Storing Fruits & Vegetables

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.

Three options for obtaining produce to preserve:

  • Grow your own and dehydrate/can/freeze them yourself;
  • Purchase them in bulk from a local farmer or market and dehydrate/can/freeze them yourself;
  • Purchase commercially preserved fruits and vegetables, either canned, frozen, or freeze dried.

Growing Your Own Fruits and Vegetables

Natural Living
(Available at
Barnes & Noble)

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 Foods

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.

Canned Fruits & vegetables

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 can get fresh fruits/vegetables for free or at a significant discount, then canning them yourself can save you a LOT of money over cans from the store.
  • Home-bottled foods have fewer preservatives, taste better, and you can adjust the amounts of sugar you use to fit your family’s preferences. For these reasons, I feel like it is worth my time and effort to can them even if I have to purchase the produce.
  • Bottling can be a fun bonding experience with friends/family and also it is a great way to build up your whole year's supply of items all at one time.
  • If you choose to purchase cans of fruits and vegetables, you can either purchase an extra few cans each time you shop until you have built up your year's supply or stock up when there are good sales.

Frozen Foods

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.


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