How to Preserve Your Garden Harvest

How to Preserve Your Garden Harvest

How to Preserve Your Garden Harvest


A summer harvest of scrumptious garden fruits and vegetables can add flavor to any meal. Think fresh corn-on-the-cob, juicy oranges, crunchy apples, tasty herbs, and bright peppers to name a few.  There’s no need to throw in the towel when the colder weather arrives.  Here are some ways to preserve your homegrown harvest so you can enjoy it all year long.


Traditional Canning

This practice we likely remember our parents or grandparents using.  In canning, the food is boiled in a can or jar to kill all the bacteria. Then, it’s sealed to prevent any new bacteria from getting in.  There are two traditional ways of canning: water bath and pressure.

Water bath canning is only for produce that is high in acid.  This includes tomatoes, berries, fruit, sauerkraut and pickled vegetables.  This method is used for making fruit, jams, jellies, and relishes.  Their natural acidity and time in boiling water helps preserve them safely.

Pressure canning is a method for preserving meats, poultry, vegetables, chili, fish, and other low-acid foods.    A pressure canner will ensure your food is safely preserved. It will process food at a higher temperature to prevent spoilage.  If you have an abundance of fruits and vegetables, pressure canning is the way to go.  This pot can also be used for water bath canning.


Freezing Produce

A deep freezer is perfect for storing garden fruits and vegetables.  However, before you start stocking, most produce will need to be blanched.  This is the process of briefly submerging items in boiling water for 3-5 minutes, then immediately immersing them in cold water. This stops the cooking process.  Once the produce is cool and dry, pack it into freezer bags or vacuum-sealing bags.   Fresh herbs can be frozen in vegetable oil for peak flavor.


Drying Produce

You can buy a dehydrator designed specially for this purpose, or do it yourself.  Food can be dried out in an oven or in the sun. Dehydrating removes the moisture that bacteria, yeasts, and molds need to grow.  Drying can be used for most types of foods including meats, fruits, and vegetables. Air-drying is a simple method to preserve herbs and spices. Bunch them together and hang them in a dark, dry place that’s well-ventilated.



Traditional sauerkraut is a lacto-fermented food.    An easy way to ferment vegetables is to fill up a Mason jar with fresh, clean, healthy veggies.  Fill the rest of the jar with a saline solution made with a quart of filtered water mixed with three tablespoons of quality sea salt.  Leave them on your counter and taste them every few days until they taste done.  Move them to a cold area for storage.


Pickling with Vinegar

Vinegar’s acetic acid content can preserve food without it being refrigerated.  Try placing fresh herbs in vinegar. Allow the jar to sit in the dark for up to two months. Open it up and strain the vinegar to remove the herbs.  The vinegar will be flavored and can be used in dressings.


Donating Produce

Share your bountiful harvest by donating it to local food banks or food drives.  Many now have the capacity to accept fresh fruits and vegetables.  AmpYourGood (#GIVEHEALTHY) and AmpleHarvest are two worth checking into.


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This entry was posted on Thursday, October 26th, 2023 at 10:28 am . Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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