There has never been a time in all my recollected memories that I have been without a refrigerator.
I couldn’t imagine living without one until recently.
Is it possible to live better than well? To live great without the need for this large appliance?
I think so. But then again, I think a lot about why we do the things we do.
In a modern homesteading lifestyle, is refrigeration really a necessity?
We know that fresh eggs will keep without being refrigerated for days, and it has even been argued that eggs will last up to three weeks without the need for refrigeration.
Is the fridge a necessary device? Dom and I are in the process of redesigning our kitchen and the question of refrigeration crossed my mind.
Is it possible to create a kitchen that uses no electricity or gas?
Seems so out of this world right? If it is out of this world then how did people three hundred years ago do it?
I know the argument could be, “well we don’t live in those times anymore! Get a clue!” and I understand that we have this modern life that seems so progressive. But is it really progressive or are we just blinded by technology to the point where we would never have to think of a safe alternative or change our habits around preparing and preserving foods.
I think there could be more to life than cold storage.
If I go out to collect eggs everyday, that’s great for the day without the need for refrigeration. The same goes for the fresh fruits and vegetables I pick from the garden.
It’s starting to look a little like hoarding to me. I’ll say to myself, “sometime this week I’ll use this cheese” without giving any real thought to how it will be used. Or “Better put that in the fridge for tomorrow so we can eat it” and never heat it up again. I know us! It would be better for us to just throw all the left overs to the animals and save on feed.
Looking in my fridges (we have TWO) here is a list of what’s in it:
- Jars and Jars of kefir
- Jars and more jars of whey
- Fresh broccoli, carrots, celery, cucumbers, mangoes, grapes, cabbage, parsnips, cilantro, western sand cherries, lemons
- Half gallon of milk
- Some left-overs
- Homemade mayo
- Homemade dressing
In the freezer:
- Beef bones
- Beef bone broth in mason jars
- Homemade chocolate custard
That’s not much right? Sometimes I just shove stuff in the fridge out of force of habit, but why? What if there was an alternative to putting things mindlessly in the fridge?
Searching the internet, I found a few really beautiful alternatives and I’m thinking of incorporating them into our new kitchen design.
Our kitchen uses only electricity. If ever the power went out, or we decided not to use electricity at all, we’d be screwed!
In our effort to rid our lives of plastic, the big plastic elephants in the kitchen and utility kitchen are the refrigerators, dishwasher, paint on cabinets, vinyl flooring, plastic components in the hood/vent, and the toaster, the blender and juicer.
Adding solar tubes to our kitchen will allow for fresh herbs, lettuce, and maybe even a few citrus trees to be grown inside. Designing the kitchen with these things in mind will make a difference.
Here are a few very interesting ideas about how to keep vegetables and fruits without the use of refrigeration, and with us creating a modern off grid kitchen in the house and off grid summer kitchen outside, I can definitely see utilizing these ideas:
I’m not ready to go without a fridge yet. But I’m considering it. More research is needed as well as finding even more examples of ways to outfit a modern off grid homesteading kitchen.
Wow that was a mouthful!
Do you think living without refrigeration is too extreme or is owning a refrigerator and paying for electricity and things to store in the fridge the real extreme?