Preserving the Harvest – Tips for eating local and seasonal year-round when you use old fashioned food preservation methods.
Summer and early fall are a great time for getting into eating local, seasonal food. But what do you do when the gardens and farms around you stop producing as much food? Depending on where you live, you may still be able to get fresh produce late into fall and even early winter. Milk, eggs, and fresh meat may be available year round.
But what do you do about fruits and vegetables during the coldest winter months and early spring before gardens start to produce?
You prepare for it by preserving the summer and fall harvest to use throughout the winter months. The key is to start simple. If you go blueberry picking or are finding a great deal at the local farmers market, freeze some to use in your smoothies and oatmeal throughout the year.
Take the family apple picking this fall and pick apples that store well, or make apple sauce. If you have extra green beans or okra, freeze them.
If you’re feeling a little more ambitious, consider getting started with some canning.
Most vegetables can well and you can even make a batch or two of homemade tomato sauce and can. Think about what veggies and foods you use throughout the year that you buy canned. These are the first things you want to can.
The same principle works for freezing. What frozen fruits and vegetables to you end up using when you don’t have good fresh options at the grocery store? These are the things you want to start with.
Don’t be afraid to explore and experiment.
Try making a batch of fruit jam, or try your hand at pickling cucumbers.
- Talk to farmers and other shoppers at your local farmers market and farms.
- Do a little research online from some of the trusted bloggers below.
- Pick up a food preservation book at your local library
- Don’t forget about older friends and family members. Grandma cooked mainly from local, seasonal food back in the day and can give you quite a few tips to help you get back to this way of cooking and preserving food.
Don’t overwhelm yourself the first year. Do what you can and try a couple of new things. From there, start expanding each year. Try your hand at gardening, or pick up a few bushels of corn and put them up the following year. Keep adding a few more things each year and it won’t take you long to eat mainly local seasonal food throughout the year.
More Preserving Articles from Rockin W Homestead
These articles are part of the blogger collaborative Preserving the Harvest
Do you love preserving the harvest as much as we do?
Click the links below and get detailed instructions for preserving 23 of the most popular fruits and vegetables
Preserving Vegetables (in alphabetical order)
How to Preserve Carrots by Freezing, Canning, and More from Oak Hill Homestead
4 Easy Ways to Preserve Cauliflower from Dehydrating Made Easy
Cucumber Fresh Pack Garlic Dill Pickles Recipe from The Self Sufficient HomeAcre
Make Your Own Garlic Powder and Other Ways to Preserve Garlic from Learning & Yearning
How to Freeze Your Green Bean Harvest from The Reid Homestead
How to Preserve Leafy Greens from Homespun Seasonal Living
Preserving Okra by Freezing, Canning, Fermenting, and Dehydrating from Schneider Peeps
5 Ways to Preserve Onions for Storage from Rockin W Homestead
How to Dehydrate Parsnips & Make Parsnip Chips from The Purposeful Pantry
3 Ways to Preserve Peppers from Grow a Good Life
5 Ways to Store Potatoes from A Modern Homestead
Ways to Preserve Radishes from The Purposeful Pantry
How to Freeze Squash (and Other Preservation Methods) from Our Inspired Roots
Freezing Tomatoes for Preserving Later in the Year from Stone Family Farmstead
3 Easy Ways to Preserve Zucchini from Grow a Good Life
Preserving Fruit (in alphabetical order)
Guide to Preserving Apples from Oak Hill Homestead
3 Ways To Preserve Fresh Summer Berries from Better Hens & Gardens
How to Make Cherry Jam from Scratch from The Self Sufficient HomeAcre
3 Quick Ways to Preserve Grapes from Homestead Lady
3 Best Ways To Preserve Mulberries from My Homestead Life
How To Preserve Oranges On The Homestead from 15 Acre Homestead
How to Freeze Peaches from A Modern Homestead
How To Preserve Strawberries On The Homestead from 15 Acre Homestead