Sunday, October 3, 2010


Back in the days of mountain men and miners there was a particular word they used to describe winter preparations.  It was Grubstaked.  It meant having a fall to spring supply of food at the cabin or camp.  Travel in these high mountain or forest retreats only could be done safely in the summer and these men were effectively cut off from trips to civilization for supplies so having stores of food was an absolute necessity.

My own efforts at grub staking for our family are less about an inability to get to a store and more about providing my family with delicious and safe food from end of harvest in fall to the first harvest of spring.  Once you start growing and canning your own food you wont ever want to go back to store bought.  Living in Wyoming we experienced our first real blizzards where I was unable to make the run into town.  In our small root cellar I kept at least two months supply of flour, canned veggies, sugar, and other staples that we used every day.  This preparedness ended up really saving us when my husbands job in 2007 took a nose dive and we suddenly had very little money to spare.  At least I didn't have to worry about food!  This could be called preparedness or just common sence.  After all having at least three months supply of food in your home is a good idea no matter what you encounter. Even on our tight budget we can pick up extra food on sales every two weeks and that adds up.

This years grubstaking has progressed as follows:

30 quarts cherries
35 quarts peaches
35 quarts pears
35 quarts applesauce
20 quarts bread and butter pickles
2  quarts dill garlic pickles
40 pints assorted jams and jellies
48 pints green beans
20 freezer bags zucchini onion mix for casseroles
5 freezer bags bell pepper dices
6 quarts mixed vegetable soup
10 pints onion confit
20 pints apple chutney
10 pints plum sauce

25 lbs noodles
200 lbs flour
50 lbs organic sugar
50 lbs brown sugar
25 lbs rice

And more than I can think of right now.

Here are some of my canned foods for winter

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