Grit Blogs > Adventures of Old Nebraska Dave

The Winter Food Storage Area Project

A photo of Nebraska DaveThe Christmas frenzy is over and the New Year has begun. The seed catalogs have been arriving and plans for the new year gardens and flower pots are dancing through my head. The countdown begins toward Spring with under 80 days left and counting. What to do until Spring arrives with the business of planting and preparing for harvest, becomes the question at hand? Well, for me it's a good project inside the house down in the deep dark depths of the incredibly messy basement. My daughter won't go down there as she says, "It's just too scary." Things have been lost in the 25 year archival warehouse for decades. Who knows what lurks in the darkness? Only the Shadow knows. OK you have to be over 50 to know what that one means.

Well my designed project of choice to keep me busy through the Winter months as the wind blows and the snow falls, will be to build a food storage area for next year's garden harvest. What say you? Want to travel along and see how it all happens? OK, but I must warn you that it will not be for faint of heart nor those of weak character. So let us begin.

Storage Area  

OK, I see that some have run away covering their eyes in horror at the organizational disarray that has terrorized their psyche. Hopefully not too many sessions of therapy will be needed to eliminate the nightmares and cold bone chilling night time sweats. Who will we send into the scary dungeon of the house to bring order once again. Old Nebaska Dave will go. Equipped with brooms, shovels, and trash bags, fearless in every way and never a thought for his own saftey, he disappears into the murky depths of the staircase that leads down down down into the very heart of disorganizational terror. Will he ever be seen again? Will he be able to overcome the evil foe that silently awaits him in the darkness below. Well, read on my friends and see if Old Nebraska Dave will survive the encounter.

Biff Bam Slam Pow Bang Crunch Yeow

The battle rages on and although hours pass Old Nebraska Dave continues to fight the evil that refuses to leave the area that it's lived in for oh so long. Finally after two loads hauled screaming and kicking to the local dump and a pile of rubble piled in the corner of the basement the enemy succumbs to defeat.

Storage Area Clean  

Old Nebraska Dave a little tattered and torn emerges from that terrible part of the basement with victory in the never ending battle between organization and disorganization. Super hero he is not but instead just an Old Nebraska boy determined to "Git 'er done." Now the real battle begins. Once an area is cleaned it seems that it creates a vacuum in that if the area is not filled with proper organization it will suck disorganization into the area double what has been removed. It's one of the natural laws of vacuum.

Storage Area Electrical Parts  

After two cups of coffee, a nap, and good long soak in a hot bath, Old Nebraska Dave begins to assemble parts for the electrical work that comes next. With only one weak light in the ceiling with a pull chain, Old Dave makes fearless plans to add one addition light and a wall switch to flood the area with light. So tune in next time for the shocking story of Old Nebraksa Dave's wiring experiences.

The thought for today is "There are old electricians and there are bold electricians but there are no old bold electricians."

Happy New Year to all!

s.m.r. saia
2/8/2011 6:58:33 AM

Wow, what a great space for food storage. That looks like it was quite a job.


nebraska dave
1/15/2011 6:14:56 PM

Allan, Yep it's pencil sharpener. It's from days past when my older kids that are now 40 were in school. That's back before computers were a household item and pencils were used for school homework. It hasn't been used for decades. I used to can quite a bit 30 years ago and I'm just getting back into it again. It is amazing to me how much has not changed in the process. Some things can't be improved upon I guess. Just take things a step at a time. My advice is not try too much at one time. My shelving project is after being back in garden growing for three years. Each year I expanded the garden with one more year of expansion in 2012. After that I'll be just improving what I have for a couple years to see if I need more garden. It's better to not have quite enough than way too much. My first couple years was just fresh from the garden eating and giving the rest away to get my feet back on the ground. It's been a fun journey and it will for you too. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. Have a great garden planning day.


