Sunday, September 17, 2017

Hey Let's Grow

*I am participating in the Monsanto Hey Let's Grow program as a blogger this year.  Materials in this post were provided by Monsanto.  This is a sponsored post.  The opinions in this post are my own.*

The days are getting cooler, that is for sure.  We are still having some spikes in temperature, but it's nothing sustained or long lasting.  Annoying, really at this point.  I'm ready for fall.  
It's got me thinking about preserving.  Because right now would be the time of year that I'd be elbow deep in tomatoes and peppers.  I wanted to share a little about how I've preserved in the past.  



Canning
I've only used a hot bath method and have yet to pressure can.  My grandmother-in-law taught me how to can tomatoes this was years ago and I've been canning them this way every since.  
Do you pressure can?  I'd love to hear what equipment you use and what you can this way.  

Dehydrating
I inherited my mom's dehydrator a few years back.  It's a simple layered electric thing.  I've dehydrated apples, pears, tomatoes, and mint.
I really want to try making my own jerky, though I'm not sure if my dehydrator can do that.  I'm sure it can, I just need to do a bit more research on that.
But, I'd love to know if you dehydrate?  And, if so, what do you preserve this way?

Freezing
This is my "Oh my word, what am I going to do with all of this _______!??" back up.  You know, when you're elbow deep in whatever crop flourished in your garden this year and you're just kind of done with running the stove top with the unexpected heat waves that hit.  Oh, is that just me?  Anyway, I'm a fan of blanching and freezing.  I also preserve the berries that I harvest this way and make freezer jam.  I also need a larger freezing, so there is only so much of this that I can accomplish each year.  
Do you utilize your freezer for preserving and if so, for what?

Fermenting
This is one of my favorite ways to preserve, and it's likely not in the way that you are thinking.  I make alcohol - lots of alcohol!  I also do not drink alcohol, I give it away.  It's super easy and makes great holiday gifts.  It does take time, so plan accordingly.  I've used apples, pears, and berries that I've picked in addition to left over fruit from the store (like cranberries) to make different alcohol flavors.  
Have you tried fermenting?  If not, look into some options - it's tons of fun (even if you are not making alcohol).

Baking
What do you do with 20 lbs of zucchini?  Well, I saute a little bit and grate a bunch to hid in meals but the rest I use to bake with.  Muffins, breads, bars, cookies..., and not just zucchini  - fruit, pumpkins, butternut squash....
I hit up the internet for ideas for way too much of anything that I have.  You can find many creative ideas.

I'm thinking towards next year for my garden.  What can I plan, where can I plant it, and how I"m going to use it.  I'll get serious about it when there's snow on the ground and the nights are long because it makes me look forward to warmer weather.  
I'd love to hear how you are managing your harvest this year?  Are you a pick and eat person?  Are you preserving?  Are you giving it away?  


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