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Keeping notes on frozen food

Freezing chart.Careful notes are the key to freezer success.  I keep each type of food segregated in the freezer and draw a map so that I can find things easily.  Since I clean out the freezer entirely every spring and freeze in clear plastic containers, I don't even need to label my produce.

I do keep a very careful list of how much of each vegetable I've frozen, though.  Using a piece of graph paper, I list the name of each vegetable at the top, then hash off a square for each cup, pint, quart, or gallon (depending on the food) as I throw the day's produce in the freezer.  Once winter comes and I start pulling food out, I cross off the squares for food I've used.  That way I have a quick visual estimate of what I'm getting low on and don't end up eating all of the green beans in December and ignoring the summer squash until February.

This year, I'm finally starting to get a handle on how much of each type of vegetable I should freeze.  I've included a table below with my goals for this year --- keep in mind that you probably like some vegetables more or less than we do and that this is for two people.  The container size listed is a good size to provide one meal for the two of us.  (Some vegetables, like summer squash, become much smaller when they thaw.)  You'll notice my table has very little information on fruit since our fruit hasn't really come into production yet.

Food
Container size
No. of containers
Greens (mixed)
quart
30
Strawberries
pint
infinite
Shelling peas
cup
25
Snow peas
cup
15
Summer squash (mixed)
quart
45
Broccoli
pint
25
Pesto
cup
35
Green beans
pint
60
Blackberries
pint
infinite
Applesauce
cup
25
Corn
pint
25
Cabbage
cup
30
Spaghetti sauce
pint
15
Pizza sauce
pint
20
Whole tomatoes
gallon
15
Winter squash (roasted and mashed)
pint
10
Okra
pint
25




This post is part of our Introduction to Farm Freezing lunchtime series.  Read all of the entries:





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comment 1

I'm curious why you clean your freezer in the spring rather than once the new food starts coming in?

Not that I mind, one bit, having the old stuff show up at my house. Enjoyed some corn just yesterday!

Comment by joey [kitenet.net] Thu Apr 23 13:11:32 2009
comment 2
In a perfect world, I'd clean it once new food starts coming in, but I let the ice get out of hand and I couldn't get to the food I wanted without a hammer and chisel! So I figured it was time to clean it out. :-) I'm glad you like the stuff I sent you --- I appreciate you taking it off my hands!!
Comment by anna Thu Apr 23 15:07:52 2009

Hello Anna,

In your experience, what has been the best container for freezing? Heavy-duty zip-loc-style bags, plastic tupperwares, something else?

Wayde

Comment by Wayde Lawler Sat Jun 23 09:27:06 2012
Wayde --- Ziploc bags would probably work very well, but I don't like washing them out and don't approve of throwing them away, so I don't use them. We use plastic containers, and if you're starting from scratch I highly recommend finding a huge mass of them all the same shape so they're easy to stack. Ours are round, but rectangles would use up less space per unit food.
Comment by anna Sat Jun 23 12:49:38 2012

One very unique homestead, $1,500 per acre, the opportunity of a lifetime