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Keep Your Growing Vegetables From My Garden Harvest on Your Table All Year

Updated on June 3, 2014

Keeping Your Garden Produce Preserved All Year

Keep Your Veggies on Your Table All Year. Planting in your garden and the produce it provides during the growing season it more than anyone can consume fresh. Most people who grow vegetables plan to preserve this food for future use. There are many proven methods of food preservation. Some of the most popular techniques are freezing, canning and dehydration. These techniques have been used for centuries and have given families the ability to stockpile food for the winter months.

There are some key ideas to keep in mind when preserving your veggies after harvest. The basic rules are easy and should be followed to keep food from spoilage and free from biological hazards such as those causing food-borne pathogens to contaminate the food. Our ancestors learned that food with high contents of sugar, acid, and salt are easy ways to keep nutrients in preserved foods as well as prevent microorganisms from contaminating stored food.

Some examples of these food are pickled products like cucumbers, and tomatoes, both high in salt, and acid. Another example is jelly and jam made from fruits or vegetables that have high concentrations of sugar added for preserving. Tomatoes are naturally acidic and are good candidates for the canning process.

Before deciding which foods to can, freeze or dehydrate you should always consult with a guide for that particular food. Since all food vary in there chemical composition some methods of preservation may be preferred. Another rule of thumb is to follow the recipes precisely, since their are standard which must be met to keep food preserved without spoilage. It is highly recommended that all canned food be brought to a boil and head there when consuming them as a canned product. This will protect you from the small possibility that a microorganism is present in the food. Boiling will make it safe to eat. However, it you canned food have a cloudy look, or the food has broken down DO NOT eat it. Also if during the canning process the jar did not seal properly you should consume it immediately. Do not store improperly sealed jars since they will become contaminated with food-borne diseases.

Canning Supplies

Presto 01781 23-Quart Pressure Canner and Cooker
Presto 01781 23-Quart Pressure Canner and Cooker

Pressure Cooker canning is a fast and easy way to can your produce. The only method recommended safe by the US Department of Agriculture for canning vegetables, meats, poultry, and seafood

Doubles as a boiling-water canner for preserving fruits, jams, jellies, pickles, and salsa; Handy as a large capacity pressure cooker

 
Granite Ware 0707-1 Steel/Porcelain Water-Bath Canner with Rack, 21.5-Quart, Black
Granite Ware 0707-1 Steel/Porcelain Water-Bath Canner with Rack, 21.5-Quart, Black

Traditional canning has always been done using a granite ware pot, 7-jar porcelain-finished steel canning pot with removable wire rack

2 Loop side handles for convenient transport

Handled lid for faster heat-up times and heat retention

 
Back to Basics Home Canning Kit - 286
Back to Basics Home Canning Kit - 286

All of the accessories you need to make your canning easy. Home-canning kit provides 5 essential tools with stay-cool handles

Jar lifter and magnetic lid lifter for removing jars and lids from boiling water

Canning funnel directs ingredients into the jar quickly and cleanly

Kitchen tongs; jar wrench effortlessly removes sticky lids

 
Granite Ware 0719-1 Enamel-on-Steel Canning Kit with Blancher, 12-Piece
Granite Ware 0719-1 Enamel-on-Steel Canning Kit with Blancher, 12-Piece

This complete granite ware canning set contains everything you need for canning your produce. 12 piece set

Durable porcelain enamel-on-steel construction

Heats quickly and efficiently

 
Norpro 600 Jar Lifter
Norpro 600 Jar Lifter

The jar lifter for removing hot canned jars from you water bath. Non-slip handle is easy to grip for extra control

Measures 8-3/4-inch /22cm

 

Dehydrating Food From Your Vegetable Garden - Dry Mushrooms and Sun-dried Tomatoes

When food in dehydrated all of the moisture is driven out of the food which prevents it from microorganism. There are many methods of dehydration available, the most popular is the food dehydrator. Foods such as meat jerky, dried fruits and vegetable are some of the most common foods chosen for home processing. Dehydration methods can vary from on dehydrator to the next, so close attention to processing is extremely important for food safety.

