Sunday, July 8, 2012

Preserving the Harvest

This week has been pretty busy.  I did want to spend part of the summer reorganizing things in the house, and I have done a little of that, but cleaning the closet will wait, ripe fruit and vegetables will not.  With that in mind, I've spent a good part of the week preserving food and keeping on top of the garden.  The last of the onions have come out, so limas were planted.  We're getting plenty of cukes, and some of the tomatoes are ripening.  We've also been able to pick radishes, zucchini, and green beans.  We anxiously await all the watermelon that look so adorable right now, are happy that the okra is finally blooming, and can't wait to see how the corn and potatoes turn out. 
This is the largest of the watermelon. The pic was taken more than a week ago, so it's bigger now.
We choose to plant Sugar Baby this year.
Some of the zucchini has already made it through the food processor and into the freezer.
I love using the processor for this.  The grating blade makes very short work of the zucchini.
It's great to keep this on hand for zucchini bread, cake and muffins, but I also like to put shredded zucchini in soups, stews, and meatloaf.  You could probably slip it into spaghetti too, and no-one would be the wiser. Zucchini is so easy to grow, and you usually end up with a lot of it, so shredding and freezing it is an excellent way to preserve it. And keeping shredded zucchini on hand in the freezer is a perfect way to up the nutritional ante of some of your favorite dishes.
Though I didn't mention it before, we are also getting in some of the herbs.
Here we are drying sage in the dehydrator. It was finished by Saturday.
In the house we lived before, I would hang herbs to dry.  There were cut outs between the kitchen and dining room that had cross pieces to make them look like windows.  They were cute, but also useful.  That's where I used to hang my herbs.  I don't have anything like that here, and the drying rack takes up too much space to leave it out long enough for herbs to dry, so hubby got me the dehydrator.  I put it out in the garage to run so it doesn't add any heat inside the house.
We also visited a U-Pick blueberry field. 
After spreading the blueberries on cookie pans to freeze in a single layer, we bagged them up to store in the big freezer.
Well, we did that to some of them.  Others found their way into some pretty delicious jelly.
A few more pints of green beans were picked and processed earlier that day and stand in the back.  They've been added in with what was canned earlier in the week.

Learning to preserve the harvest is invaluable.  I would encourage everyone to do it.

I've linked this post with the Carnival of Home Preserving,

and with the Homestead Barn Hop.

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  1. Great post! Sounds like you have been very busy.

    Thanks for linking up at the Carnival of Home Preserving!

    1. Thank you! I love looking at the other ideas that are linked to your Carnival.