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Letters To The Editor

January 31st, 2011

Dear Editor,

I frequently read that items need to be stored in cool, dry conditions for long term viability and in places like a basement. In my case, none of this is possible. We live along the Texas Gulf Coast which is both HOT and HUMID for a good part of the year. We don’t have basements either. Our garage becomes very hot during the summer months.

What are your suggestions for long term food storage in the hot and humid gulf coast? Thank you.
Pat in Texas

Dear Pat,
We’ve had several letters relating to that very matter. We have an article in today’s newsletter about that very subject! Keeping It Cool addresses the climate and conditions we folks in the South face. While hot and humid might keep stuff out of basements if they’re not air conditioned in our area, we have many other options. I hope this article addresses some of your questions. Thanks for writing!
The Editor

Dear Editor,

I had some tips to share with the 5-gallon bucket blog that started up. About 12 years ago we obtained our buckets from a large (national) brand bread factory in our town ($1 for each bucket and lid). Every time I went to their “day old” outlet store, I would purchase a few and take them home. The factory would receive their honey that they used in these buckets, so they were quite plentiful at the time and the lids all had a rubber gasket in the lid (bonus!). I would wash them out and sun-dry them, and by using dry ice, I was able to store our wheat in them and it has stayed very fresh and usable.

After 12 years of storage, I found out that the lids in the bottom most buckets in the stacked 4-5 high bucket columns would sometimes break out because of the excess weight atop the bottom layers lids. I simply dry iced and re-lidded the buckets with the broken lids and placed some 1×2 furring strips on top of the bottom row of buckets with lids and stacked them. I placed some 1×2 firing strips between the next layer of buckets also. The stacks look quite sturdy and now all that weight is completely off the lids and up on the shoulders of the bucket. And the total height is only about 5″ taller than they were without the firing strips … and no more lid break outs.

I really like the dry ice method. In 2005 my folks downsized their living situation and gave us three 5-gallon buckets of wheat that were dry ice preserved and sealed in 1970. I know what you are thinking … I thought the same thing … it cannot still be any good. But it was and it ground just fine, made very good bread. No Bugs, no problems….. hmmm who knew?
Major Thom

Dear Major Thom,
Thank you so much for writing in with your suggestion! I just love the fact that our readers are so willing to help each other out with ideas and suggestions. We especially enjoy hearing what others have experienced and their solutions to these problems so that we can pass them on. Thanks again! 
The Editor

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