR over sitting.
 
pollinator
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Then the question is being self sustainable 'for how long?'

Are you planning for covid shortages? The supply is not going to collapse, just slow down. So, having a way to produce local fresh food and spices would be enough, we can always stock on calories even in undersupplied markets. It's good for being healthy. You don't need much calories for watching Netflix. Just pop corn.
Are you planning for a warlike case? Then you won't be able to grow anything for a while anyways, you just need to stock on food. And calories here is what will make you survive until you can buy or grow food again.
Are you planning for a zombie apocalypse? then yes, have staple food for these 3000 calories/day, have fresh food, sharpen your machete and everything. In a zombie apocalypse you will have plenty of empty land waiting to be cultivated if only the zombies weren't bitting you whenever you try to seed something.

But I am not a farmer. Farmers will produce food much better than me. As long as there are farmers alive, they can provide me with food much better than I can provide for myself. Wheat needs a lot of infrastructure to be processed, not something I can do for fun or just for myself. I produce fresh food as a hobby, I love the taste of recently picked food. It will come handy facing these shortages, but I don't expect to feed myself or my family if the worst come true. Not where I am living. Not without heavy inputs. I could become a farmer, yes, but it is so underpaid that if the zombie apocalypse finally doesn't happen I would feel very very dissapointed.
 
Skandi Rogers
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Abraham Palma wrote:Wheat needs a lot of infrastructure to be processed



See this is something I don't understand. Whenever one goes about reading SHTF blogs they go on about extraordinary lengths to make bread, ovens, wood supplies grinding grains... Why? you can just boil the stuff and eat it you don't need to go to all that effort. Even if you did for some reason have the infrastructure and time to make flour one could still turn it into flatbread, dumplings, pancakes and ignore all the extra effort and fuel an oven requires. Ovens were communal efforts not something everyone had at home, they are the most wasteful (fuel wise) ways to cook

You are very correct that one needs to know what one is planning for, the most likely thing I feel would be redundancy or sickness, followed by war. Both scenarios would leave you with plenty of calories but very little interest. Chickens might be the best food security item, eggs make an excellent (I resisted writing Egg-celent, oh...) trade item and they can eat almost anything. You can trade them now for help from your neighbours, you would be able to trade them later for any other food item.
 
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Blake Lenoir wrote: I'm taking about protecting food from thieves and crooks during the riots and unrest that lurk soon on this world.



Build a bigger table so you can invite them in when they arrive.
 
Stacy Witscher
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Skandi - I find that we are all different. I would die slowly on 1200 calories a day, but you are right, I suspect others would die quickly. I am quite active and am not losing weight on 1600 calories a day.

In regards to grains and infrastructure, I've always thought that they were mostly referring to the harvesting and threshing. Modern grains have been developed to work well with modern equipment, haven't they?

I have found field corn to be fairly easy. I can grow, harvest and remove the kernels without equipment, if need be. And I know how to make into masa, currently done with a food processor but I'm sure that's not necessary.

I do keep 5 gallon food safe buckets with rice and field corn. I'm thinking next about stockpiling dried pasta, as I prefer it to rice and the shelves at the market are currently empty.
 
Anne Miller
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Blake said, "We gotta return to substainable farming to help our local ecosystems and people to better long term health. Give some powerful ideas and things to help our people during this coming famine



So my question is not directed towards Blake rather towards all participants in this thread.

No matter how many calories are needed,

What I have been wondering is would it be possible to prevent food shortages and get enough vitamins and minerals?

Or would this just be "being self sustainable" ...

 
Stacy Witscher
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Anne - I guess that I would consider calories to be self-sustainable to be the top priority with proper vitamins and minerals being secondary because it doesn't matter if you have the proper vitamins and minerals if you die of starvation. Calorically dense foods like grains and animal products would be mainly for calories with fresh fruit and vegetables to round out your vitamins and minerals. And as others have mentioned it depends what kind of scenario you are talking about.
 
Skandi Rogers
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Stacy Witscher wrote:Skandi - ...

...In regards to grains and infrastructure, I've always thought that they were mostly referring to the harvesting and threshing. Modern grains have been developed to work well with modern equipment, haven't they?

