Disclaimer:  All information on this site is for informational purposes only.  Before using any alternative remedy, begin any new exercise routine or otherwise start trying any of the recipes included on these pages, check with your primary health provider.  Many herbs, foods, and exercises can conflict with medications you are taking or have unknown side effects.

Web Backwoods Living
For Rural and City Living
Ways to Preserve Food Without Canning and Freezing

Before refrigeration and canning were introduced, people were able to preserve foods in a variety of ways. Today pickling and drying are two ways that continue to be used by those who raise their own animals and gardens. Either method is safe and relatively easy to do. If a root cellar is available, many fruits and vegetables can be stored for over the winter months. Other foods, especially squashes and tomatoes can be preserved indoors for a long period of time at room temperature.

Ingredients & Equipment

Large stoneware crocks or,
Stainless steel pans
Pickling salt
Pickling spices
Plastic wrap
Sharp knives
Heavy cardboard boxes
Cooking oil
Wooden boxes

Use the pickling process to preserve some vegetables. Slice vegetables, such as cucumbers and summer squashes into 1/4 inch slices. Break beans into one inch pieces. Beets and okra should remain whole. Generously sprinkle with pickling salt. Place the vegetables into a crock or large stainless steel pan and cover with vinegar. Cover the crock or pan with plastic wrap or other secure cover.

Slice meats into 1/8 inch strips. Marinate the strips in an acid based marinade, if desired.  Lay the strips in a single layer on dehydrator trays and dry for 12 to 16 hours or until leathery.

Slice vegetables in 1/4 inch slices and place in even layers on dehydrator trays. Dry 10 to 14 hours until the vegetables are leathery, yet still slightly pliable.

Store tomatoes by picking the tomatoes green and wrapping each individually in single sheets of newspaper. Place the wrapped tomatoes in a heavy cardboard box and check weekly for spoilage. The tomatoes will continue to ripen as the weeks go by, so be sure to pull the ripe tomatoes as needed.

Store winter squashes, such as acorn, butternut and Hubbard, by coating the squashes in a thin layer of cooking oil and placing them on a pantry shelf. The squashes should keep well for most of the winter.

Preserve and lengthen the lives of potatoes and onions by keeping them in a cool, dark place. Choose a location that will not freeze, but will remain around 50 degrees Fahrenheit.  Basements or attached garages are good choices for storing root vegetables.

Words of Wisdom

The book, Preserving Food Without Freezing or Canning
Traditional Techniques Using Salt, Oil, Sugar, Alcohol, Vinegar, Drying, Cold Storage, and Lactic Fermentation by Gardeners & Farmers of Terre Vivante, is the best reference book to have on hand for preserving foods without canning or freezing.

Root cellars can be used to preserve the summer harvest of any type of root vegetable and some fruits, such as apples and pears.

Dry cures, used for hams and other meats, will also preserve meats without further processing.

All Pages Are
Kat and Kevin Yares

Use of any of these works without written
 is prohibited by law.