As an introduction to food preservation, this is gleaned from Wikopedia.
Food preservation is the process of treating and handling food to preserve its edibility and nutrition value. The main objective is to stop or greatly slow down spoilage to prevent foodborne illness. While maintaining or creating nutritional content, texture and taste are important, this is sometimes culturally dependent, as what qualifies as food fit for humans in one culture may not qualify in another culture.
Preservation usually involves preventing the growth of bacteria and other microorganisms, as well as retarding the oxidation of fat that causes food to become rancid. It also includes processes to inhibit natural aging and discoloration.
Common home methods of preservation include drying, freezing, vacuum-packing and canning. Other methods that not only help preserve food, but also add flavor, include pickling, salting, smoking, preserving in syrup or alcohol, and curing. Another old time approach that deserves a revival is “burying,” or creating a root cellar.
To learn more about these methods and start you thinking about possibilities for your kitchen, read the entire Wikopedia article http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Food_preservation or get yourself some good books.