Preservation Methods: An Introduction

Colorful carrots ready to be prepared for the freezer.

It seems only yesterday that I was reveling over the first tomato of the season. And now I’m harvesting so fast there is hardly time for anything else. Some of the raised beds are empty and ready for another planting of lettuce, spinach, beets, and bunching onions.

Freezing carrots.

As the harvest continues, we are still picking more tomatoes. And corn. And beans. And peppers. And any other tender vegetables we were lucky enough to grow. We’ve pickled and frozen as much as we possibly could. Our refrigerator still holds pickled garlic scapes, pickled hot peppers, and fermented sauerkraut. Our freezer is stuffed full of containers of tomato puree, bags of peppers, beets, and carrots. In the cupboard is freshly dried and ground paprika and chili powder (learn how to make chili powder by clicking here). We’ve even harvested our garlic and let it cure. The fragrant garlic cloves are now stored in the cupboard while the largest cloves are planted in the ground and ready to sprout for next year’s bounty.

Drying hot peppers.

One by one, I’ll be posting about each method that I use to preserve the fruits and vegetables from my garden. Some  things I grow enough to last all year, some will last only part of the year, and others are only enough to be consumed within a month or so. But as we haul in the baskets full of peppers or the arm loads of garlic, it is with the satisfaction of accomplishment that we step into the house to prepare them for storage. And in the refrigerator, the freezer, and the cupboard is where the memories are stored. In the months to come, when the snow is deep and cold, we reach for those memories from the garden. As we open each jar or bag, the fragrance of joy slaps a smile on our face. And we remember some of the best moments of the season.

Golden beets ready for the freezer.

While I’m busy actually putting our food by for the winter, let me know your favorite method of storing your garden produce in the comments below. I look forward to posting more about how I extend the harvest as long as I can!

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