Searching for my roots

It’s a sad, sad day on the wee homestead. As we speak, the last of the fresh, local veggies are cooking on the stovetop. (How do I love thee, Alice Waters? Let me count the ways….)

At the beginning of November, we stocked our two fridge bins with things like sweet potatoes, Jerusalem artichokes, and carrots from our CSA. Two months of food isn’t exactly the pinnacle of self-sufficiency, but considering we don’t yet have anywhere to cure and store roots, I’m grateful to have enjoyed fresh goodies this long.

Thankfully we’ve still got lots of canned and frozen food to keep us scurvy-free until spring. This was the first year we put away mass quantities in hopes of making it through the winter, and I didn’t even know where to begin. Was I ridiculous to order 50 pounds of tomatoes for two people? Would we ever eat the 10-pound bag of green beans that came up to my waist?

I searched online for straightforward advice on quantity conversions and pantry planning but didn’t have much luck. Every site I read tended to speak in generalities. So in case you want to give it a go next summer, here are the numbers on our bigger batches to give you a sense of scale:

50 pounds of tomatoes = 30 pints of cooked tomatoes + 8 pints of salsa
50 pounds of apples = 26 pints of cooked apples + 7 half pints of apple butter
1 large head of cabbage = 9 pints of sauerkraut (only 2 survived, but that’s another blog post)
5 pounds of okra = 10 pints pickled
100 small oranges = 40 half pints of orange marmalade (most were Christmas gifts)
2 hot summer mornings of picking wild blackberries = 3 pints of jam + 2 quarts frozen
1 gallon of strawberries = 11 half pints of jam
10 pounds of green beans = 8 quarts frozen + 6 pints pickled
Planning six months of food for two people definitely makes the brain baby kick, but I’m sure it will get easier with each passing year. You have to start somewhere, right? In the meantime, I’ll keep you guys updated on how long our supplies last as well as any spoilage issues we encounter. 
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