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Preserving and Sharing Your Harvest

Are you like me and always squeeze in that extra tomato plant, another row of beans or that one left over pepper plant?   It seemed like a good idea at the time.  But now you have more produce than you need. 

Preserve some of that extra harvest to enjoy throughout the year.  Select healthy, pest-free produce for freezing, canning or drying.  Clean the produce prior to preserving and follow directions for the method you choose. 

Some vegetables need to be blanched, partially cooked, before preserving.  This destroys enzymes that can diminish the flavor and color of preserved food.

Other fruits and vegetables benefit from the addition of lemon juice or ascorbic acid.  This prevents browning when exposed to air.

If this sounds like more work than you bargained for, donate your surplus produce to the hungry seniors, children and families in your community.  Simply contact your local food pantry or contact Plant-a-Row for the Hungry.

A bit more information:  Drying is a simple technique that has been used for centuries.  Bean, pumpkin, flax and sunflower are a few commonly dried seeds.  Fruits and vegetables can also be dried.  Select fresh, ripe and high quality food for drying.  Clean the produce, slice and set in the sun, oven or food dehydrator to dry.  

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