The best place for long-term food storage is often against an outside wall in the basement because it’s coolest here. However, if your home doesn’t have a basement, any cool, dark corner or closet will work well. If you live in a small house or apartment, devoting an entire closet to long-term food storage might not be an option. Instead, look for other unused spaces you could store extra food in. Under the bed and at the top of your closet are good places to start.
However,the first rule to remember when storing food is to rotate it in and out until disaster strikes. Some foods have a limited shelf life and you don’t want to be stuck with a bunch of rotten food when you think you have put food away to last for weeks or months.
Even though some of the food you have stored may not spoil, it might lose some of its nutritional or flavor value. You don’t want to be eating food that tastes old or stale.
We touched on a couple of these methods earlier just briefly but we will go into a little more depth here to round out your canning and storage of those foods.
1).In/Underground-Storage – Naturally storing foods is certainly a viable solution. Don’t pick everything in your garden but leave some items to be stored naturally. Root vegetables such as carrots, parsnips, lettuce, cabbage and turnips can be left in the ground. If winter strikes cover them with dry leaves, straw or mulch. You can dig them up when you need them.
2).Root Cellar – The most important aspect of a root cellar is to keep your foods fresh at a very cool and slightly moist environment. Root cellars work best in areas where winter time is the harshest. You can store fruits and vegetables in the root cellar through the winter time. It is best if there is a dirt floor. Your basement won’t do because it is too warm and dry.
3).2 to 5-Gallon Containers – Large 5-gallon containers can be purchased at your local home improvement store. Stack the jars inside the container with bubble wrap or other conduit to absorb any movement of the jars:
4).Dry crawl space – Do you have an area under your stairs where you could build a small door opening? Store foods in this space as it is excellent for dry storage. DO NOT put food in the attic. An attic can get extremely hot in the summer time and will decompose the food.
5).A Shed – This will only work if it is climate controlled. Again, you can’t put foods where the temperature is going alternate between one extreme or the other – hot/cold. Your canned foods are going to need a steady, cool temperature in order to stay protected.
6).33-Gallon Trash Cans – Yes. You read that right ! Some people dig holes in their property and store foods in the large trash receptacles you can purchase at the store. Make sure that the bottom of the barrel is three feet under the surface-grade level. Only leave an inch or two above ground so you can put the lid back on. Try to find a shaded area to bury the cans.
NEXT SUB-SECTION > Food Storage, Part 1 of 3