Nothing beats the flavor of fresh produce, but canning, freezing and drying can help extend your enjoyment throughout the year.
Take some time to plan a garden that will provide you and your family with fresh produce and enough extra to preserve as needed or desired.
Start by listing the preserved foods you like to use and your family will eat. Does your family prefer their fruit canned as jams and jellies, dried into leathers, made into sauce or frozen for use in smoothies?
Do you prefer your tomatoes dried, canned as juice, sauce, whole or frozen? Surplus cucumbers, green beans and asparagus can be pickled and cabbage fermented into kraut.
Mark your calendar for peak harvest times in your region so you allow sufficient time for harvesting and preserving. See the Harvesting and Fresh Preserving Guide at www.freshpreserving.com to find peak harvest times in your region.
A bit more information: Supplement your own harvest with produce from farmer’s markets and pick your own farms. Most will post expected picking dates, so you can plan ahead. As the season begins, confirm picking times and then gather family and friends for a harvest and preservation party.
Visit Melinda’s website www.melindamyers.com for more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and answers to your garden questions.