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Preserve your produce

Learn how to save the bounty of your garden so you can enjoy it all year
  • So much produce!

    As you harvest the bounty from your garden, you may wonder what you're going to do with all of that food! Here are some tasty ways to preserve the taste of summer to enjoy all year long!

    Date Published: April 13, 2012
    Date Updated: August 9, 2012
  • Berry freezer jam

    This recipe is courtesy of Betsy Freese's parents, who own <a href="http://www.strawberryfarm.com" target="new">Walnut Springs Strawberry Farm</a> in Maryland.
    <br>
    2 cups crushed berries (at room temperature)<BR>
    4 cups sugar<BR>
    3/4 cup water<BR>
    1 box powdered fruit pectin
    <br>
    In a large bowl, add sugar to the fruit and stir well. Let stand for ten minutes. In a saucepan, boil 3/4 cup water and the fruit pectin for one minute, stirring constantly. Add the hot pectin and water to the fruit and continue stirring for 3 minutes. Put into containers. Let stand for 24 hours and store in freezer. Fills five or six half-pint jars.<br>

    Date Published: April 13, 2012
    Date Updated: August 9, 2012
  • Homemade salsa

    Making homemade salsa is a great way to use up the fresh produce from your garden, but it's smart to spend some time learning about canning safety before you begin. Canning salsa is a tricky task because you are combining highly acidic tomatoes with peppers, onions, and other low-acid foods. If you fail to properly balance the acid levels in your salsa, you create a breeding ground for food-borne bacteria. For this reason, it's important to follow the recipe precisely and use a hot water bath or pressure canner to allow the final heat treatment to kill any bacteria that may be present.

    Get more salsa canning tips and recipes in the links below.

    Date Published: April 13, 2012
    Date Updated: August 9, 2012
  • Sweet pickle relish

    This tongue-tingling relish makes good use of the cucumbers, sweet peppers, and onions in your garden. It's perfect on hot dogs and hamburgers, and in tuna or chicken salad. A jar of homemade sweet pickle relish also makes a thoughtful gift!

    Get the recipe!

    Date Published: April 13, 2012
    Date Updated: August 9, 2012
  • Refrigerator pickles

    Refrigerator pickles are popular because they're super easy and don't require canning. Just slice your cucumbers and pop them in a bowl, heat your liquid and spices and pour over the cukes, let cool, and refrigerate!

    Learn exactly how to make refrigerator pickles and get the recipe!

    Date Published: April 13, 2012
    Date Updated: August 9, 2012
  • Watermelon ice

    Is there anything better on a hot summer day than a big, juicy slice of watermelon? Watermelon ice! It has all the delicious juiciness of watermelon, but in snow-cone form! Kids love this shaved ice treat, and if the grown-ups are so inclined, they can add a little vodka! This is a great way to use up leftover watermelon, too, since it’s pretty forgiving. If the melon is a little softer than you prefer for munching on, make it into ice and you’ll never be able to tell.

    Date Published: April 13, 2012
    Date Updated: August 9, 2012
  • Slow-cooker apple butter

    If you're lucky enough to have an apple or pear tree, you can make loads of delicious apple pear butter! Making it in the slow cooker is so easy, plus it doesn't heat up the house and it will make your whole kitchen smell amazing. Leave the peels on for extra fiber -- they'll disintegrate when you use the immersion blender. And if you add a little extra cinnamon, you can cut back on the sugar, or leave it out altogether. Freeze your creation in containers or can it, and enjoy it all winter!

    Get the recipe!

    Date Published: April 13, 2012
    Date Updated: August 9, 2012
  • Freezing green beans

    Fresh green beans are so delicious, but it's impossible to eat them all while they're fresh. Freezing is a good option, especially if you don't have canning equipment. <br><UL><LI>Clean and slice your green beans. </li>
    <LI>Blanch by boiling for 2-4 minutes, then immersing beans in ice water. Once the beans have cooled, drain them.</LI>
    <LI>Pack drained beans into freezer containers or bags. Shake to compact the beans, adding as many as possible to each container and removing as much air as you can. Seal the container.</LI>
    <LI>Label bag or container with the contents, amount, and date. Lay flat in freezer. Leave space between bags or containers so air can circulate around them. Once frozen solid, they can be stacked. Use within 8 to 10 months.</LI></UL><br>

    Date Published: April 13, 2012
    Date Updated: August 9, 2012
  • Freezing tomatoes

    Allow 2-1/2 to 3-1/2 pounds unblemished tomatoes per quart. Wash tomatoes. To peel, dip tomatoes in boiling water for 30 seconds or until skins start to split. Dip in cold water; core and skin. Continue as directed below.<br><OL><LI>For crushed, cut into quarters, crush with wooden spoon, and heat until boiling. Add remaining pieces and repeat. Simmer for 5 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon lemon juice per pint. set pan of tomatoes in ice water to cool. Fill containers, leaving a 1-inch headspace. Freeze.</LI>
    <LI>For whole or halved with no liquid added, fill freezer containers, pressing to fill spaces with juice. Add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice per pint. Leave a 1-inch headspace. (Use only for cooking due to texture changes from freezing.)</LI>
    <LI>For water-packed whole or halved, heat tomatoes in saucepan, covered with water, and simmer for 5 minutes. Set pan in cold water to cool. Fill containers with tomatoes and liquid. Add 1 tablespoon lemon juice per pint. Leave 1-inch headspace and freeze.</LI></OL><br>

    Date Published: April 13, 2012
    Date Updated: August 9, 2012
  • Preparing peaches to freeze

    <UL><LI>Using a sharp knife, make a shallow "X" on the bottom of each peach.</LI>
    <LI>Blanch the peaches by lowering 3 or 4 at a time into a pot of boiling water for 30 to 60 seconds. Remove them to a bowl of ice water.</LI>
    <LI>When the peaches are cool enough to handle, peel them with your fingers or a knife.</LI>
    <LI>Cut each peeled peach in half around the pit, and remove the pit. Slice peaches, if desired.</LI>

    Date Published: April 13, 2012
    Date Updated: August 9, 2012
  • Freezing peaches

    <B>Water pack:</B> Pack peaches into freezer bag, leaving 1/2-inch headspace for pints and 1-inch for quarts. Pour water over peaches, maintaining headspace. Seal and freeze.<br><B>Sugar pack:</B> Pack a layer of peaches into a freezer container and sprinkle with sugar. Repeat, leaving headspace as directed above. Cover and let stand for 15 minutes until juicy before freezing.<br><B>Syrup pack:</B> Prepare syrup: heat sugar and water in saucepan, stir until sugar dissolves. Use anywhere from 1 cup sugar to 4 cups sugar for very light syrup, to 4 cups sugar and 4 cups water for heavy syrup. Pack peaches into container or bag, leaving headspace. Pour syrup over peaches, maintaining headspace. Seal and freeze. Use frozen peaches within 8 to 10 months.<br>

    Date Published: April 13, 2012
    Date Updated: August 9, 2012
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