Congratulations! You've harvested your first round of crops.
Now, what are your food storage plans?
My favorite options for food storage are to can it or freeze it, and I always make sure to pay it forward by giving and donating some, as well.
If you want to can your vegetables and fruits, don't be intimidated. Yes, it looks like a complicated and messy process - and it is - but you can do it! The key to successful canning is preparation. Have your recipes, equipment and ingredients ready before you start and you're halfway there. Keep all canning rules in mind and use caution. To learn how to safely can your fruits and vegetables, I recommend ...
The book includes comprehensive directions on safe canning and preserving food storage methods plus lists of required equipment and utensils. Specific instructions for first-timers and handy tips for the experienced make the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving a valuable addition to any kitchen library.
This hip, modern handbook is filled with fresh and new ways to preserve nature’s bounty throughout the year. Organized by season and illustrated with beautiful photographs, it offers detailed instructions and recipes for making more than 150 canned, pickled, dried, and frozen foods, as well as 50 inventive recipes for dishes using these foods. Basic information on canning techniques and lively sidebars round out this refreshing take on a classic cooking tradition.
Not all fruits and vegetables freeze well, but it is a great method of food storage for those items that can be frozen. For resources on freezing fresh fruits and vegetables, I recommend ...
Preserving your own fruits and vegetables is an affordable and sustainable way to sweeten your pantry with delicious seasonal bounty to last all year. With Better Homes and Gardens You Can Can!, you'll learn everything you ever needed to know about canning and preserving your farmer's market finds and the fresh produce from your garden. Whether you're canning for the first time or just want to refresh your skills, this is the perfect guide.
All the basics are covered, from hot water baths and freezing techniques to food safety information and clever ideas for making gifts from your preserves. With a wide variety of recipes and step-by-step instruction, this book is clear and straightforward enough for any inspired do-it-yourselfer.
"Storing what you harvest takes a little time while the garden is producing heavily, but it saves you time later. Then your jars, freezer cartons and dried mixes will be right where you need them - at your fingertips. And, putting up your harvest isn't complicated - not with the clear, step-by-step instructions in this book. Freezing, canning, preserving, pickling, drying, juicing, and root cellaring - it's all here in Preserving Summer's Bounty, along with hundreds of wholesome, mouthwatering recipes featuring your stored fruits and vegetables."
Never underestimate how appreciated a gift of organic fruits or vegetables can be. Whether fresh, frozen or canned, produce can make a great housewarming gift, a "thinking of you" for a neighbor or coworker, and an "I love you" for close friends and family. Consider sharing the bounty from your garden - or even bartering it for fruits, vegetables, or nuts that you didn't have time/space to grow!
Many cities have local food banks or food kitchens which provide low- or no-cost food to those in the community who are wrestling with poverty. Consider donating some of your crop to one of these programs. Fresh fruits and vegetables may be impossible for poverty-stricken families to afford, and your gift will be greatly appreciated. In some cases, you may also receive a deduction on your taxes for these donations!
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