We got a FREEZER!

Our "new" chest freezer

Our “new” chest freezer

In December, Vic and I acquired a used Frigidaire chest freezer for the garage, thereby fulfilling a long-held dream of mine. We bought it from an old high school buddy of Vic’s for $75. Not sure of the capacity, maybe 12 cubic feet? It looks like it will hold at least double, maybe more, what the freezer on top of the refrigerator holds, which is 6 cubic feet.

We cleaned it out and plugged it in, and I began bargain hunting for sales. I put four half-gallon containers of water at the bottom to fill up space and “hold the cold” in case of a power outage. It is now mostly stocked, with room left over.

Our new freezer has two baskets.

Our new freezer has two baskets.

I have been envying the freezers of others for some time now, wishing I had more freezer room to preserve the bounty of summer. The real impetus was that my son Scott took a fishing trip to Alaska last summer. He had to buy a chest freezer to store all of the fish that he brought back. We have been bringing a few fillets to our house every time we have room for more, but we ran out of room in the house freezer over the refrigerator.

Lack of room is no longer a problem. We keep the fish in one basket, bread products in the other, Lean Cuisines in a grocery sack in the main body of the freezer, and boxes of pizza on top of the bags of frozen whole chickens (at 79 cents a pound!).

Since getting the freezer, we have been eating out less. Instead of visiting my favorite sandwich shop for lunch, I nuke a Lean Cuisine. Instead of sending out for pizza when I’m too tired to cook, I bake a frozen one on my pizza stone. I LOVE LOVE LOVE having a home freezer.

Call me a loony survivalist/prepper if you will, but I feel happier knowing that I have plenty of food on hand. Yeah, I know, if a disaster includes loss of electricity for more than a day, I’m screwed. But then I would turn to my shelves of canned goods, both store-bought and home-canned, as well as pasta and grains that are on hand. We have water stored in containers, a water purifier to filter water from my rain barrels or a nearby lake, and even a chemical toilet. We could cook in my Sun Oven solar oven, or the propane gas BBQ, or our propane campstove if we need to.

I feel well prepared for the variety of natural and manmade disasters that could strike southern California and temporarily disrupt delivery of food (tsunami, earthquakes, fires, riots, heavy winds, power outages, etc.) Speaking of power outages, we have them so frequently that both Vic and I have power backups for our computers. The power usually comes back on within a few minutes or hours. Our neighbor has an electrical generator, but he has pointed out how much gasoline it takes to run a generator for a day. Not sure I want to have that much gasoline stored in my garage. Has anyone else considered fuel storage for a generator?

Inventory list for our freezer

Inventory list for our freezer

Well, I didn’t mean to go off on a rant about being prepared for a disaster. They strike everywhere, and it is important to be able to get by on your own until help arrives, which, as we have seen from Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy, can be a matter of weeks instead of days. I think we are good for six weeks at this point.

An important feature of our new freezer is an inventory list. This will help us know what is in the freezer and how old it is. I know, Uber Nerd. I’m pathetic. I made a similar list for our freezer in the kitchen, which is where I am now keeping vegetables.

The only thing from my garden in our chest freezer right now is two big bags of frozen whole tomatoes. I made a pot roast in my solar oven today and popped a half dozen frozen tomatoes into the pot, along with a couple of bay leaves from my little tree, plus some potatoes, onions, garlic, carrots and red wine.

Let’s take a look at my January yard and garden.

A pair of mourning doves rest in our liquid amber tree on a gray and misty morning.

Two mourning doves rest in our liquid amber tree on a gray and misty morning.

House sparrows and house finches crowd into the tree in between bouts of feeding at our seed feeders.

House sparrows and house finches crowd into the tree in between bouts of feeding at our seed feeders.

Seed pods of liquid amber trees become works of natural art in January.

Seed pods of liquid amber trees become works of natural art in January.

A light rain turns nasturtium leaves into saucers.

A light rain turns nasturtium leaves into saucers.

Another nasturtium leaf with water.

Another nasturtium leaf with water.

I couldn't stop photographing those leaves.

I couldn’t stop photographing those leaves.

Last one I'm going to show. I had more.

Last one I’m going to show. I had more.

The first nasturtium blossom arrived the last week of January this year.

The first nasturtium blossom arrived the last week of January this year.

The Mt. Hood daffodil leaves are more visible now.

The Mt. Hood daffodil leaves are more visible now.

Our old-fashioned purple iris seem to bloom randomly. My fancy bearded iris only bloom in real spring, not this crazy January spring.

Our old-fashioned purple iris seem to bloom randomly. My fancy bearded iris only bloom in real spring, not this crazy January spring.

The Florida Prince peach is bursting into bloom. It is the first of my stone fruit trees to bloom and first to be ready to harvest.

The Florida Prince peach is bursting into bloom. It is the first of my stone fruit trees to bloom and first to be ready to harvest.

No flower buds yet on my artichokes, but I keep checking. The plants are looking good.

No flower buds yet on my artichokes, but I keep checking. The plants are looking good.

Critters of some kind got most of my lettuce, but a couple of plants that weren't eaten too badly have managed to recover. I might get a few leaves.

Critters of some kind got most of my lettuce, but a couple of plants that weren’t eaten too badly have managed to recover. I might get a few leaves.

My broccoli is looking really good. I needed some for a stir-fry last night, so I harvested this half pound head.

My broccoli is looking really good. I needed some for a stir-fry last night, so I harvested this half pound head.
This is our olive tree after it got pruned. My Garden of Infinite Neglect (which hasn't been neglected since I put it into a raised bed) is under it.

This is our olive tree after it got pruned. My Garden of Infinite Neglect (which hasn’t been neglected since I put it into a raised bed) is under it.

Remember the raised sidewalk I showed in the last post? It's gone! I was worried that someone would trip over it.

Remember the raised sidewalk I showed in the last post? It’s gone! I was worried that someone would trip over it.

These are the bad tree roots that were raising the sidewalk. Bad liquid amber!

These are the bad tree roots that were raising the sidewalk. Bad liquid amber!

Our tree guy, Steve Fifita, is also our concrete contractor. He cut out the root and saved it for me. I plan to turn it into a hanging sculpture of some sort.

Here Steve finishes off the new concrete walkway. The board frames are now gone, and it looks good. We will keep it cordoned off for a while.

Here Steve finishes off the new concrete walkway. The board frames are now gone, and it looks good. We will keep it cordoned off for a while.

So that is what has been going on at our Green World the past few weeks. New freezer, new sidewalk on the south, new section of front walk, repaired deck in back, vegetables growing, fruit trees blooming, and spring flowers everywhere. Life is good.

About Lou Murray, Ph.D.

I'm a professional writer/photographer, avid gardener, and active environmentalist living in southern California. I am retired from writing a weekly newspaper column on environmental topics in the Huntington Beach Independent, but I am still teaching at the Orange County Conservation Corps. This blog chronicles my efforts to live a green life growing as much food as possible for my husband and myself on a 4,500 sq ft yard that is covered mainly by house, garage, driveway, and sidewalks.
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2 Responses to We got a FREEZER!

  1. vicleipzig@aol.com says:

    Lou, Nice photos of water on nastutium leaves! Vic

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