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Ask Jackie headline

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Jackie Clay answers questions for BHM Subscribers & Customers
on any aspect of low-tech, self-reliant living.

Archive for June 10th, 2012

Jackie Clay

Q and A: storing dehydrated foods and saving seeds

Sunday, June 10th, 2012

Storing dehydrated foods

I have many #10 cans of beans, rice, oatmeal, and many more of dehydrated foods. Will they survive storage in an unheated garage in Maine? (Yes, below zero in wintertime) I like to save other storage area’s for my canned goods, that I do myself, where the temperature is more conducive to canned foods.

Bev Giroux
Oxford, Maine

Yes, Bev, your cans of dehydrated foods will be fine in your unheated garage. In fact, they’ll last longer frozen than in a warm room. Good thinking! — Jackie

Saving seeds

I’ve learned so much reading your blog and Backwoods Home articles. I save many heirloom seeds. I need to know how to save cucumber seeds. Do you wait until the cucumber is yellowish and huge? Or do I wait until the cucumber is dried? I love these cucumbers and really want to save the seeds.

Shirley Toney
Liberty, Mississippi

I’m glad you’re saving seeds. Isn’t it fun…and doesn’t it really make your garden cheaper to grow? Cukes are easy to save seeds from. Just wait until a couple of them are huge and yellow. Then the seeds are mature…sort of like melons. Just cut the cuke in half, lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Squish the seeds free from the flesh and lay them out on a piece of waxed paper or a waxed paper plate. The waxed surface is much easier to get the dried seeds off of rather than a piece of paper towel. Once the seeds are air-dried, remove them and store in an airtight container in a relatively cool, dark place. They will stay good for years. — Jackie


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