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Tuesday, October 7, 2014

A 'Seedy' Character Tells How to Preserve Your Harvest


Poor Man Survival

Self Reliance tools for independent minded people…



ISSN 2161-5543

A Digest of Urban Survival Resources

 Mother was frugal.  She not only darned our socks but her rags too!  --the Poor Man



Preserving Your Harvest:  Start with Blanching

Blanching (scalding vegetables in boiling water or steam for a short time) is a must for almost all vegetables to be frozen. It stops enzyme actions which can cause loss of flavor, color and texture.

Blanching cleanses the surface of dirt and organisms, brightens the color and helps retard loss of vitamins. It also wilts or softens vegetables and makes them easier to pack.

Blanching time is crucial and varies with the vegetable and size. Underblanching stimulates the activity of enzymes and is worse than no blanching. Overblanching causes loss of flavor, color, vitamins and minerals.

For home freezing, the most satisfactory way to heat all vegetables is in boiling water. Use a blancher which has a blanching basket and cover, or fit a wire basket into a large pot with a lid.

Use one gallon water per pound of prepared vegetables. Put the vegetable in a blanching basket and lower into vigorously boiling water. Place a lid on the blancher. The water should return to boiling within 1 minute, or you are using too much vegetable for the amount of boiling water. Start counting blanching time as soon as the water returns to a boil. Keep heat high for the time given in the directions for the vegetable you are freezing.

Steam Blanching

Heating in steam is recommended for a few vegetables. For broccoli, pumpkin, sweet potatoes and winter squash, both steaming and boiling are satisfactory methods. Steam blanching takes about 1½ times longer than water blanching.

To steam, use a pot with a tight lid and a basket that holds the food at least three inches above the bottom of the pot. Put an inch or two of water in the pot and bring the water to a boil.

Put the vegetables in the basket in a single layer so that steam reaches all parts quickly. Cover the pot and keep heat high. Start counting steaming time as soon as the lid is on. See steam blanching times  recommended for the vegetables listed below.

Microwave Blanching

Microwave blanching may not be effective, since research shows that some enzymes may not be inactivated. This could result in off-flavors and loss of texture and color. Those choosing to run the risk of low quality vegetables by microwave blanching should be sure to work in small quantities, using the directions for their specific microwave oven. Microwave blanching will not save time or energy.  Read further and find a chart outlining the various blanching time requirements for vegetables.

Find a ton more useful free resources on preserving, canning, gardening and more.  Please consider making a donation while visiting this page!


Seedy Character

I admit that I have become a major seedy character. Whenever I fix fresh vegetables or fruit, I first wash and then I save all of the seeds in tiny dishes and let them air dry. Next I package them, using saved paper bags that come inside pudding boxes. For instance, I made us some pudding tonight. I emptied out the pudding powder into a bowl, tapped on the bag to remove any residue, and then saved the paper bag in the drawer with baggies, foil, etc.

When ready to use, I take a paper bag, mark it for what seeds will be going in there, date it, place the dry seeds inside, fold over twice, and staple shut. This is placed in a shoebox and kept in a cool, dark place. Seeds can also be stored in a tin can in the fridge! Next spring, I will have all kinds of seeds to plant at no cost.

--thanks Dan for sharing this!


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Fall Foraging For Powerful Healing Roots    As the days turn cooler and the colors of autumn burst forth, many homesteaders and survivalists gather and prepare roots and bark for their family's health. During fall, a plant's energy is directed downward to the roots – forming a powerful healing substance that can benefit you. Learn what to gather – and how to do it – here.



Another batch of home grown goodies for you!






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