List of the best storing and preserving methods for fruit and vegetables

silverbeet-parents

Different produce responds to different treatments – and some things just need to be eaten.

The list below gives a summary of which fruit and vegetables store and preserve well. It may also help in planing your edible gardening year.

Stores well:

  • apples, pears (not early variety)
  • beetroot, cabbage, carrot, garlic, kohlrabi, onion, parsnip, potato, pumpkin, swede, turnip

Good for bottling:

  • all fruits
  • tomato

Makes delightful things:

  • all fruits
  • aubergine, cabbage, cauliflower, courgette, cucumber, onion, tomato

Can be dried:

  • apples, damsons, plums
  • beans, peas, tomato

Freezes well:

  • berry fruits, apples and pears (if pureed)
  • broad beans, broccoli, calabrese, French beans, peas, runner beans

Lasts well on the plant or in the ground:

  • rhubarb
  • artichoke (Jerusalem), beetroot, broccoli (sprouting), Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrot, cauliflower, celeraic, celery, chard, chicory, kale, leeks, lettuce and salads, parsnip, swede, turnip

Eat when ready: few or no good storage preservation options

  • artichoke (globe), asparagus, cardoon, radish, sweetcorn

21st-Century Smallholder – by Paul Waddington

Pat Coleby reveals why she changed her farming methods

Pat Coleby reveals why she changed her farming methods to natural methods.

I love Pat Coleby’s books. Highly recommended.

Pat Coleby can be found over at Farming Secrets.

Hardy vegetables for self-sufficiency and survival

squash-flowers

Isabell Shipard recommends growing hardy vegetables for self-sufficiency and survival. Here are the ones that store well:

  • African cucumber – will store for over 12 months
  • Choko
  • Gourds
  • Pie melon
  • Potato
  • Pumpkin – Australian Ironbark, Baby Blue, Jack Be Little, Jack O’Lantern, Jarrahdale, Marina di Chioggia, Musque de Provence, Queensland Blue, Red Kuri
  • Squash – Blue Hubbard, Golden Hubbard, Green Hubbard

When pumpkin vines die down, pick mature fruit with plenty of stem. Make sure they’re well coloured and the stem has cracked. Cure the fruit for 10 days in the sun outdoors, or on a verandah in poor weather, to harden the skin so that they keep.

Store under cover on straw or shredded paper – in a cool, mouse-proof place.

How can I be prepared with Self-Sufficiency and Survival Foods? – by Isabell Shipard

How to make a hay box

Hay box cooking was popular during World War II when fuel was rationed. It is a way to save energy by turning off the oven or burner just before the food is completely cooked, and the allowing your food to continue cooking in a hay box. The lid of your pot needs to fit tightly to keep the heat in.

  • You will need a box made from plastic or metal. Fill it with dry hay
  • Cook your food in the usual way until it is hot but not completely cooked.
  • Turn off the heat, then quickly place the pot or pan into a hay box on a layer of straw. Make sure you cover the pot with more hay and seal the lid.
  • Leave for a few hours while your food continues to cook in your insulated homemade oven. Plan well ahead – the normal cooking time for this method is 4-5 hours, though it varies greatly depending on what you’re cooking. Experiment, but make very sure that any meat is fully cooked through.

Self Sufficiency for the 21st Century
– by Dick and Jack Strawbridge

Has anyone tried hay box cooking?

Do you think you could use sugar cane mulch?

Would you recommend cooking meat this way?

How to make your own fabric softener

bonds

White vinegar softens fabric and stops static cling. Add a cup of vinegar to the wash, with a few drops of lavender oil for odours.

Wool will stay soft if washed in warm water with eucalyptus oil.

Other green stain remover products to try are:

How to make your own dish washing detergent

lemon

Many conventional dish washing detergents contain phosphate, which causes blue-green algae blooms in waterways.

Here’s  a simple recipe to make your own dish washing detergent:

1/4 cup petroleum-free soap flakes
1/4 cup glycerin
1/2 teaspoon of eucalyptus oil
11/2 cups of hot water

Instead of the eucalyptus oil, you may like to add a few drops of lemon or grapefruit essential oil.

Other green dish washing detergent products to try are:

We also like to look for one which did not contain sodium laurel sulphate, as it kills the good bugs in your tummy!

Handy hint – Place a leftover lemon half in your dishwasher to keep your dishes smelling fresh and clean.

Note: If you are on the GAPS or SCD diet – it’s best not to use a dishwasher.

How to make your own stain remover

A solution of half vinegar, half water sprayed on stains half an hour before washing helps to remove grass, juice, mildew, coffee and tea.

Hairspray helps remove ink stains.

Other green stain remover products to try are:

  • Cinderella Stain Remover

 

How to make your own bathroom cleaner

Conventional bathroom cleaners often contain harsh toxic chemicals.

Washing soda cleans hard surfaces such as walls, sinks, tiles and tubs, but it rusts aluminium.

To remove mould from a shower curtain, mix 2 tablespoons of tea tree oil with 2 cups of water, spritz on and leave for a least two hours.

Vinegar also kills mould.

Other green bathroom cleaner products to try are:

How to make your own furniture oil

Apply sparingly and buff up to a gleaming shine.

250ml olive oil
20 drops lemon essential oil

Pour the olive oil into a clean dry bottle, add the essential oil and shake well.

To use, place a little oil on a soft cloth, wipe onto wooden furniture and buff to polish.

How to make your own window cleaner

For a smear-free finish to clean windows make up the following solution in a spray container:

1 part white distilled vinegar or lemon juice to
4 parts water

You may like to add a few drops of lemon essential oils.

Spray on the glass and wipe away marks with a chamois or crumpled newspaper.