You already know my thoughts on freezers which is that they are a good excuss for hanging onto food we have no real intention of eating! However as you are planning to "store up for the lean winter months" and will of course eat all your home frozen food, here are a few key points to remember.
- Freeze only fresh food in perfect condition.
- Freeze your produce as soon as you can after having picked or lifted it.
- Only put cool food in your freezer and cool hot food quickly before freezing.
- Use meal sized packs where possible - helps avoid defrosting unwanted portions.
- Exclude as much air from the container as possible before freezing.
- Label and date everything - it's amazing how all frozen food looks the same after a while!
- Never refreeze food without cooking it first.
- Have an emergency plan should your freezer stop working.
- A full freezer is more energy efficient than an empty one
- Keep the door shut!! It keeps the freezer cold and the kitchen warm.
Last of all if you still have some of last years frozen fruit and veg when you are preparing to freeze this years crop you need to clear it out first. Most frozen food is past it's best after 3 months. Consider whether it would be better to give some of your spare crops to family and friends instead of freezing it all. After all it tastes soooo much nicer when fresh!