One of the things I’ve been trying to perfect with gardening this season is preserving our harvest for future use. Enjoying the fruit of your labor at a later date is one of the many perks of raising your own vegetables and that’s something I’m trying to culminate.
We’ve been doing good with preserving our herbs and now, that we have harvesting, dehydrating and storing herbs down, it’s time to do the same with the other vegetables.However, when it comes to preserving your harvest, what often happens is you may only have enough to harvest and eat now and nothing to eat later. So, the now and later plan goes out the window and you’re eating for the now. Of course that all depends on how much we plant and if everything goes well with the vegetables. Thankfully we’ve been getting an overflow of roma tomatoes.
Once we harvest one or two baskets, it’s time to harvest more. To keep from becoming overwhelmed, I quickly take care of the batches of tomatoes as we bring them in the house. I’ll start off by cleaning my harvest and prep them by removing the area the stem was and cutting an X on the bottom of the tomato. After they’ve been cleaned and prepped I boil them for about 30 minutes and the amount of time depends on how many tomatoes I’m preparing. Many people roast their tomatoes, but with preparing so many, I like to make the task as easy as possible by boiling them. Once they’ve boiled and cooled off, I remove the skin, put them in the crock pot and after a few hours blend them with a hand blender and add my fresh seasonings.
Next year’s goal I’d like to learn how to can. After having a bad experience with canning a few years ago, I gave canning up. Although, seeing mason jars filled with garden fresh vegetables lined up on shelves will bring back childhood memories of my annual trips to Missouri with my grandma, lined up in my freezer will have to do.
Another vegetable I’ve freezer preserved are those tasty poblano peppers. Hubby planted poblano peppers this year and they’ve been plentiful as well, unlike last year. Last year we got nothing. Not one darn poblano. My husband loves when I make stuffed poblano peppers. They have the best flavor and make great appetizers or a meal when served with rice and some vegetables.
So, I harvest all the poblanos that were ready, cleaned them up and blanched them. Once they cooled I layed them on a tray and placed them in the freezer to freeze. After they were frozen I removed them from the freezer and place them all in a large freezer bag. Freezing them before placing them in a bag assures that they won’t stick together and when I was ready to use them I can grab as many as I need.
Although we’ve been getting a great harvest, we’ve also had some trouble in the garden. One being powdery mildew and the other blossom end rot. Although some of the tomatoes and peppers have been experiencing the blossom end rot, I’ve still been able to get some use out of the vegetables that have been plagued with this problem. Like this variety of pepper mix here that I put together.
All the peppers that had the blossom end rot, I removed the damaged part and cut up the part that was good, placed them in small portions in freezer bags to use in any meal. I can officially say that this week has been a successful week with freezer preserving tomatoes and peppers. Have you been preserving any of your garden vegetables and if so, which vegetables and how do you like to preserve your vegetables?
Watch video below