Harvesting and Preserving Vegetables

In years past, we have spent many hours canning, dehydrating, fermenting, and freezing our fruits and vegetables.  Lately, the children are eating more and more of the produce straight from the garden, so I find there is less need to preserve.

Strawberries almost always go straight into everyone’s mouth.

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If there are extras, they get brought into the house and cut up and put directly into our goat milk yogurt or kefir.  If you have extra strawberries to put up, our favorite methods are to freeze them in ziplocs or make jam.

We grow sugar snap peas, so they get eaten whole straight from the garden.

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Extras are shelled and frozen in ziplocs for use in homemade chicken pot-pie.

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Lettuce is eaten in large quantities in salad.

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And the rest is fed to the chickens and rabbits.

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Cabbage is shredded for homemade sauerkaut which is a really fun project for the children and a very healthy way to preserve the cabbage.

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The children generally eat all the brocolli straight out of the garden.  They love it!  Any that makes it into the kitchen is steamed and served with dinner.

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Swiss chard is used in our spanakopita casserole recipe.  It is SOOO good!

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Tomatoes are turned directly into tomato sauce and then frozen for use all winter.

Basil is served fresh in tomato salad or it is made into pesto and frozen in ice cube trays for use all winter.

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Peppers are diced and frozen in ziploc bags.  We generally use this all winter for chili or taco soup.

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We also love to use peppers and tomatoes for homemade salsa.

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If you’re new to putting food up, my best advice is to experiment with canning, dehydrating, fermenting, and freezing – and find what works best for you. Preserving your veggies for use throughout most of the winter is a lot of manual labor, but it isn’t difficult.

Before Goat Milk Stuff, I used to preserve it all.  Putting Food By* is the book I started with. Wild Fermentation* and Root Cellaring* are two other books I found helpful.

So start putting up some food, but don’t let it become a burden.  For me, I now preserve what I want and feed the rest to the chickens and rabbits.  And I don’t let myself feel guilty about it!

PJ

 

 

*Amazon Affiliate Link

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  • Mama4life

    I love all the pictures! What an amazing family. You work hard and work together and god has blessed you with an fruitful garden, business and life. You inspire me to take time and work on creating a stronger family unit with my own children!

  • Lisa Bauermeister

    Love your garden!! Looks very plentiful.

    • goatmilkstuff

      Yes – we get a LOT of food from it. 🙂

      PJ

  • Tinyfeet Brubaker

    We have a garden and I do lots of canning and some freezing of the veggies we harvest. We eat alot from the goodies we preserve!

    • goatmilkstuff

      Good for you! Some days I wish I had more time for it. I miss our canned dilly beans and salsa the most. 🙂
      PJ

  • danielle khrino

    Wow! What an amazing garden!!! We grow every year too. Unfortunately our garden hasn’t done very good this year. Not quite sure why? We’ve been doing the same thing for years. For some reason it’s just growing poorly this year. It’s upsetting. We LOVE going to the garden and eating fresh vegetables. There’s nothing like homegrown veggies!!

    • goatmilkstuff

      This is the first year my tomatoes have not done all that well. I don’t know where you live, but it has been an unusually cold summer here. I think the tomatoes aren’t happy because they love the heat. It is making me sad too. PJ

      • danielle khrino

        I live in WV now. Moved up here from Florida about 7 years ago. Fell in love with a great guy and relocated. I’m sad to hear your tomatoes aren’t happy this year. Our tomatoes are leaf less sticks. Luckily we have quite a few tomatoes on them. I’ve only gotten 3 green peppers so far and we have 15 green pepper plants. A neighbor of mine said she has only gotten 1 green pepper so far this year. I just don’t understand? My brussel spouts and purple cauliflower have not produced anything. The pumpkins look very healthy and we do have a few growing well, so far. Which I’m excited because they are a big variety. Supposed to get to 100lbs. I did read your other post about rotating veggies in the garden after I posted here. I guess next year we’ll have to plan out our garden a bit different. Hopefully we will all have better growing veggies next year!!!

        • goatmilkstuff

          We have peppers coming out of our ears! And I only have maybe 6 plants? Gotta love gardening. 🙂 PJ

  • Kelley

    what beautiful gardens!

    • goatmilkstuff

      Thanks, Kelley!! I love my garden. 🙂
      PJ