I have found field corn to be fairly easy. I can grow, harvest and remove the kernels without equipment, if need be. And I know how to make into masa, currently done with a food processor but I'm sure that's not necessary.



I think it's down to expectations, you can take wheat, pick it by hand, thresh it, which only requires a flat area and a stick. then you can bring it to the boil, and let it stand all night either by the fire or in a hay cooker. in the morning the grains will have split and the entire thing will be jelly. Yes the husks are still there but they are perfectly edible, if not enjoyable. Rye is a naked grain so as soon as it's threshed it's "ready". Equally beer was a huge part of the calorie count, and that doesn't need the grains to be dehulled either, which makes a lot of sense because Barley is a real pain to thresh and dehull.
 
Ellendra Nauriel
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Anne Miller wrote:

What I have been wondering is would it be possible to prevent food shortages and get enough vitamins and minerals?



Yes. You would need the plants I listed above, plus I would recommend adding corn and winter squash to increase the calorie count. The eating plans I came up with tended to be in the 1400-1800 calorie range. Some dry legumes like beans or lentils would help, too, although the peas would technically be enough.

You'll also need meat and dairy animals, and some laying hens, although not as many as people assume. 1 egg, 3 cups of milk, and 2 oz of meat, per person per day. Plus butter and other fats like lard, for cooking with.

Most dairy animals give quite a lot more than that, and they do best in a herd, so it would be more efficient to have a few people in the community produce the milk and then barter with it. But, it is possible to grow and raise all of it yourself.

(In some ways I have an unfair advantage in this scenario. I'm an outlier on the metabolic bell curve. If I eat more than 1000 calories per day I'll actually gain weight. Great in times of famine, but, well, lets just say I've never been called "skinny"!)
 
Blake Lenoir
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Hello there! I'm looking to grow forever food and which one I should grow for the stormy times ahead?
 
John Suavecito
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Blake,
I would read several of the forums, find a thread which fits your interest, or start one, then respond to the particular thread.  These are public forums, and there are innumerable helpful pieces of advice on each one, but try to see the pattern of how the site works.

John S
PDX OR
 
Blake Lenoir
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John! What's happening? I just wanna bring new updates to the topic as we get closer to a rapid food scarcity till the shelves are cleaned out. Catch the Ukraine situation with their food supply? Maybe we should start growing our own grain in our backyards.
 
Stacy Witscher
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Personally, I stockpile grains and rely more on other homegrown starch alternatives, potatoes, sweet potatoes, winter squash, acorns etc. I buy large quantities of flours, rice, field corn etc. Honestly I think that most of the shortages will be finished products like bread rather than flour. In any case, it's easier to stock up on flour than bread. Bread will go bad rather quickly. But if you do have the space, freezing bread works.

I have already seen price increases in cooking oils, so it's good to keep that in mind.
 
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John Suavecito wrote:Blake,
I would read several of the forums, find a thread which fits your interest, or start one, then respond to the particular thread.  These are public forums, and there are innumerable helpful pieces of advice on each one, but try to see the pattern of how the site works.

John S
PDX OR



Ya see the pattern of how Blake works? He starts an interesting-sounding thread and gets lots of thoughtful responses, but instead of ever engaging with those responses, he just pops in again and says, "miss me? I'm back!" and asks another fairly vague question.

I don't get it.
 
Blake Lenoir
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I always get engaged with responses. I just wanna find out where everyone at when I deliver new updates to a new topic. I sometimes have a little trouble of engaging in topics from time to time, not understanding the process well. I'll welcome some correction next time.
 
Marisa Lee
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Blake Lenoir wrote: I always get engaged with responses. I just wanna find out where everyone at when I deliver new updates to a new topic. I sometimes have a little trouble of engaging in topics from time to time, not understanding the process well. I'll welcome some correction next time.



You know what? That's totally valid. People have different communication styles.

I actually tried to delete my comment after I posted it, but couldn't figure out how. It was a little bratty and I regretted it. Lol, I always get drawn into your threads, because the topics are great, but then I end up frustrated because the discussion doesn't feel productive. But we have a lot of the same interests - I should remember to focus on the good.
 
