Preserving the Harvest

Preserving the Harvest
By Rachel Werner

Green thumbs treasure eating garden-to-table food, spring through fall. But, as leaves change color and the last root vegetables break through the earth, homegrown produce becomes less available with each passing day. Gardening expert Megan Cain says it doesn’t have to be so. “ I can go down to my basement in the middle of January and bring up tomatoes, onions or pesto to make a meal. All items I stored the previous season. It is a really rewarding feeling.”

Cain follows these five basic steps to stash away the bulk of her harvest for year-round enjoyment:

  • PRESERVE WHAT YOU EAT. Deconstruct your meals to see what you use most.
  • YOU DON’T HAVE TO GROW EVERYTHING YOU PRESERVE. Get additional produce to store from farmers’ markets and CSAs.
  • KEEP A RECORD. Track how much you actually use throughout the year so you only preserve food that you’ll actually eat.
  • STORE FROM ONE GROWING SEASON TO THE NEXT. Foods stored in the freezer or cellar have a one-year shelf life—max!
  • CHANGE THE WAY YOU EAT. Especially in the winter, focus on using up what is in your pantry.
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