Sunday, August 7, 2011

Preserving the Harvest

We moved to the farm for many reasons.  One of them was to live healthier.  Not that we couldn't live elsewhere.  We wanted a place that was more idyllic and peaceful, quieter and free from the hustle and bustle of our day to day work week.  Our farm is that little spot of  nature's solitude.  It has allowed us to try our hand at many growing ventures, the lavender, garlic, sunflowers and our vegetable garden.  My mom was Pennsylvania Dutch and she always put away or canned here own jams, jellies, vegetables, pickled beets and more.  The Ball "Blue Book" was her bible and I guess I learned a thing or two from her on this.  We canned, strawberry jam, black cap raspberry jam and peach jam this season.  We are working on beans now and tomatoes are just coming into their own.  We canned over 30 jars of sauce last summer and looking to do the same this year.  There is nothing like opening a jar of summer sauce in the middle of winter and know it came from your garden, your sweat and effort.
One of my favorite devices to preserve the harvest is a vacuum sealer.  This device  allows you to create vacuum sealed packages of different sizes.  This is a real benefit when freezing as it minimizes freezer burn.   We prefer this method for saving our vegetables over most canning as it tastes fresher when used later.  This device is so easy to use.  We use this for a variety of things, mainly to freeze vegetables.  I have also used it for seed saving from year to year, and storing out dehydrated tomatoes or herbs.

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