*April is Fruit Month*
By: Stryder
01 April 2005

April is my month for packing in some fruit. Letís "fill in the gaps" in our fruit stores. Prior monthís suggestions are on my web page at http://www.alpharubicon.com/~stryder/survive.htm.

My goal with this plan is to systematically improve my food stores while not significantly impacting my family budget. This plan and the suggestions are intended to supplement, not supplant, your current plan. It is meant to be simple and obtainable by just about everyone. If you donít have a storage plan going, then just follow this plan for the whole year.

BUY WHAT YOU EAT AND EAT WHAT YOU BUY. You may not eat what we eat - if you donít, DONíT buy my suggestions, buy what works for you. Just stick with the general category, fruit this month for example. We use our storage all the time and consider our storage just an big extension to our pantry. Remember to clearly mark your food as you store it so that it is easy to rotate the older food.

April is FRUIT month. The suggested goal in the literature that Iíve seen is 30 lbs. of fruit per person/per year. About $50 a month +/- is what I intend to spend each month this year to extend my storage. Fifty bucks will get you about 60 lbs. of fruit if you follow my list below, enough for about 2 man-years.

One #303 can of fruit = 1lb or (2c)

#10 can = 6lbs 13 oz or (13.5c)

1pint = 1lb (A pintís a pound the world around!)

1 lb. of dried apples or bananas = 4.5c. 1 lb. Dried apricots = 3c.

Comstockís number is 800-270-2743 to check date codes

Libbyís number is 888-884-7269

Del Monteís number is 800-543-3090

I store my fruit in the cans that I buy it in on my shelves and most literature says 24-36 months for cans before you get significant loss of taste, texture, and nutrition. That goes to 6+ years in #10 can with oxygen absorbers for dried fruit and longer for dried fruits in Mylar sealed bags. I dry my own fruit, mostly apples, bananas, pears, wild grapes and peaches. Those I store in large mouth plastic pretzel containers I save from work usually with an oxygen absorber thrown in for longer term storage.

Hereís my list for April:

Fruit Cocktail, 12 15oz. cans $8.50

Pears, 10 29oz. cans $8

Peaches, 10 29oz. cans $8

Apricots, 12 15.25oz. cans $7.50

Comstock Apple or Cherry or Peach Filling 5 21oz. cans $4

Bananas 20 lbs. Dehydrated to store $5

Apples 10 lbs. Dehydrated to store $5

Raisins, 4lbs $4

If youíre good to go already with one of those suggestions, move the money and buy extra of one of the others where you're a little weak. Nikita suggested last month that we could make some of the suggestions from other ingredients. Sweetened Comstock pie filling is another of those things that can be made. It is a real treat to throw it into a Dutch oven with some boxed cake mix to make a dump cake at the campfire though and a real comfort food. Shredded coconut, bottled cherries, Ďexoticí fruits like canned papaya, passion fruit and mango might be fun additions if your family will eat them. Frozen fruit is handy to have on hand too, if there is power to run the freezer.

And if youíre completely good on fruit then you might want to spend this monthís $50 on canning supplies, jars, bands, lids, pickling mix, pectin, etc. - none of which will be a part of this food program this year but all are still critical for a well rounded storage supply.

Remember that cooking requires a heat source! Make sure that you have a way to cook this food if things start to fall apart. A camp stove, a BBQ grill, a charcoal grill and supply of charcoal. Double check that you a way to cook this food if your stove is not available.

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