Stocking The Winter Pantry {My Method}

happy fall from Lizzy LAne FarmToday marks the first day of Autumn, a time for a slight slow down around here. The garden is mostly harvested and carefully put up in jars and tucked in the freezer. Weeks of canning, freezing and dehydrating are behind me and boy am I glad of that, because I know in a very few short weeks our part of the world will be frozen solid and sleeping until spring. Frost the other night took care of the garden I left unprotected.

Fall is an exciting time too, with all the activities that go with it, the apple harvest, jelly making, baking, recipe collecting and planning needed to feed our family during the time when the garden is a faint memory of summer and a dream of spring.

shaye and an apple

Mostly this is 7 long months of canned, frozen, dehydrated and stocked food. This is not a bad thing because I love cooking from my pantry, it has more variety than the grocery store I think. This my friend, takes planning and quite a bit to pull it off successfully with out complaints that there is nothing good to eat, or I can’t get out because of the weather. Dietary considerations for the young, old and finicky are a trick not easily pulled off around here. I’m sure you have many of the same challenges too…yes?

My pantry revolves around a 3 ring binder stuffed full of information. Notes from years’ past tell me how much of what we ate, who liked it, who didn’t, and how when and where it was put up. Gardening notes on varieties, yields, planting and harvesting dates, challenges, and wants…

There is a section full of time trusted canning, dehydrating, and freezing recipes, charts and graphs on canning methods, where jars were bought, when they were on sale. My actual cooking recipes are in several recipe boxes and note books.

apple picking

Another section that keeps careful track on how much of what was put up, how much was used. This I think is the most important section because if I run out I know where to make adjustments for next year. Is there too much of something (like that hardly ever happens)?

Hardly a day goes by that I don’t open this binder to look something up for one reason or another. Today I carefully put in my notes about our pole beans and the saga of them. A bright cheery post it note to remind me to research bean varieties was added to the cover for another day when time has slowed down over the winter.

This binder of mine isn’t just for the people around here, oh’ no I make just as many plans for the animals too. Their health and well being are ours as well. There are notes on vet visits, hay bales, bags of grain, nutrition values on grains, crop growing information for livestock feed and it goes on… 🙂

green beans

I’m sure you have your own method be it computer spread sheets, pen and paper or if you are lucky stored in your memory. These types of things seem boring to some and a challenge to those of us in charge of our families future and food needs. I sure do become scared for those who don’t bother plan and stock ahead as well as a bit sad that they are not as secure as they might think they are.

I’ll be back to share a bit of my pantry list with you as well as a guest post from a dear and very talented blogger. Mitchel blogs over at Heritage Basket Studio and Chair Caning. A wonderful blog full of information from baskets, chair caning, canning, cooking and simple country living. He so graciously agreed to write a guest post about his pantry and what he likes to stock in his neck of the woods.  I have been reading it over- thinking it over- and soon I will be ready to share. For now it’s my piece of inspiration.

Do you keep track of your pantry? What method do you like best?


Posted on September 23, 2014, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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