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I have been struggling with this topic for a while. At present we have an orchard (peaches may come in this year, but apples, pears, and Asian pears are a couple years off), chickens, a garden, fruit bushes, and just got rabbits. I think we can make a decent chunk of food , but certainly not enough for self sustainment.

We will look to expand our wild edibles knowledge as options appear to abound. Mulberry, blackwalnut, and raspberries all grow in our area, a couple of chestnut trees, and wild greens are common. We have no plans to grow grains and plan to buy them (stock up).

I have a mental disconnect at present with preserving food. Canning lids appear to be single use affairs, so having a year over year supply seems tough. Makes me wish we had a freeze dryer.

Thanks everyone for sharing your ideas
 
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Brian Holmes wrote:I have been struggling with this topic for a while. At present we have an orchard (peaches may come in this year, but apples, pears, and Asian pears are a couple years off), chickens, a garden, fruit bushes, and just got rabbits. I think we can make a decent chunk of food , but certainly not enough for self sustainment.

We will look to expand our wild edibles knowledge as options appear to abound. Mulberry, blackwalnut, and raspberries all grow in our area, a couple of chestnut trees, and wild greens are common. We have no plans to grow grains and plan to buy them (stock up).

I have a mental disconnect at present with preserving food. Canning lids appear to be single use affairs, so having a year over year supply seems tough. Makes me wish we had a freeze dryer.

Thanks everyone for sharing your ideas



Tattler Lids  and Harvest Guard lids are reusable canning lids made here in the US.  

While a freeze dryer is an easy and very expensive option it does require being able to store the dried foods in moisture proof container that is free of oxygen.  Canning jars with lids, oxygen absorbers, and Mylar bags are all part of freeze drying storage.

Dehydrating is a great way to preserve a lot of garden produce to use over the winter. It is also really good practice to learn how to cook with foods that need to be rehydrated before you sink serious money and energy into a freeze dryer.  It is a great way to preserve a bumper crop of produce and the stored food takes up way less space!   I can fit 18 to 24 bell peppers into a pint jar after they are dehydrated.  We use eclectic dehydrators due to our humid climate.  

I set my dehydrators in the spring and start with herbs and spring greens.  This way I am preserving what I need for the winter before my main veggie crops need all my attention  The regular harvesting of the herbs  also shifts the flowering of the plants later into the summer which the pollinators appreciate.  I also dehydrate excess spring greens that do well in soups.  Bunching onions, kale, spinach and pac choi are all easy greens to dehydrate and save for soups and sauces over the winter.  Winecap and other mushrooms go into the dehydrator if don't eat them all the day we harvest them.

As the summer production starts I start working on dehydrating summer squash.  I grate it and dehydrate it. It is great in soups, stews, tomato sauces, and I use it instead of lasagna noodles in a lasagna.  It tends to thicken things a bit while adding extra veg to meal.   Fruit is favorite to dehydrate.  Cherries are our favorite but we dehydrate just about any fresh fruit that we can't eat fast enough.  Apple and Pear slices, blueberries, strawberries, currants, and grapes all become snacks for winter eating.  Raspberries don't dehydrate well as a snack food so we can them into pie filling or jam instead. I don't bake but I am assuming you can bake with dehydrated fruit too.

As I get into fall I will dehydrate veggies that I use in meals where they are slow cooked and or a specific texture isn't required.  Tomatillos, peppers, and green onions are dehydrated for winter chili.  You can also do tomatoes but I prefer to can them.  Hot peppers can easily be smoked on the grill and then put in the dehydrator for various smoked pepper seasoning.  We keep a coffee grinder just for spices and dried peppers to make my own seasoning blends.  

Carrots, parsnips, celeriac, kale, spinach, pac choi, summer squash, garlic scapes, celery, and onions are all great for this.  I rehydrate them before adding them to recipes and it makes it fast and easy to cook over the winter. If you pressure can your own stock and bone broths  you make soups all winter long from leftovers in less than 5 minute of prep work.  

Having some large stock pots for blanching and a food processor for chopping large volume of produce is a huge time saver.  Of course these tools are great for any food preservation method.  

I keep my dehydrated goods in canning jars and use my  very good condition once used canning lids for these jars.  I keep them in a cool dark part of the basement and easily get 2 years of storage.  
 