Many people still use the ancient method of sun drying. I can remember as a child my aunt would take me on a mushroom hunt early every morning during the summer months. We would clean the mushrooms cook some for breakfast and spread the rest out to dry.

Once breakfast was over we would use a needle and thread and string the mushroom by pushing the needle through the top down through the stem. We added mushroom to the thread and tied off the string. With a clothes pin we would hang our strings of mushrooms on the clothes llne to dehydrate in the sun. Many people do the same with tomatoes to create sun-dried tomatoes. In the photo above we are about to dehydrate honey hot pepper for storage. When our food is complete we always seal it with an airtight plastic bag sealer machine.

During the winter the mushrooms were rehydrated in gravies and stews during the cooking process. I always enjoyed the time I spent with my aunt during the summers of my youth. She taught me many things that I am thankful for today.

Corn can be blanched, bagged, and stored in the freezer

Corn can be blanched, bagged, and stored in the freezer
Corn can be blanched, bagged, and stored in the freezer

Eggplants can also be frozen

Eggplants can also be frozen
Eggplants can also be frozen

Watch a Video and See How Easy Food Preservation Can Be Done

Compact Haier Deep Freezer - Fit on top of most standard refriderators

EdgeStar CRF150SS-1 1.1 Cu. Ft. Convertible Refrigerator or Freezer w/ Lock - Stainless Steel
EdgeStar CRF150SS-1 1.1 Cu. Ft. Convertible Refrigerator or Freezer w/ Lock - Stainless Steel

No Space for a Freezer get a Cube Deep Freezer small enough to fit on top of a standard refrigerator. Easily converts from 0° compact freezer to a refrigerator

Comes complete with lock and two keys; Full range thermostatic temperature control

True stainless steel door with black cabinet; Reversible door

Recessed handle; Modern euro-style door; Energy-saving manual defrost

 

Freeze Food From Your Vegetable Garden - Your Harvest All Year Long

Freezing is a very easy method of food preservation. Most vegetable can be blanched and frozen for later use. The process of blanching is simple water is brought to a boil and the vegetables are allowed to sit for a prescribed amount of time depending upon their type. Once again consult a known recipe before doing it yourself.

One rule of thumb for all vegetable preservation is that you choose specimens which are fresh with not soft spots or bug infestations or hole. This will help keep you food from becoming spoiled from bacteria already present before processing it.

The government has guideline and they can be easily accessed at National Center for Home Food Preservation. Remember to follow the instruction carefully, these standards have withheld the test of time for food safety. Purchase a good canning book with the recipes for canning and use exact amounts of the ingredients required to properly prepare foods before canning.

Teach the Kids How to Preserve Food

Teach the Kids How to Preserve Food
Teach the Kids How to Preserve Food

The Continue to Grow All Summer Long

The Continue to Grow All Summer Long
The Continue to Grow All Summer Long

Please Leave a Comment

Have you ever preserved your own food?

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    • lesliesinclair profile image

      lesliesinclair 4 years ago

      Yes, during the decades of child rearing, and now I've begun again on a much smaller scale.

    • profile image

      Scott A McCray 4 years ago

      All types of canning, freezing, pickling, dehydrating...canned venison...yummm.

    • Raymond Eagar profile image

      Raymond Eagar 4 years ago

      Peaches , chillies and biltong (jerky)

    • profile image

      msseiboi 4 years ago

      Great ideas....good lens

    • Gypzeerose profile image

      Rose Jones 4 years ago

      This is a wonderful lens, so pertinent for now. Using your techniques insures you have healthy food all year round, and like ElizabethJeanAllen says you can also give them away and increase your popularity. :)

    • ElizabethJeanAl profile image

      ElizabethJeanAl 4 years ago

      I can a lot of tomatoes and jellies. I freeze some vegis but not enough. I give away most of the surplus.