Monday, March 30, 2009

What to do with it all

Have you thought about what you are going to do with all the produce you grow in your garden this summer? Eat it? Give it away? Sell it?

When I was growing up on a farm in the Midwest in the '50's, we grew and preserved all of the vegetables and fruit we needed for the year. How, you might ask. The fruit we canned included apple sauce, peaches, grape juice, apricots, plumbs, and cherries. My mother had an old Presto pressure canner and she used dozens of Ball and Mason glass canning jars. You can still buy those and if you see them, grab them quickly. There's likely to be a shortage of canning jars this summer, what with the economy and all. Today, I prefer the wide-mouth jars, since it is easier to put fruit in and get it out of them. You can re-use the jars and lid rings but you will need to buy new lids with their rubber seals every year. A pressure canner will save a lot of energy in canning since it cuts the cook time by half.

Vegetables, for the most part, must be frozen. Vegetables are low in acid content and that would encourage the botulism bacteria if you were to can them. Be safe and freeze. A quick blanching before freezing will halt the deterioration of the food. More on that later. If you plan to freeze a lot, start shopping now for a freezer. The chest type uses less energy.

We didn't do any drying, although I know that some people have been very successful with drying.

Even better, plan your winter garden to yield some fresh vegetables even through the winter: Brussel Sprouts, broccoli, carrots.

1 comment:

  1. It's perfectly safe to can vegetables with a pressure canner, and it uses less electricity than a freezer in the long run for storage.