allan douglas
1/14/2011 5:07:05 AM

Whoa... I'm impressed; is that a pencil sharpener I see mounted to your shelf? (grin) That ought to free up a lot of space for the coming years crop. I'm envious of all that shelving. I thought I might try my hand at some canning this year - if my garden does better; last year was my 'dip a toe in the lake' experience. But I'm concerned about where to store mass quantities of glass-jar canned goods in our little place. We do have a crawl space of sorts. I might be able to do something with that, but it's not heated. Bad idea?


nebraska dave
1/10/2011 12:26:53 PM

I'm no where near being a marathon canner. I would be considered a gentleman canner. One load a day is quite enough. Then again when a big pot of soup is made because that's really the only way to make it. The canner comes out to can the left overs. So the canner is used throughout the year not just at harvest time in the fall. Since there is only one of me that likes home made soup. I can enjoy the end product for weeks to come. Both my daughter and grandson living with me turn up there nose at any dish that mixes things together. No soup, no casaroles, and no new special dishes. I say their lost my gain. Have a great day.


te' kyle
1/8/2011 6:59:20 PM

Veronica, If that is what you call a "marathon" year of canning...You don't want to come anywhere near my place, most of what you listed is what we do in a week or LESS! As we "thin" out the "flocks" and "herds" in preparation for the long winter months we can our meats as well. Canning is a lifestyle with us, we can't even cook soup, stew or beans without the thought of a cannable quanity that can be used on those occasions when we just don't want to cook. Winter is also the season of the year when we make the majority of our noodles and pastas for the year. Our "daily grind" means getting the flour done! LOL Would LOVE to have you for a visit any time you would like to come!


nebraska dave
1/8/2011 9:18:27 AM

Renea, thanks for your encouraging comments. I've learned over the years the only way to clean a space is to completely remove everything in the area, then decide what will go back in the area once the area is swept and scrubed clean. With the construction going on in the area it's starting to look a little different than the last clean picture. See you on your website. Have a great cleaning day.


renea_1
1/8/2011 7:27:28 AM

I love this post. I too get January fever and begin tossing things but you...well, you know how to clean! I love the pencil sharpener. WAY Cool. Will you contact me through my website www.reneawinchester.com I want to talk to you about possibly visiting Nebraska this summer. Thank, Renea


nebraska dave
1/4/2011 11:13:45 AM

@MW, Thank you for your kind words. Today is the first day of school for the munchkin (grandson Bradley) so I just may get to work on the storage area a little. It seems that everything has piled up from the last two weeks of holiday celebration and now this week is a busy week. Every time the phone rings another thing is added to the schedule. You know I just can’t say no. Well, yes, I can but most of the time I just plain don’t want to. The culmination of this week comes on Saturday night with me going to the Nebraska Governor’s Ball. I can’t believe it. Me, the country bumpkin of Nebraska going to the Governor’s Ball. Actually I just got invited to be an escort for a friend of mine that had tickets to the Ball. It’s a tux affair with dancing and the whole shebang. I’m lucky just to stand up on a dance floor so we will see how that goes. My goodness sakes who would have thought this old Nebraska boy would be going to such a high level event. I’ll have to let you know if I survive it. I’m going to be so out of my element but how could I say no. :) Have a great winter day.


mountain woman
1/4/2011 9:03:00 AM

Hi Dave, I LOVE your last line! I admire your ability to get down to the task at hand and really clean. Sadly, I lack your abilities. I'm excited about spring growing too! Just ordered my seeds. As always, your posts are the best and I wish you and your family a wonderful New Year.


nebraska dave
1/3/2011 9:19:35 PM

@Drew, Well, one step at a time. I want plenty of room for garden expansion in the coming years. I can’t guarantee that it will be full this year but maybe someday it may have much more than I have now. It’s not just for garden produce but for all food to be stored. I’d like to be able to store a considerable amount of food for the winter months and be able to shop bargains ahead of when I will use them. There could possibly be a small freezer in this area as well although I don’t really want any heat put into this area. My hope is to have this area stay ground temperature with the concrete blocks. My perfect temperature would be 50 degrees so we will see how close I can come to that. My house stays at 68 degrees during the winter so I think it could just be a doable thing. Have a great tiny house day.


