One of the great pleasures in life is being able to produce your own food. Especially if you’re adopting a healthier lifestyle by making conscious decisions about what you eat. When you grow your own food, you know how it was grown and that’s its free of harmful chemicals and toxins.
Unfortunately, crops are seasonal so we can’t harvest most fruits and vegetables on a year-round basis. That’s why learning how to properly store certain foods will ensure that you have healthy, organic food available for you and your family, no matter what time of the year it is.
Here are some of the best crops to grow if you want to have enough to save for a rainy day:
One of the most popular foods grown in North America, tomatoes are a staple in Italian, and Mexican cuisines, and is an ingredient in other popular dishes such as meatloaf, chili, and soups. There are several ways to preserve your tomatoes so that they will last. Canning is a popular method of preservation and tomatoes can be canned whole or turned into tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, or tomato paste. Properly canned tomatoes can keep for several years, although the flavor starts to decline after the first year.
Another popular option is to make sun-dried tomatoes. Simply cut your tomatoes into slices, place them on parchment paper in a tray, sprinkle salt over them, and pop the trays into an oven which as preheated at 150 degrees. Leave the oven door ajar, so the air can circulate. The tomatoes should be dry in 10-12 hours. Store them in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, or place in a jar of olive oil and store in the refrigerator up to a month.
Green beans are great addition to your garden because they can be used in a variety of ways. They are delicious in stir-fry dishes, casseroles, salads or steamed. There are an excellent source of vitamin C, A, and K.
Green beans will stay fresh for several months if you freeze them properly. Trim the green beans and boil them for 2 to 4 minutes. This will ensure that they stay crispy. Once you remove them from the boiling water, plunge them into a bowl of ice water and keep them there for the same amount of time as you boiled. Place them in a large resealable freezer bag. Label them and place them in the freezer.
Potatoes will keep for about 3 to 5 weeks in your pantry. If you have a root cellar or basement where the temperature is around 50 degrees, then your potatoes can last for as long as 3 months. Just make sure to check them regularly since just one rotten potato will ruin the rest.
Potatoes can also be frozen and canned.
Gardeners love winter squash because it keeps so well. In fact, the name “winter squash” refers to the time that the vegetable is stored. After harvesting it in fall, it’s simple to prepare squash so that it will last through the winter. This will ensure that you’ll have enough squash to add to your soups, side dishes, and even desserts.
All you need to do is to store the squash in a warm place which gets plenty of air circulation for a period of 10-14 days. Once you do that, you can store them in a cool, dry place for 3 to 6 months.
Berries are versatile and easy to store. You can freeze them, dehydrate them, can them, or turn them into jellies and jams. A great source of vitamins and antioxidants, you’ll feel special when you serve berries to your family during the middle of winter.
Learn to how to properly store your garden’s harvest and you’ll be guaranteed to have plentiful food throughout the whole year. Not only well you reap the health benefits, you’ll save money too.
Don’t forget to use Garden Commanders to protect your valuable produce from Deer, Birds, and other critters who would love to eat it before you do!