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How to Preserve your Harvest

There are many easy and effective ways to help extend your harvest. As well, sometimes if it was a larger harvest, without preserving the foods they can go to waste because they will go bad before they can all be eaten.

Freezing:

This method is very quick and easy and involves very little preparation. Usually freezing in smaller portions makes it easier to defrost. This method works best when the vegetables are firm and just ripened. Place the vegetables into portions and place them in freezer bags or plastic containers. This helps the vegetables to stay fresh and not get freezer burned.

Consider blanching certain vegetables before freezing to prevent the water in the fruits and vegetables from crystallizing and then melt when defrosting, leaving a bunch of soggy fruits and vegetables. To blanch your vegetables you want to boil them in water for only a few minutes and then place them in an ice water bath and pat them dry before freezing them.

For a tutorial on blanching and freezing vegetables, watch Kimber’s video below on how to preserve bush beans.

The best fruits and vegetables to freeze:

  • Blueberries
  • Peas
  • Cranberries
  • Raspberries
  • Blanched apples
  • Blanched beans
frozen berries

Drying:

Drying can alter the taste of your fruits and vegetables. While it can alter the taste, they will still taste delicious, it just may not be the same taste you are used to. In order to dry your fruits and vegetables make sure to wash them and cut them into thin slices making it easier to dry them out. Place them on a baking tray, and make sure they are evenly spread out and put them in the oven for several hours at the lowest temperature, usually around 250F and watch them shrink and dry out. Once they are done in the oven, place them in an airtight container and they should be good to eat within the next few weeks.

dried apples

The best fruits and vegetables to dry:

Pickling:

Quick pickling is a faster method of pickling however, it also means that your vegetables will not stay fresh for as long.

  1. To start the pickling process you want to wash and chop your vegetables and certain vegetables will need to be blanched first.
  2. Then you want to take some mason jars and wash and sterilize them well before using and then add your vegetables into the jars.
  3. You can add some flavor into the jars to spice up the taste of your vegetables, like adding dill, garlic or bay leaves.
  4. To make a sour pickled brine add 3 cups distilled white vinegar, and 3 cups of water and then 2 tablespoons of salt and 2 tablespoons of sugar and bring it to a boil and let it boil for 2 minutes then remove from heat.
  5. You then can fill the jars and seal them with a lid and leave it in the fridge for 24 hours before serving but they can last in the fridge for up to a month.
pickled cucumbers

Best vegetables to pickle:

  • Cucumbers
  • Carrots
  • Beets
  • Peppers

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