When it comes to feeding her family, many mothers like to plan and prep meals at least a few days in advance. Crown Point, Indiana mother Kelsey Shaw has taken meal prep to the next level.
The 30 year-old mother of three has a total of 426 meals prepped, which will feed everyone for the next 8 months. Kelsey and her husband, Nathaniel, 30, decided to make the move from Highland, Indiana to their 5-acre farm in Crown Point in September 2017.
“When we moved to the farm we wanted to live a slower lifestyle,” Shaw told SWNS, “and wanted to know what we were eating and where it was coming from.”
In preparation, Shaw taught herself how to preserve a variety of foods, ranging from pickles to a beef stew. Most of the food stored in her pantry is food she grew herself. This is no light task and takes up a lot of time.
“I spend at least two hours a day in the garden,” Shaw said. “And then the process of preserving things can take days as I go back to things in stages.”
Overall, it takes Shaw a total of 3 months to preserve all of the food. Though it is time consuming, Shaw enjoys what she does.
“Preserving food is time consuming but I’ve found a real love for it, and it makes meals easier for us as a family,” she said. “I’m very proud every time I walk in the pantry.”
Shaw says that she usually focuses on one thing at a time.
“So, one day I’ll pick all the peppers and preserve them, the next I’ll do the tomatoes,” she noted.
Shaw’s pantry came in handy during the Coivd-19 pandemic, when many countries around the world shut down their economies to slow the spread of the virus.
“It helped during the pandemic because we didn’t have to panic about running out of food while we were locked down”, she said. “We’re 40 minutes from a supermarket so I often go every two weeks just to keep us stocked on those kinds of things.”
The busy mom of three tries to stay ahead of the seasons, with her family eating fresh foods from their farm in the summer months and eat their prepared meals in the winter months.
“It means I never have to worry about making dinner if it’s been a busy day,” she said.
Nothing goes to waste on their farm. Anything that is not eaten by the Shaw family will be given as feed for their chickens and goats, which they also eventually consume. Whether it be a natural disaster or pandemic, the Shaw’s have a fully stocked pantry to get them through.
“We’re prepared for anything,” says Shaw.