There are many ways to become more self-sufficient and to start prepping for your and your family’s food supply. With so many options out there, it can be hard to know where to start and which option is best. Having a garden, raising your own animals, hunting, canning, freeze-drying, freezing, curing, dehydrating, fermenting, distilling, emergency food kits, having a root-cellar, pickling, plus simply stocking-up are all on the list. There are many more creative ideas out there, like these. This is an awesome article from Mother Earth News to help guide you.
Most of these methods involve preserving for long term-storage. This means cooking, drying, or doing some process that changes the state of the food. Gardening is a way to have fresh produce during the growing season, and some crops like root vegetables, can keep an exceptionally long time under the right conditions. But most other fresh edibles must be processed to extend their shelf life. So, let’s compare Fresh vs. Preserved.
WHY YOU WOULD PRESERVE (CAN, FERMENT, FREEZE-DRY, DEHYDRATE, ETC) …
1. Long-term food storage. Canned goods can last many years, although the flavor might decrease. Freeze-drying foods can last 25-30 years, and dehydrated foods 15 to 20 years . This makes preparing your food for long-term storage a must-add to your prepping to-do list.
2. A way to preserve the fruits of your harvest. Having a garden is a lot of work and the last thing you want to do is let it go to waste. Chances are (and, hopefully!) you will have an abundance of some items that need preserving (e.g., tomatoes for salsa, or frozen peas to add a pop to your stew). It’s also a wonderful way of being able to enjoy your garden bounty deep into winter (e.g., fresh jam in February with your homemade sourdough, or pickled beets on a winter charcuterie tray with your cured meats).
3. Store items you do not grow yourself. You can stretch your food dollars by stocking up on fresh produce that is on sale (or only sporadically available) and preserving it for later. And you can maximize flavor by purchasing fruits and veggies you don’t grow yourself, catching it at the peak of the season at your local farmer’s market or from your neighbor. You can freeze it or preserve it as sauces, jams, and jellies by canning.
4. Probiotics. Did you know that fresh garden produce, without pesticides or herbicides, contains probiotics? It’s true! Check out this “Eat Dirt” book to learn more. So, when you are not eating fresh produce from the garden in the middle of winter, your body needs those probiotics to help digest those heavy winter stews. Sauerkraut from garden-grown cabbage, carrots, and other fermented foods, are great ways to get those probiotics in!
5. Make great gifts/barter items. We are all about self-sustainability and self-reliance; however, it would be hard to last long in a survival situation without community. Canned goods are a great way to help others around you and give you something to trade for other items.
LET’S TALK FRESH!
1. Nutrients! Most produce starts to lose its nutrients the moment it is harvested. According to this study, spinach can lose 90% of its nutrients after the first 24 hours of harvest! We wrote a whole blog post about this topic…you can check it out here. Giving your body that nutrient boost is vital to maintaining your health and brain function.
2. Keep the harvest going…continued preservation. When you grow in a garden, and grow with heirloom seeds, you can harvest the seeds from those plants, and never have to worry about purchasing seeds again. This is a vital part of self-sustainability and a large advantage in unstable times. Not only that, but you can grow enough during the growing season to put away (long-term storage methods) all your food for the winter months to come. This makes growing a garden a must!
3. Morale. Eating fresh produce, yet alone eating and cooking with the fresh produce you grow, can be a huge boost to your morale. Not only is it healthier and delicious, but it is also hugely rewarding to know that you grew the food you put on your family’s table and/or were able to share with your community.
How the Eden Grow Tower can be a great asset to your food prepping...
1. Grow Year-Round. Depending on your climate, you may be able to grow year-round in the garden; however, even in warmer climates it can get too hot to grow that beautiful lettuce. The Eden Grow Tower allows you grow 365 days a year in your garage or home. Being able to have fresh produce year-round means less preserving and more nutrient-rich produce. This can also be a big morale boost when there’s 2 feet of snow outside and you are still able to make a fresh “Tower-to-Table” Salad.
2. Saves you time. Getting a garden started can be a big endeavor. With the Eden Grow Tower you can “plug-and-grow”. The fully automated system, through the Eden App, guides you through the growing process, allowing you to sail through the huge learning curve of starting a garden from scratch. Plus, when you are busy getting the rest of your homestead up and running (i.e., raising livestock), this can be a huge time and stress reliever. The Grow Tower is also able to operate without being connected to the internet, for “off-grid” users.
3. Protein. The Eden Grow Tower not only allows you to grow fresh veggies, including root vegetables, but you can raise your own fish as well! This Grow Tower was designed for both Aquaponics (raising fish or shrimp) or pure Aeroponics (without fish) using a hydroponic nutrient solution. Fresh Water Prawns, Trout and Tilapia can all be raised in your tower to add an extra source of protein to your diet. This is a huge asset!
For even more awesome benefits of The Eden Grow Tower head over to edengrowsystems.com
We are not just trying to sell a Grow Tower; we want to empower you to feed you and your family’s future by growing your own food and becoming as self-reliant as possible. This is the heart, mission, and passion at Eden. It’s time we stop depending on the “system” and get back to the basics…Little House on the Prairie style. It’s time we take control of our food and take steps, every day, to become more and more independent for the future!
Find out how to get started growing YEAR-ROUND produce for your prepping adventures!
Note…some of the hyperlinks above are great resources from some of our favorite sites. Not affiliate links.