Abraham Palma
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Marisa Lee wrote:

Blake Lenoir wrote: I always get engaged with responses. I just wanna find out where everyone at when I deliver new updates to a new topic. I sometimes have a little trouble of engaging in topics from time to time, not understanding the process well. I'll welcome some correction next time.



You know what? That's totally valid. People have different communication styles.

I actually tried to delete my comment after I posted it, but couldn't figure out how. It was a little bratty and I regretted it. Lol, I always get drawn into your threads, because the topics are great, but then I end up frustrated because the discussion doesn't feel productive. But we have a lot of the same interests - I should remember to focus on the good.



Your concern is valid too. Vague topics are not bad per se, but it takes time and effort to read for little reward if you are looking for specifics. That's why we have the apples. More apples usually means you are reading a more useful thread or post.

Also, this post is not only very broad, but it also depends on some assumptions that are not valid for everyone. For example, not every permaculture fanboy is a grower. For example, not everyone lives in a climate with dead growing seasons that requires some sort of preservation.

Other than stocking on food, there's not a one size fits all solution for preventing food shortages. If you knew where the crisis is going to hit, maybe you could plan something. But if the crisis comes from the energy, then the hit is structural, all will fail at once. We are seeing it now. High energy prices, increasing distribution costs, leading to armed conflicts, further increasing energy costs. So much that fertilisers are no longer profitable or even available. So much that ranchers are killing their cattle trying to save some of it due to grain scarcity.

We are already seeing shortages in my country, truckers protests being blamed, or Ukraine war, or covid lock downs side effects. They all seem to be temporary issues, soon to be resolved. But it's been already two long years of temporary problems.

The question then should be how to face food shortages when the world is going crazy due to the lack of cheap energy. I don't have any answers. I've tried to grow something for my family in my spare time. It's fun and tasty and I love it, but I know this (nasturtiums) won't feed us. Maybe potatoes could feed us a little more, however, potatoes are dirt cheap in the groceries, so currently it is not profitable at all (and, well, I've ruined two attempts at growing potatoes anyway).
I live in a condo with another two hundred families. Maybe I can find food for a couple more weeks (not even that!) than my neighbours, but what am I supposed to do when they all become hungry? Run? Pry?

For now I can only keep trying to establish our food forest in the city and hoping it inspires more people into growing this way, safe from the high energy costs and the market laws. Maybe it's too late. Maybe it's time for planting more trees.
 
Stacy Witscher
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While I can grow food year round I still preserve food because I cannot grow everything all the time. Things have seasons. If I want zucchini and tomatoes in December they need to be preserved.

While I agree there is not much that can done if you live in a city and starvation levels hit, they are so many nuances before that. One of the few things that I appreciated learning from my undependable ex-husband is how to plan. I never knew when he was going to come home, let alone with money, so when he did I stocked up on everything. We used the perishables first, and then I relied on staples that lasted longer. My kids never went hungry, neither did the strays we always picked up.

Same with food preservation, I like to vary it. I do a far amount of freezing and canning. I'm not a big fan of dehydrated foods so not much of that. I do some fermenting. We are off grid so energy issues aren't a problem at least short term.
 
Brian Holmes
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Kate Muller wrote:

Brian Holmes wrote:

I keep my dehydrated goods in canning jars and use my  very good condition once used canning lids for these jars.  I keep them in a cool dark part of the basement and easily get 2 years of storage.  



Truncated your quote for space.

Thank you so much for the wonderful advice. A dehydrator sounds like the perfect place to start, and I'll be looking into reusable canning rings

 
Blake Lenoir
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If we can't use pressure cookers for canning, then what can we use for canning? I've never can before.
 
Abraham Palma
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Blake Lenoir wrote: If we can't use pressure cookers for canning, then what can we use for canning? I've never can before.


There's a guide online. There it explains what pressure cookers you can use, and what you can preserve with just pressure cookers.
https://nifa.usda.gov/about-nifa/blogs/usdas-complete-guide-home-canning

And there is another from the same company that sells the cans and the pressure canning pot, but I don't remember the name (Presto?).
 
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Special BRK JUST for the permaculture bootcamp!
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