Episode-731- Preserving the Harvest

Well the time is approaching rapidly that we will be in the full swing of fall harvesting and even planting the fall gardens.  With temps are or near 100 in many parts of the nation today it may seem a long way off, yet it isn’t, cooler weather and the bounty of the garden and the field are just around the corner.

As we turn our focus to harvest both of garden and game it is a good time to discuss what to do with it all.  You can only eat so much fresh, your neighbors will only smile about so many free zucchinis.  You worked hard for it, when it comes to game it is also hard work, time and money, today we talk about making it last.

Join Me Today as we Discuss…

  • What is blanching
  • The easiest method – dehydration
  • The closest to fresh method – flash freezing
  • Canning – pressure and steam
  • Pickling
  • Fermentation
  • Brewing and vinting
  • Making liquor
  • Smoking vs. curing

Additional Resources for Today’s Show

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18 Responses to Episode-731- Preserving the Harvest

  1. @Jack,

    I can’t tell you how many times I had to say “just punch that into your register” in order to get them to understand “making change.”
    They have a Computer in front of them that gives them the answer, and sometimes they still can’t do it.

  2. Steam is not “hotter” than boiling water…at least in any of our kitchens. It’s an atmospheric pressure thing…

    And I totally get your point about freezing on a sheet tray–do it all the time, with just about everything we freeze–but you aren’t “flash freezing” anything in a consumer grade chest freezer. Nowhere near cold enough. Commercial flash freezers use liquid nitrogen and an elaborate fan system. And if you dry off that excess water, you will have even better results.

  3. RE: Ancestors preserving food for just weeks or months:

    Colonial era Americans faced what became known as “Six Weeks of Want.” That was a roughly six-week period from mid-April to the end of May (and even as late as the first week of June) where there wasn’t yet anything in the garden able to be eaten, but last year’s food stores had already run out. So during the Six Weeks of Want, the Colonists had to hunt and fish for meat, and forage for dandelions and fiddle heads for fresh greens. They would wait in earnest for things like spring peas to finally come to maturity in the garden.


    The great wish of that era was that they could somehow find a way to grow enough food and simultaneously preserve enough food to make it last all the way from October to June.

    Man, we are SOOOOOOOOO spoiled today.

    • Nice post. Thanks.

      • Let me elaborate: I’ve actually wondered about this. When I think about what I produce, I’ve thought basically in terms that “if the colonists could do it then i could do it”…interesting to know that in the past having food through the year was a problem.

  4. Episode 731…I can using metal cans, with nitrogen gas added. It is cheaper than other ways, and the shelf life is many years. Dried corn with nitrogen will still sprout 15 years later, at 85% germanation. The set up cost is a lot, but mine payed for itself in three weeks.

  5. @Jack,

    Just re-listened to the show. You’re absolutely right, I missed the context of the “steam is hotter than water” re: pressure canning. Apologies on that one.


  6. Steph in Nova Scotia

    Anyone ever brew (soda) pop? Granted it isn’t the most healthy thing in the world, but at least if you make it yourself you can chose the ingredients. I’ve done it from extract, but I’d rather do it from the actual original ingredients. Anyone know a good source of information?

    Thanks! Great show! *Listens to the Excalibur running in the basement*

    • Some people in the hill towns around me here in Western Massachusetts make their own homemade root beer, and birch beer, and ginger beer. I’ve tried homemade ginger beer and it’s quite yummy.

  7. Loved this subject but I could not help but comment on the food myth: alcohol evaporates from cooked food quickly. Like a lot of ‘truths,’ it did not hold up to scrutiny.

    This article explains it nicely: http://www.ochef.com/165.htm

    Makes me giggle about how much wine-cake alcohol I served to my classmates in elementary school. I turns out that the class clowns were not that far off the mark.

    • There are non alcoholic wines that should do better as a substitute than grape juice.

    • I saw a Food Network show that demonstrated how most of the alcohol does stay in the foods cooked. Someone brought a rum cake to work once and I asked if they needed a liquor license to serve it. It was stout! For those who don’t care enough to investigate their errors, the website said it could take three HOURS to cook off all the alcohol. “It isn’t what you don’t know that is the problem, its what you do know that ain’t so.”

  8. I wonder if there is hope for America. My son and his girlfriend have a house in the inner city. He has managed to have a successful garden in a series of boxes he built for that purpose. They thrive although the yard is baron at this 120+ year old house. They hosted a garden party featuring a veggie trade table and a number of fresh veggie snacks and dipping sauces. It was a wonderful event.
    Near the end his next door neighbor came over. She is a very nice woman in her late 30s or so and a counselor a the local HS. My son gave her a larger zucchini and some cherry tomatoes. With a very blank look on her face she turned to me to ask what she was to to with them. After I picked my jaw up off of the floor a gave her some cooking suggestions.
    I realized after that she is representative of the folks you see at the grocery store who have a can of coffee, a bottle of juice, a couple pieces of fruit, a carton of Ben & Jerry’s and a half dozen TV dinners in their cart and call it weekly grocery shopping. (They are usually in the 10 or less lane as well.) I feel bad for these folks who have no desire to learn to cook for themselves and I say this as I hear the whirl of the dehydrator and the crock pot bubbling in the kitchen.

  9. Dear Jack,

    Have you read the book “The China Study?”

    Or maybe you’ve read the book “Healthy at 100?”

    Are you familiar with the Framingham nurses study, the longest-running study of its kind?

    Or maybe the medical work of Ornish? Or McDougall? Or Fuhrman?

    If not, I encourage you to take a look, especially at the first one, The China Study.

    If you choose not to, I would certainly understand. But I hope you do, because, as it is now, you sound like someone who is trying to bend reality to fit what’s in his head, instead of a survivor who adjusts his behavior to fit reality.

    Jack, your family, your community, and your audience need you as a survivor. Please, take the time to educate yourself on this subject.

    Wishing you the best,

    • Modern Survival

      @Jim I guess you are opposed to eating meat? Whatever dude! You sure as hell didn’t really make a point here did you? What exact “reality” am I bending?

      As for your studies check out some other studies about say well the Egyptian Mummies or the longevity of the Inuit People who live mostly on whale and walrus blubber. If indeed your objection is to meat? I mean I really have no idea what your issue is here, am I supposed to read your comment and, what, know exactly what part of a 60 minute show you are addressing with out your telling me? Are you all in a wad about meat, smoking meat, having a beer, eating bacon, eating some stuff on RARE occasions with a bit of nitrite in it, I mean I literally have no fing idea.

      I personally consider the way I eat to be extremely healthy, I eat lean meats, wild meats, fish and tons of vegetables. I haven’t had a bite of “fast food” in over 2.5 years, I have dropped another 25 lbs just since moving to Arkansas. I eat very little refined starches, only whole wheat bread, etc. If that isn’t good enough screw it we are all gonna die some day, at least I will die happy, fulfilled and of something.

      I avoid trans fats, I avoid GMOs to my best ability in this world, I eat very few things you would call “sweets”, I don’t even remember what a doughnut tastes like at this point, if I have to give up anything more my attitude is screw it.

      My grandfather lived to 99, he smoked 2 packs of Camel no filters a day, drank like a fish, ate anything he wanted, lived on bread, cheese, fried potatoes, fatty meats and sugar. Compared to him I live like a friken Nepalese Yogi, I have gone as far as I plant to.

      Oh and I still don’t really know what your issue is. LOL

  10. Jack tried to tweet this using your link but it came up several times with no URL…