Storing fruits and vegetables adds a nutritious variety to a food storage program. They round out your menu and fruits can satisfy that sweet tooth without the calories and sugar contained in most desserts.
I HIGHLY recommend learning to grow your own fruits and vegetables. I love fresh garden tomatoes. No matter how few plants I plant, I always have enough to share. (I have been called the "tomato lady" by friends.) Plant a few among your flowers or bushes. You won't be sorry.
If you love fruits, planting a fruit tree can take a couple of years to produce a good crop. But strawberries are prolific and usually produce a few the first year. I LOVE raspberries but they also take a year or two to produce. But when the are mature enough, you will have plenty.
Vegetables can be grown in very small spaces like a container garden or square foot garden, which allows you to grow a LOT of veggies in a small space.
If you really don't have space for fruit trees and vines, check your local farmer's markets for a great place to buy fresh fruits and vegetables to can, freeze, or dehydrate.
Dehydrated fruit makes delicious snacks using bananas, grapes, apples, apricots or any other fruit that you like.
Dehydrated vegetables are great to have in your storage to add to soups/stews. Items such as dehydrated onions can save you time and hassle (and tears!) in your everyday cooking.
If you don’t want to go through the hassle of dehydrating foods on your own, you can purchase them online or at various retail stores.
Can your own foods such as salsa, pie fillings, applesauce, juice, spaghetti sauce, almost any fruit or vegetable, pickles, all sorts of jams and jellies, etc.
If you have freezer space, frozen fruits and vegetables are a good choice. In case of a water shortage, which you would need a lot of for dehydrated foods, having a freezer full of food is handy.
Freezing produce takes much less time and preparation than home bottling, and can often be done using less sugar or other preservatives, however, storage shelf life is usually shorter for optimum nutrition - about 6-9 months.
If you don’t have a garden and fruit trees in your own yard, check your area for locally grown fresh produce to purchase by the bushel to freeze. Another option is to buy bags of frozen fruits and vegetables from a Sam's Club or Costco in large packages. Also, watch for sales and coupons to save money.