Stop Looking For Fast Food and Start Looking For Long Food

The Pumpkin In This Picture Is The Candy Roaster Pumpkin

Yes you heard me right….stop looking for fast food and start looking for “Long Food” foods with long-term storage potential.   We always think immediately of how we are going to store foods.  Are we going to can it?  If we do are we going to water bath can it or are we going to pressure can it?  Are we going to freeze it?  Are we going to dry it?  What about the easiest foods of all;  the foods that have long-term storage potential even in warmer climates.  That does not mean that you won’t have to do something with it eventually but while you are in the middle of being exhausted from everything you have harvested there are quite a few crops that will just sit tight.

Case in point our candy roaster pumpkin……It was beautiful so I left it on the front porch all fall and then Winter came and I still left it I joked to my husband its kind of in cool storage plus we get hardly any sun where it was positioned on the porch so it just kind of waited.  So Sunday late afternoon when I announced to my husband that the pumpkin could wait no more I think he was wondering why now?  The answer is simple you see as I am planting my new Colonial gardens out back its time to finish any last-minute harvest type activities from last year before any new harvests begin.

I was scared to cut into the pumpkin our weather had been mostly mild not too hot and not too cold but I know every night the pumpkin stayed cold so we cut into it and it was perfect inside.  We are actually saving all of the seeds to sell because let me tell you this Candy Roaster Pumpkin tastes amazing!  It is a beautiful turquoise and orange and we plan on growing just a couple for ourselves next year too.

So we set up a neat system out back on the deck and my husband used actually a large piece of tile and I used a cutting board we got very efficient at this.  This pumpkin was bright orange and tasted very sweet and mild of course I tasted it they say you should never can an inferior product.  So we canned about 5 quart jars and we decided to freeze and cook with the rest.

Here are some foods with long-term storage potential:

apples

pears

pumpkins

squash

turnips

cabbages

carrots

beets

radishes

Jerusalem artichokes

Just to name a few………….

I tended for most of my life to favor the potato even over the sweet potato but now that has changed but I work in an elementary school and I can guarantee you if our Cafeteria Staff put down a big pan of roasted root vegetables you know the yummy delicious drizzled with olive oil type dish….leeks, onions, turnips, potatoes, kohlrabi, sweet potatoes etc….many of these students would not eat it.  As I got older and through gardening I realized that these foods were superior and better for me and the satisfaction of growing our own food helped me to have the courage to try new food items such as Jerusalem Artichokes.   We have to get our students educated about gardening and growing their own food and getting involved in controlling the quality of that food.  Ask your local school to grow a garden or see if you can donate seeds, dirt or funding to help them get it started!  Okay off my educational soap box 😉

The amazing cool thing about “Long Food” is that you don’t have to use energy to store it…..you just store it in a cool place in our garage we store some root vegetables in buckets filled with sand in the coolest dry spot we can find and that is no easy task in Coastal North Carolina.  If we get to the point where it’s just not going to last we do have a second fridge we can stick some items in until we have to do something with them.    As I said earlier we did finally can and freeze some of the pumpkin but we didn’t have to do it right away….pumpkin is very low maintenance although I am sure it helped that it was such a high quality pumpkin.

Here is a picture of how we dried the seeds in a storage bin.

Here are some pictures of us canning the pumpkin:  (We pressure canned this according to the Ball Book directions)

Here are some pictures of the pumpkin we put up in the freezer:  (These were frozen in 2 cup portions with the food saver)

I have pumpkin in the refrigerator to use up this week too!  We are in a pumpkin abundant state all from only one pumpkin…..does this inspire you to start saving seeds?  That’s a lot of food.  Not only that that is a lot of wholesome nutritious food loaded with fiber and Vitamin A….fast food can never and will never supply you with such health and well being.

Lastly here are some links for some great recipes that all use root vegetables.  I definitely think root vegetables are completely in vogue right now!

One Pan Roast Chicken With Root Vegetables

Oven Roasted Root Vegetables

Cooking Up Jerusalem Artichokes

Potato, Ham & Leek Soup

Have a great Monday everyone!

About Lil' Suburban Homestead

We love to garden, raise chickens, cook, read and all in all run my lil' suburban homestead. We have a passion for living sustainably with the earth which can be challenging at times. We recycle, hang our clothes out on the line and raise some of our own food!
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25 Responses to Stop Looking For Fast Food and Start Looking For Long Food

  1. Katherine Kelley says:

    I have been thinking about growing a pumpkin or two. Seeing your haul from ONE, makes me think I need to get on it. Gotta figure out where to plant it first, though. They take up a lot of real estate.

  2. Bridget Foy says:

    Pumpkins are fab. Despite last year’s bad Summer we still got a crop. There’s still 6 left to use. A food for thought post!

    • Are you talking about our haul from the mountains? We go up every year and stock up on winter squash, sweet potatoes, apples etc…it’s a romantic get away for me and my husband and practical too 🙂 Thanks!

      • this year I’m going to try to find some farms nearby that have those days that you go and pick your own veggies and fruits and how much you want. That is the best way for us to get a great deal and a huge amount of fresh food that I could can later.
        Will see if I could find anything. I think I should ask people in Farmers Market.

      • Absolutely! I get my tomatoes from a local farmer and also many people in the farmers market will sometimes sell seconds or larger quantities of produce that have small flaws. Another way we get fruit is to ask friends who have fruit trees to reward us with some abundance and then share a jar of jam with them! They usually don’t mind in most cases it was going to go to waste anyway. Let me know how this goes for you!

  3. oh… and I forgot to mention that I love this post title 🙂

  4. Tami Lewis says:

    loved this post! thanks for the info 🙂

  5. Green Bean says:

    This made me smile. I store my pumpkins as decorations on the front porch too and just cut into the last one a couple weeks ago.

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  7. Kathy says:

    We dehydrate our apples but the pumpkin, a little one, lasted in our house- in the kitchen, from last season until about 2 weeks ago when it started getting warm. I threw it out back so it can start some new volunteers. That’s how we got this one. We let a few rot in the garden and the next year there’s a few pumpkins for the kids!

  8. Bobbi says:

    OMGosh those sound amazing. Wonder where you get them? I am in FL and have tons of sandy soil. What fun that would be.

  9. Bobbi we picked this candy roaster pumpkin up in the mountains of North Carolina most likely it was grown in the foothills somewhere! It was amazing! I made pumpkin casserole with it yesterday!

  10. I love pumpkin in pancakes for breakfast! Wonderful way to store it all. I would love to taste those seeds, roasted. Yum.

  11. fcbama says:

    Hi Karen Lynn! I enjoyed reading this post at one of the blog hops, and didn’t save it. I just now found you again and wanted to know if you could sell me some of those seeds. I’m planting my garden now, so the sooner, the better! Email me and let me know. Blessings from Bama!

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  14. Karen says:

    Hi Karen, I’m browsing a few of my favorite blogs tonight and came across your post from earlier this spring. The candy roaster pumpkin sounds fabulous, & what a haul from one pumpkin! It will be fun to plant that in my garden in the coming spring… wish I’d seen this post sooner. Happy Autumn, time to clean up the gardens! ~Blessings to you and yours, ~Karen in Ohio

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