Stockpile Challenge – Update #4

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Okay.  I admit it.  I really really really REALLY want to go to the grocery store. If I could go to the store right now, I would bring home a big pile of broccoli, red peppers, bok choy and carrots.  Then I would steam it all, drizzle it with homemade honey garlic sauce and eat until I couldn’t stuff any more in. *drool*  This picture of a “salad harvest” from my garden last summer has had me salivating for 2 days straight.

I was talking to a dear friend who is on a fitness forum with me.  (See, I warned you – all my friends make their way in here eventually!)  We were discussing a “serving” of vegetables.  According to all the prepper food storage charts, for most veggies a half cup is considered a serving.  In our version of the world, a serving of veggies is at LEAST a cup.  I regularly roast a pound of Brussels sprouts and a pound of carrots and share this dish only grudgingly.   I love veggies!  And fruit – we eat a lot of fruit in our house.  Sometimes I  make a big platter of fruit and we snack on that while watching TV and playing games. It’s really not the same with apple sauce and canned peaches.

Of course this doesn’t mean that I can’t survive, and healthfully, on what we have, but it does bring me to a few conclusions.

  1. I can’t base my produce storage on the charts that are available if I’m not going to be happy with those serving sizes.  I need to re-inventory our stored produce and base it on serving sizes to us.  This could really hold true to any type of food.  The point is, I don’t have nearly as long-lasting of a supply as I thought I did, based on the servings we prefer.
  2. I need to reconsider the way I’ve been stockpiling and work on getting a much higher percentage of produce stored away.
  3. I can’t say “root cellar” enough times to stress the fact that I will have one this coming year and will plan my 2013 garden quite differently than 2012.  Root cellar, root cellar, root cellar…..Root cellar.

This, of course, is the point of the Stockpile Challenge – to test out how well we’ll do if we rely solely on our stockpiles.

I used the last of the eggs this week, but in brighter news, I unearthed a brick of cheddar in the freezer, much to my delight – this will be an awesome treat this week! I’m plotting our cheesy meal!


We’ve run out of ketchup, so I’m going to make homemade ketchup this weekend with a recipe from a friend – more about that tomorrow during Project Ketchup!  I had let my stock of ketchup dwindle down because I’d planned to make it myself next time – looks like “next time” is here!

So….how is YOUR stockpile challenge working out?  What have you learned?  Are you going to change anything about the way you stockpile?


Daisy Luther

Daisy Luther

Daisy Luther is a coffee-swigging, globe-trotting blogger. She is the founder and publisher of three websites.  1) The Organic Prepper, which is about current events, preparedness, self-reliance, and the pursuit of liberty on her website, 2)  The Frugalite, a website with thrifty tips and solutions to help people get a handle on their personal finances without feeling deprived, and 3), an aggregate site where you can find links to all the most important news for those who wish to be prepared. She is widely republished across alternative media and  Daisy is the best-selling author of 5 traditionally published books and runs a small digital publishing company with PDF guides, printables, and courses. You can find her on FacebookPinterest, Gab, MeWe, Parler, Instagram, and Twitter.

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  • I know how you feel about the suggested serving size of vegetables. My weight gain came not from lack of vegetables, but from love of them as well as bread, butter, cheese, juicy cuts of meat, and potatoes all in copious amounts, lol.

    I routinely toss a pound of brussel sprouts in a little olive oil, kosher salt and pepper then roast them off in the oven eating every one.

    The same goes for when I make mustard, collard, or turnip greens or any vegetable for that matter. I generally eat most of what I cook. My stockpile of vegetables would have to be huge.

