Whether you live on a farm in the country like us, or you’re a declared city dweller you can make and produce food at home that can help to keep your family fed all year round. It’s not even that difficult to do! Just read the suggestions and advice below to get started.
Grow your own
One of the most important things to get sorted if you are going to produce your own food is actually growing the fruits, vegetables, or herbs that you will be making it from.
For those of us with the luxury of living on a farm, this can be a pretty easy job, as all we need to do is start the seeds of in the green house and then transfer them to the garden, or field once they are established. You can find some suitable green houses for sale either online or at your local garden center to use for this task. Remember too to look out for some polytunnels to protect certain crops like berries from frost and the birds as well.
Of course, not everyone has room for homegrown crops on this scale, but in a normal sized garden, you can grow a decent amount fruit and veg too. You can even grow tomatoes and herbs on the windowsill of a small apartment. Just read this step by step guide to get started.
Now, you are more than welcome to eat some of those fruits, veg, and herbs fresh, as i’m sure you will. However, to make them last through the whole year it’s important to get a good grasp of the practice of canning.
Canning is when you pass the fresh food through a process of cooking and then seal them in airtight jars. This protects them from bacterial growth and so enables you to keep these foods for a long time.
Just remember though that you need to sterilize your jars before you add anything to them. You also need to ensure that you cover over the top of the product you are canning with some greaseproof paper, as this stops the air getting into them and helps them keep for a lot longer.
Condiments and preserves
Similar to canning making preserves involved adding products to jars so they will keep for longer. However, preserves, in particular, are sweet and savory spreads made with fruit and veg from your garden at home.
For sweet preserves such as jam, and conserve ensure that you set aside plenty of fruit and use either preserving sugar, or separate sheets of gelatin to ensure that the mixture sets. You will know its ready if you dip in a wooden spoon and then draw your finger through it (leave to cool first though because hot molten sugar isn’t fun to touch) and it no longer flows back together, leaving a bare line.
For savory preserves use things such as zucchini, cucumbers, and onions. In particular, try this recipe for bread and butter pickles, which are delicious fair to produce from your own crops and goes marvelously well with cold meats and cheeses.