This book came about after many decades of trial
and error in the quest for real, homegrown, organic
local cuisine throughout the entire year. We've been
gardening and preserving food to fuel our off-grid
homestead lifestyle since the 1970's, determined to
sever our reliance on the petrol-fueled American food
system. Some of our explorations led us to rediscover
and integrate old methods, like root cellaring, into our
routines. Other experiments resulted in the design of
our solar food dryer. Our approach to this effort is from
a vegan, gluten-free perspective.
Over the years, Larisa taught workshops on food
preservation, including many summers at the Midwest
Renewable Energy Fair. In 1997, she decided to write a
small book, “A Pantry Full of Sunshine”, which she self-published
to answer the frequently asked questions
that couldn’t be covered in an hour-long workshop.
Now, over a decade later, this little book's limited scope
became evident and we felt that there was much more
to reveal about how we put food on our table.
This seasonal guide features down-home advice
from Minnesota, an area where food simply doesn't supply itself year-round. There is a focus on energy efficiency,
both in cooking and food preservation. Whether you
want to grow and eat vegetables, fruits, legumes,
grains, nuts, seeds, herbs, spices, or sweeteners, we
hope our approach will inspire you to explore feeding
yourself, from the ground up. We intend this book to be
merely a source of ideas and food for thought. While
this is what works for us, it may not suit you, and is not
meant to be a detailed plan of action. Feel free to
creatively adapt our ways to fit your circumstances.