At this point of the year, it is hard to imagine the season without tomatoes, peppers, zucchini, and the other bounties of the season. But alas, fall will come, frost will kill the plants, and winter will be upon us. And then what will you eat? Start preserving now to continue having local veggies throughout the winter. While nothing compares to a freshly sliced tomato, a big jar of tomatoes to put into your winter chili or to make a creamy tomato soup is a great pleasure. So get canning!
Basic preserving doesn’t require too much equipment: jars and clean lids, a big pot for boiling water and the jars, some good knives, and a chunk of time. I love making preserving dates because the work of peeling a bushel of peaches is a lot less daunting and a lot more fun when you are doing it with a friend. There are plenty of good books and even more websites dedicated to taking you step by step through the preservation process. A variety of methods can be used: freezing, canning, lactofermentation, root cellaring, and drying just to name a few. If it feels like you just can’t eat all that kale, blanch it and then freeze it. Look for tomato and fruit specials during this bountiful end of summer season.
Not only does preserving allow you to eat locally longer, it also reduces packaging, and reduces the amount of trips you have to take to the store.
Things I have preserved so far this season:
Blueberry Jam and Sauce
Things I have plans for:
Frozen Roasted Red peppers
Lots more Tomatoes