Increasing your food supply is not impossible. The very first thing to do is to make a list of the foods your family eats regularly. These are foods you will begin with. Since I grow a lot of vegetables, that is where I start. I grow only what we like to eat. If I try something new, I only grow one plant to see if we like it and if we eat it. Then the next year, I grow more. I like to eat many vegetables that my husband will not touch. It doesn’t seem fair to me that I can’t eat them because he won’t. So I grow enough for me. If I have enough stored the next year, I can skip growing them that year.
Living with our own alternative energy system means I do not freeze foods. Right now we do not have a freezer But even when we do have one, I will not be doing that. I want to use it for certain foods that do not can well, like berries, steaks, roasts, ice cream, etc. We do not raise any animals for food. We have found that animals increase your expenses and work load. For us, this is the best choice. As I always says, “there are no rules to modern homesteading.” You can do as you please, whatever works for you. Increasing your food supply simply means you should have enough stored for the future, regardless of how you do it. Instead of freezing foods, I can them. I buy produce that I do not grow or that did not do well in my garden that year. I buy it locally and bring it home to can it immediately. As I have gotten older, I only buy enough to fill two pressure canners. It has become too much work for me to do more than that in one day. When I was younger, I canned nonstop, staying up quite late at night. Not now.
Meat is easily bought locally from farmers. In recent years, organic meat has become quite easy to locate. Google “pasture raised organic meat in your city or county.” I still buy meat in the grocery stores if I can get a good deal on it. I can mine cooked, as I find it has a better flavor and texture that way. You can do it either way, raw or cooked. The recipes are in any canning book, I use the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving. I pour the leftover juice and fat from the pan it was cooked in, into the water that I am boiling the chunks of meat to can in. It gives it more flavor. After canning the meat, any leftover water that I did not use in the jars of meat, I now can as a rich broth. This broth can be used for gravy or soups.
I realize it sounds expensive to be increasing your food supply, but it really isn’t. I use some of the produce and some of the meat for two nights of meals and can the rest. By doing this weekly or monthly, or however often you can afford, it is a good way to stock up your home canned food. Future meals that are fast to prepare. After I have stocked my shelves with meats, broths, vegetables and fruits, I start canning soups, stews, chili and sauces. Those are easy to do and I make a big double batch and keep out enough for two nights of meals and can the rest. Fast food that is really good!
Copyright © 2015 Kathleen G. Lupole
All Photographs Copyright © 2015 Kathleen G. Lupole
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