anotherkindofdrew
1/3/2011 8:02:24 PM

Oh man. I love the fact that when you cleaned up NOTHING was left. Now that is my kind of cleaning. You realize that you are totally setting yourself up, right? I will remember how much space you have and hold you accountable for canning and storing in EVERY inch of that basement. hahahahaha.


nebraska dave
1/3/2011 7:04:22 PM

@Cindy, Cindy, Cindy, (big sigh) you can’t just shuffle things around. Something has to leave the premises. It was really tough for me but many good things that maybe I could use some day went out the door. I can’t say that I’ll ever miss them as I had forgotten that stuff was even in the storage area. The real work will begin this next week as the little six year old munchkin will be back in school again. The day that he helped, many treasures were found and if it was up to him, he would have the contents of the entire basement in the living room. Aaaah, he’s worse than his grandma was. My wife’s words still haunt me even after being gone nine years as I cart the stuff out to trash. “David don’t throw that stuff away.” I’m still finding boxes of baby clothes from my youngest daughter who now is 26 and only has a son and don’t plan on any more for quite awhile. Well, I can’t say much though, I have my baby book that my mother gave me from 63 years ago. Well, and then there is the scrapbook my mother put together all about my football career up through high school. So, I guess, we all hoard things that are important to us. Although my list of important things is growing much smaller as the years go by. Maybe it’s because I can hardly remember those days. Have a great cleaning day.


nebraska dave
1/3/2011 6:01:35 PM

@Veronica, oh how I remember those nights when the family would huddle around the big tube radio to listen to the latest episode of the Shadow. Oh, contrar contrar, I suspect you will see canning jars all winter as you pop the top and devour the delicious innards. It’s best part of canning and my favorite all time thing to do …. eat. I just have a small bounty from this year, but have expanded my garden to be able to give away the same as last year and still have plenty for me to put away for a cold snowy day. It will house store bought sale stock up items as well. I am not sure how far I’ll go with the food storage but I would like to be able to store bought items on sale instead of having to buy them when I run out need them no matter what the cost. I would like to take the credit for building the shelves but they came with the house. I just crammed it full of stuff. You know the kind of stuff you know you will need some day and if you throw it out the next week you will find a use for kind of stuff. I found stuff in there that I hadn’t seen in at least 15 years and even forgot was there. Well, out it went so next week will be the time I will be looking for it. :) Have a great pantry day.


cindy murphy
1/3/2011 5:47:09 PM

OMG, Dave! Quick! Hide this blog! ACK! Do you want Hubs to see?! He sometimes reads your adventures, is going to see this, and say, "See, it CAN be done!" A corner of our basement looks amazingly like your 'before' photo. It's supposed to look amazingly like your 'after' photo, and it's amazingly my job to get it looking that way this winter. This is all to prevent Hubs and I from going insane as teenagers have taken over our living room with movie marathons of hideously bad B-horror flicks, or even more scary, marathons of entire seasons of the television show "Scrubs". Our (my) goal is to get a living T.V. area set up in the basement and throw the teenagers down there, or escape there ourselves. Today was my first day on the job; I removed some beat up old drawer pieces that I was saving for who-knows-what-reason, and shuffled around some boxes full of more who-knows-what. It still looks amazingly like your 'before' photo.


veronica
1/3/2011 5:28:54 PM

Fear not Dave, I know what evil lurks in the hearts of men. I'm 23 and I know and love the shadow radio programs. Your shelves look great. My dad built me some shelves similar to yours to store my canned goods, bulk foods, aand winter produce on. He also had to wrestle putting up shop lights. I needed them too, it was a marathon canning year. Our neighbor gave us about 5 bushels of tomatos and we had about 2 bushels of peaches, peppers, and pears. I don't want to see another canning jar until at least June :)