Even on a bad year, we do get quite a lot of produce - especially berries and fruit seemed to like the cold summer this year. We have a root cellar and a big box freezer to preserve it all and we do, but if you happen to have a big freezer also, you know you NEVER find anything in there, don't remember what's there anyway and when spring arrives it's still half full of random stuff, right?
Last fall I wrote myself a produce list to track everything that went into the freezer and what came out of there. It worked really well, so I did it again this year. That's the list in the header image.
It starts with simple note-taking
What I did I just took simple notes while preserving during the summer and fall on a piece of paper in my kitchen. Whenever I brought something to the freezer, I wrote it down: "Sea buckthorns, 0,5 litres - 4 containers; blueberries, 1 litre - 3 containers" and so on. At the end of the harvest season I just add everything up in a calculating program and ta-da - I have detailed records of what size containers I have used, how many units of containers of which produce I have in there and also how many litres altogether.
Then I use this data to pull an average "to-be-used" -number for the winter and spring months and put this up on a chart on the side of my fridge. What I have then is a handy, simple tool to track what I have and what I've used. Whenever I get something from the freezer, I make a mark on the slot for that produce for that month. I can see the numbers quickly and compare them to my goal usage. You can see why this is so handy: I easily notice if we haven't been using enough, say, raspberries, so I can up their usage for month or two.
Not a strickt to-eat list
It's important to notice this is not a rigid must-eat list. Say I want to have some kale, but I'm a bit low on it and I've "used up my monthly ratio". Who cares! If it's out before next season, then we'll just do without now won't we. There'll be plenty of other stull to use left, I am sure.
Please let me know in the comments if you'd like to have my list as a downloadable spreadsheet file - if I get even one comment that it would help someone, I will put it up as a download!