Stockpile Challenge – Update #3

Bye, fresh fruits and veggies!  I’ll miss you!

Well, they’re gone.  All the fresh stuff recently purchased from the grocery store is history. Today was the first day we’ve had to rely on produce that has been preserved.

I know that I have plenty of good things stored, but I have to admit, it feels a little strange not to be able to reach for an apple or an orange.  It’s becoming a very different menu than we usually consume. It was funny, because I went into town today and stared longingly at the grocery store across from the bank, thinking of the lovely organic fruit there.

For dinner tonight I made a cottage pie. (My friend from the UK corrected me – I had always called it shepherd’s pie, but if it contains meat other than lamb, apparently “cottage pie” is the appropriate term!)  I used leftover roast beef and gravy, and mixed in from my home canned goods, a jar of corn, one of green beans and one of carrots.  I topped this with leftover mashed potatoes and baked it for 40 minutes at 375*F.  Normally this would have had some frozen peas in it and a salad on the side, but it was still tasty, filling and met our nutritional needs.  For a snack today, I had apple sauce (also home-canned) in place of my normal afternoon apple.

Tomorrow my daughter has the day off school and we will be making some dairy products – yogurt and farmer’s cheese.

I did an inventory of our  produce today.


  • Green Beans
  • Yellow Beans
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Strawberries

Home Canned:

  • Carrots
  • Green Beans
  • Pickled Cauliflower
  • Pickled onions
  • Tomato Sauce
  • Apple Sauce
  • Cinnamon Apple Sauce
  • Peaches
  • Plums
  • Vegetable Soup
  • Cabbage Soup
  • Salsa
  • Jalapenos
  • Mandarin Oranges


  • Onions
  • Bell Peppers
  • Mushrooms
  • Raisins
  • Dried Cranberries
  • Potatoes


As well, I have loads beans and seeds to sprout – also a new project for me.

I was thinking today that this is far more like our ancestors would have eaten.  They would be down to some root vegetables and whatever they had preserved by this time of year.  And I have the peace of mind that nearly all of our produce is healthy and home grown.

I restocked the bathroom today from the storage room: toilet paper, shampoo and conditioner, soap and fresh razors.

How’s it going for the rest of you?  Have you run into any snags?






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9 Comments  to  Stockpile Challenge – Update #3

  1. canadagal says:

    Said goodbye to the fresh milk last night as I added the last 1/2 cup to the powdered milk I was mixing. Added some canned milk too & put it into the frig for this morning’s porridge. Made a litre. Yesterday had DH bring up the last of the cabbage & some carrots from the root cellar. Cabbages were pretty sad but did salvage enough to make a recipe of refrig. cabbage/carrot salad that keeps for weeks in the frig. The day before I had taken some frozen cabbage leaves & some cabbage roll mixture from the deep freeze that I was counting & made enough cabbage rolls for 3 meals. 1 meal left. Carrots & potatoes in root cellar are holding up very well. Still have 1/2 doz. winter squash in the porch that are still in good shape. A good garden sure is helping to make this challenge a lot easier than it would have been without…Even if we do have a very short growing season. Our last frost is usually early June & 1st frost is usually about 5-10 of Sept.

    Finished counting what was in the freezer & putting it on the computer today. I hope I remember to check off the printout each time I take something from the freezer or pantry. Just got the freezer in the garden shed to do but since it is turning cold again tonight (close to -30 c) I think I will leave that one for when it warms up a bit. Have fun everyone with the challenge. I hope I find any shortfalls in my preps before a real emergency arrives.

  2. mary says:

    I came in on this a little late so I am going to run out of milk, bread and eggs within days. I also ran out of coffee the other day and although we have plenty of tea, I gave in and bought some. I can make bread, but I don’t have dry or frozen milk and I use eggs for so many things, I’ll have to buy them.

  3. HalfKin says:

    Daisy I am surprised that you do not have a root cellar!
    Or at least a cooler or insulated box on the porch, or a garbage can partially buried and covered with a tarp and hay.
    When we had the homestead, we had apples in the fruit cellar until April and May.
    Pears through January. Carrots, Beets, Cabbage, Potatoes until it was time to plant again, and in the pantry onions well into late spring and winter squash to early spring.
    One does not have to go without fresh, if the garden is abundant, or the produce bought or traded for in the fall. The is a great book called ‘Root Cellaring’, cannot remember the authors name. Check it out and plan for next year. Cheers!

