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Saving the Harvest

March 11, 2013

Last week I wrote about planning your garden and also about growing food even if you do not have land.  Now I am going to jump all the way to how to deal with the harvest. I’m doing this because it is not as premature as it seems. If you are like me and have not been taught at home how to put food up safely for use out of season, you need to learn. At this time of year I still have some things left in the freezer that I put up last summer, but not much. I want to prepare better.

If you have your own garden knowing how to can, freeze and dry your produce is a terrific way to reap the benefits. If not, thank goodness for the Wild Ramp and all the farmers who feed us.

Last summer when the tomatoes were coming into the Wild Ramp Market in huge quantities, several of the Producers brought in bushels of what they suggested be used for canning. These were tomatoes that didn’t look pretty but were otherwise fine and had great potential for enjoyment if processed by canning, freezing for drying.

The Wild Ramp Market offers a number of classes including canning. Watch for a repeat of that class in the coming months if you need some instruction like I do. Many of us were not raised in a household where canning was done, so these classes are very helpful.rows-of-canned-vegetables

Freezing and drying are a bit easier for the novice. Last summer I used a dehydrator that I picked up for $5 at a yard sale. My tomatoes and apple slices came out well. I did not dry my peppers long enough and they grew mold.

I have often purchased sun-dried tomatoes and this video helps explain the process. When I watched it, the first thing I wondered about was how to keep flies off. The comments offer the suggestion of using a screen around the drying rack.  I can do this and so can you!   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aRZa8eSx3eU

You need to go to the blog (http://www.wildramp.wordpress.com) to watch the video.sun-dried-tomatoes

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