  • If you are going to really build a root cellar, not just a small place to store a few things, you may want to consider a few of the following tips. I have had a root cellar for awhile now. It took my husband and me, along with a builder, to come up with this plan for our Wyoming area where the usual winter Temperature gets to -15 degrees F. and often much colder. When the cement was pored for the foundations the builder used the newer style styrafoam form material. This was lift in place so that the cold in the ground can’t come into the root cellar area. We left the floor without cement and later covered it with gravel which allows a little moisture to come into the root cellar and keep the vegetables from drying out. We have two thermostats wired in series to bring cold air in during the fall and spring which extends the length of time that I can keep the temperature at 40 degrees F. During the winter I plug up the vent holes and while the temperatures are below zero I put a small electric heater with a thermostat in the root cellar so that the food doesn’t freeze. The book Root Cellaring by Mike and Nancy Bubel has given me a lot of ideas along this line.

    At this time my winter squash is just starting to get some spoiled spots I am looking for better storage varieties that will grow in my short growing season. I grow Lutz Green Leaf Beets which are a red table beet that gets much larger than usual beets. The leaves are good to eat during the summer and the beets store almost until spring. Sometimes the seed is hard to find. I also store carrots, potatoes, winter storage varieties of both red and green cabbage, onions, garlic cellery which was dug up roots and all and kept moist in a bucket. I also have a few apples and some of my home made wine in the root cellar.

    I hope that this gives you a few ideas for your root cellar.

    • That’s incredible advice! I definitely want the real deal. Yours sounds like the Rolls Royce of root cellars. I will be sure to get myself a copy of that book before I make any decisions. 🙂

      Thank you!


  • Wow, I love your site. You’ve really built something nice here. Bookmarked now & will be my bedtime reading on my tablet. A lot to catch up on – you’ve really built something nice.

  • So far we are fairing very well! We “forgot” about wanting grapes and bananas after a few days. Having fresh eggs and milk from the chickens and goats has been a life saver, I think. The unheated greenhouse has also been a big help, since I’m overwintering spinach, kale and mâché. My big fail was that I did have to pick up dog food. Oops! How could I forget the dog?!?!

  • fairing well as well here.funny how the kids choose the home canned peaches over “fresh” apples that need to be eaten! Who couldn’t resist that summer sweetness?
    Jill what zone are you using an unheated greenhouse? our heated gh is doing well, but the unheated one, the kale has had VERY slow growth, but tatsoi and mustard greens look happy! Nothing like fresh greens in January!

    • Hi beth. We live in upstate NY, zone 5 or 6a. I follow Eliot Coleman’s recommendations from his his book “Four Season Harvest” and also rely on the wisdom of Charles Dowding in “How to Grow Winter Vegetables”. I’m not really growing anything this time of year, more like overwintering. The idea is to plant very hardy veggies in late summer/early fall and grow them to a decent size so that when winter hits and growth stops, you just harvest what you’ve already grown. Kind of like keeping them in suspended animation until spring and longer days when they start growing again. Maybe I shouldn’t have called it a greenhouse — its more like a hoop house and then you also cover the veggies with floating row covers to give them a double layer of protection.

      How blessed you are to have a heated greenhouse! Good luck with the challenge!

  • Still doing well. Left Fri & returned Tues. 1 meal on road each way. Ate rest of meals with kids. To compensate for that time away took a 3 gal pail of carrots & potatoes, 2 containers soup base 1-10 kg bag oatmeal & 1 doz. eggs. 7 eggs were donated by neighbour & 5 from my stock. Today I have to buy some jello as my colonoscopy has been changed to Jan from Mar. & my previous day fast does include jello. apple juice & broth. Got the juice & broth. Neighbour & us are going together on a beef. So 1/2 a beef will arrive towards end of Feb. Since my meat supply is getting low this is something to look forward too but won’t interfere with this “challenge.” Hot choc.mix Only 2 cups left but have lots of Ovaltine & cocoa left. Eggs getting low but will make it.

  • Wow! Everyone’s doing great! I know that I feel really good knowing that our supplies will truly last. I feel much more confident than I did before this challenge because of testing it out this way.

    Keep up the good work, folks! 😀


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