Sunday, August 21, 2022

Preserving the extras from the summer garden

Preserving the garden's bounty

Sunday, August 21, 2022

This time of year is prime time for both eating from the garden and putting up the extras for fall and winter.  

If you are interested in being more self-sufficient, to have nutritious food at the ready, reduce your food bill or just want to save the extras from the garden this year, there are simple ways to preserve many different crops from the garden: freezing Freezing the extras for winter, drying Dehydrate or sun dry your extra veggies, canning Easy, low tox canning of summer's bounty, and pickling.

In August, I am busy freezing, drying and pickling the extra summer veggies.  I wait to do water bath canning of last year's frozen tomatoes until the temps cool down in late October, but it can be done anytime.

What I am freezing right now (be sure to label with produce type and year frozen): 
Corn-We remove the silks and freeze whole in gallon freezer bags.
Cucumbers-I make pickles with the extras.  Make your own pickles without a store bought seasoning mix
Eggplant-I haven't had extras yet this summer.  The best way to preserve eggplant and still have a good taste is to make it into baba ghanoush (a dip).  I have not been successful getting the original taste of eggplant by blanching, frying or freezing.  Drying may work. 
Garlic-I didn't plant garlic this last fall so I don't have garlic to put up, but my go to for garlic preservation is pickled garlic.  Have garlic any time you need it, just pickle some! 
Green and winged beans-I remove the stem end and snap into bite sized pieces and freeze in quart freezer bags.
Greens-I haven't been blanching and freezing greens since I have so much in the freezer already, but all greens except for lettuce can be preserved by this method.  Freezing the extras for winter
Herbs-I dry these and make seasonings.  Harvest and preserve your herbs  For basil, I make pesto that I freeze for the winter.  Basil basics-harvesting, preserving, growing basil
Okra-I cut off the stem end, slice into 1/4-1/2" slices, and put into quart freezer bags.
Hot peppers-I remove the stems and place whole into pint freezer bags.  As this year's crop started producing well, I took all the ones from last year and made hot sauce.  Quick tip-make your own hot sauce
Poblano peppers-I dry these and make chili powder.  Dehydrate or sun dry your extra veggies
Sweet peppers-I remove the stems, slice, and place into pint freezer bags.
Tomatoes-I simply slice and put in quart freezer bags.
Summer squash/zucchini-I make my summer squash into zoodles, blanch and freeze in quart bags to use as pasta throughout the rest of the year.  What to do with all that zucchini?!

Now you are ready to eat fresh and preserve the extras to get you through to next year's garden!

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