Help us eat for the winter!
May 31, 2009 5:36 AM Subscribe
We want to freeze vegetables for the winter. Here's the trick: we don't want to use a refrigerator.
posted by puckish to grab bag (19 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
So, after a summer of vegetable gardening, we're going to have a ton of produce that we'd like to put up. Not much space in the kitchen, so we're trying to think of "off the grid" ways of freezing vegetables until the winter. Specifically, ways that don't use electricity... Maybe this is a little bit crazy? Here are some of the things we've come up with so far....
- Bury the ice-box -- basically, digging a small hole in the ground, lining it with wood spacers, and creating a mini-icebox that we can access through a trap door. In the summer we'd have to keep it stocked with ice; in the winter it should keep on its own. Downside: Drainage? If we're OK with ice melting, is this going to be a huge mud problem, or will it drain effectively on its own? What are good ways to line / seal something like this?
- Freezing with liquid nitrogen - this gets around the initial "no-fridge" policy, but space is still an issue. (one of my roommates is REALLY excited about this idea). Plus side: no need to buy ice! But is this going to be a logistical nightmare? Downside: Storage is still an issue, obviously.
- Chest freezer in the backyard and just turning it off in December (when stuff gets cold enough to keep on its own). We could also do this in the basement (though it's not technically our space). Upside: No problems with insulation. Downside: It's a refrigerator.
I'm excited about number 1 (buried home icebox), and potentially number 2 (in conjunction with number 1). We're also going to be doing a lot of canning / preservation, but we'd like to have fresh veggies on hand too. Ideally, we want an outdoor setup, so things will just keep naturally once it gets cold.