Chest freezers are magical.
Submitted by murph on 21 March 2008 - 8:21pm. eat local | food | houseone
Over at Eat Close To Home, Emily is both wondering whether to buy a chest freezer and also commenting on the one-wayness of the blogger-commenter relationship. So I'm going to go old-school - I was blogging before comments existed, yo - and post here, rather than there.
My family bought a chest freezer sometime in my childhood. Every year, we got a lamb and a quarter(?) of beef from my godmother, down the street. When we moved out of the North Campus Co-ops to Jorvik, my parents gave us that freezer - and bought themselves a smaller one. When we moved out of Jorvik and bought a house, my parents gave us a small chest freezer as a housewarming present. (...with a lamb inside it. Yummy.) (We donated the parents' -> Jorvik chest freezer to Growing Hope.)
So, having had ample opportunity to experience the wonders of chest freezers in various situations, my answer to Emily's question, "Should I buy a chest freezer," is, "Yes, definitely - chest freezers are amazing," especially if you're trying to eat local. As she notes, freezing food is easier than canning, and even less energy intensive (though, on the flip-side, canning feels like more of an accomplishment). Glut of green beans? Sweet corn stand on the side of the road? Kale out your ears? Yeah. The chest freezer can handle it all. (As well as keeping your bulk grains and flours mealmoth-free.)
Once you have a chest freezer, you wonder how you did without one. You can buy that bushel of whatever as the farmers market is closing with absolute impunity! You may not eat that much meat (we don't), but you can buy your year's worth of meat all at once - just toss those milk crate of little paper packages into the freezer and fish them out throughout the year for your weekly dose of animal flesh. (Which brings up another bonus of chest freezers - there's always a surprise lurking at the bottom. "What's this? I thought we had eaten all the chops?! Score!")