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Feasting From Your Garden

Feasting From Your Garden

A Beginner’s Plan: Processing
Summer is in full swing, albeit a bit different due to COVID-19. We’re making the most of it with lots of family activities, including tending to a number of gardens. All three boys have helped plant, weed and water.

Ethan scouts for ripe vegetables and picks them – just a few right now, but I fully expect our harvest to double or triple in the coming week. If you planted a garden this year (so many people did!), my question for you is: are you ready for the harvest? To make the best use of the time, effort and resources you’ve invested in your garden, you need to plan. These guidelines will help you put a plan in place, and I’ve focused on green beans, tomatoes and corn.

Step 1: Determine what you’ve planted, how much of it there will be and when it will be ready. 

Step 2: What are you going to do with it? Eat it now, process it or give it away?

Step 3: Do you need some extra help with the harvest? Don’t start on your own and end up running out of steam midway. Most veggies are at their prime just after having been picked, so if you haven’t decided what you are going to do with them, don’t pick them. Once you do, be ready to spend some time processing them. 

Step 4: How will you process your haul? Canning takes a bit more time and energy, but this method of canning tomatoes is the same I use, and here are the instructions for canning green beans. For the record, I’ve no preference on tomatoes – canned or frozen tastes about the same, but I do prefer the taste of canned green beans. Here are two fast, easy methods for freezing – one for tomatoes and another for green beans. We are lucky enough to have many rows of sweet corn, and I will be blanching and packing for the freezer. It’s easy, but it takes a while. Still, this method, I believe, delivers the best taste and consistency. 

Whatever method you choose, make sure you label the can tops or freezer bags with the contents, month and year. 

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Thanks for reading my blog, A Bushel and A Plate.

As a mom who cares about eating good food and knowing the farmer who grew my food, I want to help other families to nourish your families with good, traceable, sustainable food.


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