When you put all that hard work into your garden it can be really depressing to watch the fruits of your labor rot away. With some planning and a bit of work, you can preserve your garden harvest and have fresh from your garden fruits and veggies all year long. These three easy ways to preserve the food in your garden will do the trick.
Three Easy Ways to Preserve the Food From Your Garden
Freezing to preserve your garden
Freezing the produce from your garden is the easiest way to preserve your harvest. Wash your fresh produce and lay it out in a single layer on a cookie sheet in your freezer. This will allow each piece to freeze individually making it easier to get the produce from the freezer bags that you will place them in after the initial cookie sheet freeze. A great way to save time later is to prep your fruits for your favorite smoothies and freeze in single serving packs. Chop your veggies for soups and stews, freezing them together and label well so you can grab and go for a meal on a busy weekday. A food saver is a great way to prevent freezer burn and make your frozen produce last longer.
Drying to preserve your garden
Drying produce takes up less space than the other popular preserving options. when drying your fruits and veggies you are taking out the water and much of the bulk of the food. A good dehydrator is a great way to make your food last longer, make treats for your family, and prep for long term storage. Fruits make a great snack dehydrated while veggies reconstruct better for soups and stews than eating as a side dish. It is vital you are sure all water is out before storing. To check this, place in a plastic baggy and let it cool. If there is condensation in the bag, your food is not ready to store.
Canning to preserve your garden
Canning is one of the most traditional ways to preserve food from your garden. While it takes up more space than drying, canned foods have a longer shelf life than frozen foods. Many of us have fond childhood memories of watching our grandmothers can produce from the garden but never really thought about doing it ourselves. The good news is, canning is easy to start, inexpensive and costs less with each round you do when you reuse the glass jars over and over. Quality jars are a great investment.
Which method should I use to preserve my garden?
When choosing which preservation method you must consider:
- Space you have for storage.
- What the end use of the food will be.
- How long you need to store the food.
- Supplies you have on hand.
Protecting your food storage from pests and environmental issues is vital to make preserving your garden worth your time and money. Make sure all stored food is air tight and sealed in rodent-proof containers. For most families, combining these methods of food storage gets the best results across the board and leads to more stability. Canning fruits and veggies so they are ready to go, freezing produce prepped for meals, and drying fruits and meats for snacking is a great way to balance it out.