All of your exhausting work is paying off with a bountiful harvest. Recent produce is filling your backyard, counter tops, and fridge whereas the backyard retains producing extra. Protect a few of your harvest to get pleasure from all through the winter with some tried-and-true or up to date variation of meals preservation strategies.
Hanging bundles of herbs to dry is a long-time apply that works. Harvest herbs within the morning simply after the dew has dried off the leaves. Rinse, permit them to dry, and take away any broken or dried leaves.
Collect the dry herbs into small bundles and safe with a rubber band. Use a spring-type clothespin to hold the bundles from a clothesline or hanger in a heat, dry, ethereal place out of direct daylight.
A contemporary twist on this custom is the space-saving Stack!t Herb Drying Rack (gardeners.com) hung from the ceiling. It is possible for you to to dry massive portions of herbs in any slim, out-of-the-way area.
Lengthen the life, taste, and dietary worth of squash with correct harvesting and storage. Solely retailer blemish- and damage-free fruit and veggies to cut back the danger of mould and decay creating throughout storage.
Harvest zucchini when the fruit is six to eight inches lengthy and scalloped squash when three to 6 inches in diameter. Retailer these in a plastic bag contained in the vegetable crisper drawer in your fridge for a number of days.
Wait to reap winter squash when the fruit is full-sized, and the rinds are agency and shiny. The portion touching the bottom turns from cream to orange when the fruit is ripe. Use a pruner to reap the fruit, leaving a one-inch stem on every fruit. Remedy all winter squash, apart from acorn, in a heat, humid location. Then transfer to a cool, dry, well-ventilated space to retailer for a number of months. Up to now, gardeners saved these, potatoes, onions, and fruit in wood racks that maximized space for storing and allowed air to succeed in every layer of produce. An up to date model, Gardener’s Provide Orchard Rack, provides handy drawers to this conventional storage system.
Enhance your cabbage harvest with this trick. Take away agency full-sized heads however depart the decrease ring of leaves and roots intact. The plant will kind a number of smaller heads.
Harvest cucumbers primarily based on how you propose to make use of them. Choose the fruit when it’s 1 ½ to 2 ½ inches lengthy in case you plan on making candy pickles. Enable the cucumbers to develop a bit larger, three to 4 inches, if dill pickles are on the menu. Harvest these for slicing when the pores and skin is agency, vivid inexperienced and the fruit is six to 9 inches lengthy.
Flip a portion of your harvest into one thing scrumptious. Fermentation is a comparatively simple preservation method used for 1000’s of years. Protect a few of your cucumbers as pickles, cabbage as sauerkraut, and berries as preserves with fermentation. Retailer fermented fruit and veggies in a cool, darkish place or lengthen their shelf life by canning the completed product. For many initiatives, you simply want the fruit or greens, water, salt, and spices. The specified substances are positioned in a coated vessel, like Gardener’s Provide 3-gallon Fermentation Crock. Weights are used to maintain the fruit and greens submerged in water all through the fermentation course of.
In case your backyard remains to be producing when frost is within the forecast, lengthen the harvest season. Chilly frames and cloches are tried-and-true strategies used for extending the rising season. A contemporary technique employs floating row covers. These spun materials permit air, gentle, and water by means of whereas defending vegetation from frosty circumstances. Cowl the plantings and anchor the material in place. Elevate to reap and luxuriate in a number of extra weeks and even months of garden-fresh produce.
Choose the storage and preservation strategies that work greatest on your backyard produce, rising location, and way of life. When you get pleasure from homegrown produce in winter meals, you’ll begin rising extra produce to eat contemporary, share and protect.
Melinda Myers is the creator of quite a few gardening books, together with Small House Gardening. She hosts The Nice Programs “How one can Develop Something” DVD sequence and the Melinda’s Backyard Second TV & radio segments. Myers is a columnist and contributing editor for Birds & Blooms journal and was commissioned by Gardeners Provide for her experience to put in writing this text. Her web page is http://www.MelindaMyers.com.