How to Preserve Your Garden Harvest

How to Preserve Your Garden Harvest - The Self Sufficient HomeAcre

Are You Ready to Preserve Your Garden Harvest?

Do you want to take advantage of the bounty of the season and preserve your garden harvest this year? I’ve been preserving my produce by canning, pickling, dehydrating, and freezing for years now…but there is always something to learn or a new recipe to try!

Over the years I’ve shared quite a few posts on preserving the garden harvest. In this post, I am sharing links to them so you have an easy reference. I hope you find this handy!

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Cucumbers ready to pickle
Brine curing pickles is an easy way to preserve some of your harvest!

Easy Ways to Preserve the Harvest from Your Garden

You don’t have to slave over a hot stove all day to preserve some of your harvest! Yay! Here are some easy methods of saving your fresh fruits and vegetables for winter:

  • Freezer jam
  • Dehydrating
  • Freezing
  • Brine curing
  • Root cellar storage

We’ll take a closer look at each of these methods in some of my posts!

Low Sugar Strawberry Jam - Recipe

Jam, Jelly, and Juice Recipes

Making jam doesn’t have to be a huge undertaking! You can make freezer jam quickly and easily. Check out my post below for 2 recipes for Strawberry Rhubarb Jam…one recipe doesn’t even use real strawberries! (I will say that I’m not a huge fan of processed foods, but sometimes I fudge things a bit when we need a quick and easy treat.)

This summer I plan to try making more low sugar and maybe even some no sugar recipes for jam from fresh fruit. I’ve also seen recipes that use chia seed for thickening jam…something I also want to try out. You can customize your recipes according to your taste, dietary needs, or availability of time.

2 recipes for strawberry rhubarb freezer jam
Freezer jams made with strawberries (or strawberry gelatin) and rhubarb. This is super easy!

Instructions for Making Jam and Jelly from Scratch

How to Make Cherry Jam from Scratch

Strawberry Jam Low Sugar Recipe

Strawberry Rhubarb Jam – 2 Low Sugar Recipes

Vanilla Rhubarb Jam

How to Make Peach Jam

How to Make Cranberry Jam

How to Make Blueberry Jam

Canning Grape Juice and Jelly

Cranberry Orange Marmalade

How to Make Jam from Frozen Fruit

Garlic Dill Pickles

Pickling and Fermenting

Many people can their pickles to save them for long term storage. This is a great way to keep them, but you can also make super easy bine cured pickles to store in the refrigerator! All you need is a non-reactive container for curing, your fresh veggies, non-iodized salt, and vinegar! How easy is that?!

Check out my posts on small batch fermenting and brine curing pickles, peppers, dilly beans, and yellow squash for a simple way to use lacto-fermentation to preserve some of your harvest this summer.

How to Make Brine Cured Pickles

Brine Cured Dilly Beans

Fresh Pack Garlic Dill Pickles

Summer Squash Pickles

The Easiest Pickled Hot Peppers You Can Make

How to Ferment Food in Small Batches

Spicy Fermented Carrot Kraut Recipe

Harvesting and Using Horseradish

The Pickle Crock

How to Harvest and Store Potatoes

Root Cellar Storage

Storing your harvest in a root cellar or cold space is a great way to keep potatoes, squash, roots, and even apples well into the winter. No canning, peeling, blanching, or prep work needed! Well, you do need to read up on what temperature and humidity each crop likes best for storage and make sure you are saving sound produce that is clean of mold or mud.

I highly recommend reading some books on the subject of root cellars if you’d like to really get into this method of preserving the harvest from your garden. But in the meantime, here are a couple of posts I shared with instructions for some common storage veggies:

How to Harvest and Store Potatoes

How to Harvest and Store Pumpkins and Winter Squash

How to Harvest and Store Root Crops

How to Freeze Green Beans

Freezing

Freezing fruits and vegetables is another easy method of preserving your garden harvest! Most veggies require blanching to kill the natural enzymes that will cause deterioration of your food in storage. So be sure to check the proper blanching times for each food you wish to preserve in the freezer before you start.

Here are Instructions for Freezing Some Popular Types of Produce:

How to Freeze Green Beans with 3 Methods of Blanching

How to Freeze Sweet Peppers

Homemade Tomato Paste

Freezing 20 Pounds of Organic Peaches

Freezing Lambs Quarters

Freezing Tomatoes

How to Freeze Mixed Veggies

How to Cook and Use Pie Pumpkins – with instructions for freezing

Just Peachy!

Canning

Although I can’t recommend canning as an easy method of preserving your garden harvest, it is definitely a great way to keep food for a long time without a freezer!

When canning your harvest, be sure to follow the best methods for each crop. Low acid foods (most vegetables) must be preserved with a pressure canner whereas high acid foods (most fruits) may be preserved with a water bath canner.

Once you learn how to can your fruits and veggies, you’ll agree that this is a great way to preserve your food long term. It does take some time and energy to can food, and it can be pretty hot work on a summer day.

Here are Some Canning Instructions and Information:

Canning a Bushel of Peaches

Making Homemade Applesauce

Making Applesauce from Wild Apples

Canning Homemade Spaghetti Sauce

How to Pressure Can Meat, Poultry, and Fish – In case you are preserving more than your garden harvest!

Canning and Freezing My Home-Raised Turkeys

How to Store Your Home Canned Food

Canning Cupboard

Drying plantain leaves in my food dehydrator
Drying plantain leaves in a food dehydrator.

Dehydrating

Drying your food for storage is another easy method of preserving the harvest from your garden! A food dehydrator is a great piece of equipment to have for your home food preservation projects.

Preparing your produce for dehydrating takes some time as you’ll need to slice or chop fruits and veggies. However, once you load up the dehydrator, you’ve got time to attend to other homesteading projects!

Dehydrating 20 Pounds of Ginger Gold Apples

Dried Beans in a Jar – dried beans, such as kidney beans, do not need a food dehydrator. Just lay them out on a screen in a sunny, dry spot and check them often.

Homestead Harvest
Cocozelle zucchinis.

Are You Ready to Preserve Your Garden Harvest?

It may seem rather daunting to get started on preserving the bounty from your garden or the farmers market. For me, it is kind of second nature because I grew up helping my parents with this job. However, each year I take a little time to review the instructions for my pressure canner and hot water bath canner. I read through my notes, and double check the instructions for safe food preservation on the National Center for Home Food Preservation. I also check my recipes to make sure I have all of the necessary equipment and ingredients.

The first time you try a new method of food preservation it will take a little getting used to! Leave yourself some extra time to read directions and go through a bit of trial and error. You might be interested in checking out my post How to Preserve the Harvest Like a Pro! for a more extensive list of food preservation tips and tricks!

Are you new to preserving the harvest? Or are you an ‘old pro’? What is your favorite method of food preservation? Feel free to share a link to your favorite food preservation posts in the comments!

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How to Preserve Your Garden Harvest - The Self Sufficient HomeAcre

Shared on Farm Fresh Tuesdays, the Homestead Hop, Simple Homestead Hop, Family Homesteading and Off Grid Hop

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Lisa Lombardo

Freelance Writer at Tohoca, LLC
Lisa writes in-depth articles about gardening and homesteading topics. She grew up on a farm and has continued learning about horticulture, animal husbandry, and home food preservation ever since. She has earned an Associate of Applied Science in Horticulture and a Bachelor of Fine Arts. She is a self proclaimed gardening freak and crazy chicken lady.

In addition to writing for her own websites, Lisa has contributed articles to The Prepper Project and Homestead.org.

The author lives outside of Chicago with her husband, son, 2 dogs, 1 cat, and a variety of poultry.
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