Home gardening is on the rise in the United States, and not only as a hobby. While it’s fun to get out in the sun and dabble with growing some of your own fruits and vegetables, sometimes, there are other reasons households have taken an interest in gardening. Sometimes that interest is sparked by the ever-rising cost of produce and other times families want to learn survival skills in the event they may one day be necessary.
Then, as mentioned, it’s just good, wholesome fun to grow your own foods to grace your table. Whether you are learning survival skills on Simple Family Preparedness or want to grow a GMO-free, organic garden, there are a few kitchen tools and appliances every gardener should have on hand.
Cutting, Slicing, and Shredding Utensils
Whether for cooking or for preserving for future use, you will need an assortment of utensils to prepare your vegetables. From salad shooters to spiralizers, there are a number of hand-operated small appliances that help you quickly prepare veggies for preserving or cooking. Don’t forget that you may need a high-quality peeler as well as sharp knives to slice and cut your fruit and veggies. Dull knives tend to mash your produce, so only use extremely sharp cutting blades.
Pressure Cooker for Canning
If you grow a sizeable garden, you’ll probably want to do a bit of canning. While they make large pressure cookers especially for this purpose, any pressure cooker will do the trick but in smaller quantities. Just make sure that your pan is tall enough so that the canning jars will fit below where the cover will be sealed shut.
Food Dehydrator for Drying Herbs, Fruit, and Vegetables
Almost any herb, fruit or vegetable can be dried to be safely stored for extended periods of time. Some gardeners simply place the dehydrated vegetables and plants into jars while others store them in vacuum sealed bags. Just make sure to follow the directions so that all the moisture is removed, or mold can form. These veggies can be easily reconstituted in water prior to use or they can be snacked on as-is. Most people dehydrate fruits for use in granola or snack mixes.
Vacuum Sealer and Bags
As mentioned above, vacuum-packed food is one of the best ways to store dehydrated produce. However, you can also vacuum seal foods fresh from the plant. Just prepare the fruit or vegetable for storage as the directions advise and then you can safely store properly prepared foods in the freezer as well as on shelves if dehydrated. Even herbs can be vacuum sealed if you become proficient in using this type of appliance, but it’s easiest to vacuum pack ground spices and chopped herbs because they simply look better than a bunch of dried out leaves.
It is true that many homesteaders and survivalists are interested in preserving the fruit of their gardens, but others simply want to enjoy the hobby or avoid high-priced produce that is getting more expensive by the day. For whatever reason, these appliances and utensils are a must for every gardener who wants to save every delicious bite of the food they’ve grown.