In addition to the dry goods that should be kept in bulk, Astyk explores all of the possibilities of home food preservation for garden fresh ingredients. From season extension, to root cellaring, to freezing and canning, she gives us the lowdown on each process, foods that are best suited for each, and an analysis on which are the most sustainable options. Finally, she sees this whole process as a community affair and gives suggestions for how to talk to your neighbors about food storage and how to make sure that our communities — not just ourselves — are insulated from hard times.
Independence Days is absolutely jam-packed with information, but it is well-organized, easy-to-read, and useful. Astyk is witty, very intelligent, and her advice comes from personal experience. I was left feeling the important pressure to be more mindful of knowing how I'm going to feed my family, but I was also given the tools and the confidence to be able to do what's necessary. Astyk closes by calling for a return of the "Chatelaine" — the person who in years past held the keys to the pantry and was responsible for its contents. As the local foods movement continues to grow, it's hard not to see the importance of answering this call.