    • Daisy says:

      I’m so sad not to have a root cellar – it’s in the works for next year. We moved at the end of the season and I ended up not being able to harvest many of our root vegetables. I should have created one anyway and filled it with farmer’s market goods, but was slacking. ;) It is one of the major realizations of this challenge that this has been a huge omission in my preparedness!

      Thanks for the book recommendation!

  4. beth says:

    still getting about 1/2 doz- doz eggs from the chickens every day, and my front porch stays above freezing, so it acts as a convenient cold storage for potatoes and onions, as well as storing some other pantry items for coldness purposes, beats going into the dank dark basement, or going to waste sprouting in the house.
    I remember my grandmother’s root cellar, the taste of sweet carrots in February mmmmm…..
    daisy, definitely do some sprouting! the best way to get live enzymes when mostly relying on your pantry! Also getting a little window garden going…. you can do herbs to add that live green aspect to an otherwise less vibrant meal! and other greens you can grow if you have a good south facing window to use, or space for a simple cold frame. Lots of Asian greens, and kale can take the cold a little better than others, and purslane is an incredibly nutritious prolific “weed” that does well in cooler temps as well. I have a 3 yr old rosemary shrub that blesses my house with filtered air, fragrance, flavor and beauty every winter! it’s a finicky indoor plant, but worth the research and trouble….
    best of luck in the rest of the month.

    • Daisy says:

      Beth – one issue I have is that the temperature in my house drops down to the 50s some nights (we only have one heat source, a wood-stove). I’ve been concerned that those temps are too cold for much in the way of indoor gardening. I will look into the greens that you’re recommending and see what I can do – thank you! This has been a great experiment so far – very eye-opening!


      • beth says:

        as long as temps don’t drop below freezing, most of the greens i mentioned will do ok. they mostly need the warmer temps to germinate, so maybe you can start the seedlings nearby the stove- move them into the light as soon as they sprout through the soil, or start them out with some supplemental light for some extra heat. otherwise many, like kale and tatsoi- (a hardier relative to bac choi) will even survive freezing temps. we harvested some chois from under the first couple snows in the field, and they were still alive and crisp and sweet! the tat soi and mustard greens are thriving in the unheated greenhouse, although light is just as much as a factor as temp when it comes to winter growing….
        i’ve read a lot of writings by elliot coleman, who has been growing year round in places like North dakota and maine since the 80′s and has improved his methods to the point of running a small farm year round in maine now. I’m a huge advocate for year round organic growing… we do not need greens grown in depleted soils shipped with expensive fossil fuels from California to NY all winter. Our customers love that they are getting FRESH Local greens in the dead of winter, and i love offering and growing the operations! the best part is if you have the motivation, it’s rather easy to do yourself…I’ll never forget the vine ripened tomatoes we had one early march! granted that was under lights… but worth every penny of the utility bill!
        i know most of my pantry items are organic, but being pressure canned they are also lacking in those vital live enzymes, which simple sprouts can provide. Dried foods still contain some of that goodness of summer though!

        a great read i’d like to recommend to everyone here: Little Heathens, hard times and high spirits on an iowa farm during the great depression, by Mildred Armstrong Kalish- the name is sort of self explanatory, but it is a memoir of a young girl growing up during the great depression, and some wonderful advice is contained in this book!

  5. Carolyn Wostenberg says:

    I’m still with you. I think that one of the hard parts of this challenge is mental. I am so used to going to the grocery store each week that this is more breaking the habit than any thing else. My root cellar still has lots of things from the garden. At the end of the gardenig season I break off the large outer leaves of cabbage plants, dig up the root ball and put it in a tub in the root cellar, I keep the roots damp and the cabbage will stay pretty well to spring. I do plant seed for storage cabbage which helps. Even here in Wyoming USA I can plant some of these stored cabbaages the next year and grow my own seed.

    I still have a few store bought eggs and am trying to make them last. I tried to make a pumpkin pie the other day using powdered eggs. The pie tasted good but didn’t set up quite as well as it should have.

    I have some frozen peaches and apples in storage that are starting to get soft so I put then in the blender to make fruit smoothies. Sometimes I add yoghart if I have it but things like frozen orange juice or lemonaid would work. I have even added some powdered coffee creamer to the mix and it tasted great. I’m keeping a good list of the things that I have used during this month so that when it is over I will know what I need to replace at the store.

    Still having fun seeing what I can come up with from my home storage foods.


  6. canadagal says:

    Last year I started my seeds on the top of the upright freezer(frig should work too) They were very fast to come up too. Maybe my house wasn’t 50 but a plastic lid on them should help to moderate the temp in the starting trays.

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