Growing our own food and preserving it for the winter is a big part of what Northern Homestead is about. We preserve food in 5 different ways, and one of them is freezing. Organizing a chest freezer with plant food can be a bit different from a freezer full of store-bought foods. Everything in our chest freezer is homegrown and/or home-preserved.
All of it has been frozen bag by bag during the growing season. At the end of the growing season our chest freezer often looks like this:
Bags of different things randomly filled to the top. Plus some ice on the walls of the freezer. It’s time to clean and organize.
The best time for that is when the weather is cold and everything can stay cold for a while outdoors.
How to defrost a freezer
- Unplug the freezer
- Empty the freezer and store thing in a cold place
- Wait about 15 minutes
- With a wooden spatula remove the frost from the walls and the freezer
- Power the freezer on and fill again
- Take a soaking bath, you deserve it
Organizing a chest freezer with plant food
A deep freezer can be difficult to organize in a way that everything is easily accessible. Especially if most of the produce in the freezer is in freezer bags.
The bottom layer in our freezer are boxes filled with food we store a lot of. Things like carrots that are all frozen in flat bags. It is a great way to freeze carrots, so they are easily accessible for use in recipes.
Berries are also take up a big portion in our freezer. We freeze them on baking sheets and fill the bags usually to the full. Read about how to freeze berries here.
The second layer in the freezer consists of all the other greens and vegetables. We keep organizing the chest freezer very simple with shopping bags. However, one can get very creative here with colorful bags depending on the veggies.
Each bag is filled with a corresponding variety of vegetables. This way it is easy to find what I’m looking for and also the bottom boxes are easily accessible, just lift a bag or two, and the box is right there.
We only use the chest freezer for long time storage. Small bags and containers with herbs are stored in our kitchen freezer along with bread and whatever bag is in use.
Most of the time we do have room for bread and bakings in the kitchen freezer, but if I were to add that to the chest freezer, they too would get an extra bag or box.
Inventory of the chest freezer
Doing an inventory of the chest freezer, and keeping lists can be part of organizing a chest freezer with plant food.
In our case, since everything (except the broth) is home-preserved during the growing season, we do not make any lists. Partly, because since I did it all myself, I have a pretty good idea of what is in there. And also, this goes well along with my freestyle cooking and no-plan meal planning. I just go through the freezer bag by bag and if we are out of something, we might just not have it till the next growing season.
Do I ever sound disorganized! Maybe. However, it works really well.
If making lists is your thing, and I know some people are wonderful at that, by all means, do it. That list can start with things to grow, in order to eat what you grow.
What is your best tip for organizing a chest freezer with plant food? Please share in a comment below.