Feast or Famine with Produce
It is the second week in August. School starts next week. We picked our first ripe tomato last week from the garden. This week I have seven eggplant, four zucchini, a dozen ears of corn, six peaches, six pounds of strawberries, 6 pounds of blueberries, five green peppers, a big bowl of cherry tomatoes, and loads of ripening tomatoes that will be ready anytime. On top of that we have two ripe cantaloupes and one black diamond watermelon! Oh my! We have gone from little produce to having it come out of our ears!
When you have a pleather a of produce, the first concern is not letting any of it go to waste. I spent about two hours getting everything into a more manageable shape. Check out what happened!
Freezing produce is usually pretty simple. Wash, pat dry, freeze separately on a sheet pan until frozen, then store in an air tight container to use later. I will be using the corn soon–so I froze it in amounts for meals. The zucchini was frozen in amounts used in my favorite recipes. I always add an extra half of a cup so compensate for the water loss. Melons can be frozen for short periods of time and used in smoothies–or on ice cream! Cantaloupe and vanilla ice cream rocks!
If you have questions about preserving your harvest, contact your local Extension Office, or check the Ball Canning Guide. It contains information on canning, freezing and dehydrating.