Many families are repurposing their outdoor space into a new era of victory gardens in an effort to be proactive during the coronavirus crisis. These gardens are symbols of self-reliance, food production and community resilience. Some families might be new to growing their own food, others may grow food in much larger quantities than normal, in addition to introducing more varieties of vegetables. This increase in production poses a couple of questions:
Well, we’ve got some ideas for you…and they’re not all canning recipes! There are several different methods to expand your pantry. Since we’re still getting some chilly days here, let’s start with soup!
Making and preserving soups can make use of a variety of vegetables, but it’s important to understand that not all soup recipes are safe for canning. The ONLY way to preserve low-acid soups and stocks safely is to pressure can them or freeze them. Get tips, safety reminders and a round-up of soup recipes here.
There are so many ways you can preserve tomatoes. Preserve them whole or turn them into sauces, soups, salsa, relish, and more.
Tomatoes in the Raw
Beyond the Basics
Add a little variety to your tomato preserves by trying one of these recipes.
There aren’t many vegetables that wouldn’t taste great pickled, but there are a few guidelines to follow. Read this to get the basics – How Do I Pickle from the National Center for Home Food Preservation.
To keep those traditional cucumber pickles crispy, you’ll want to read our post – Tips for Crispy Pickles.
If you’ve got a small batch of produce, or don’t have the time to water bath can, quick pickles are a natural choice. Try this Basic Quick Pickle Recipe.
Making relish is a wonderful way to preserve peppers, cucumbers, onions, herbs and even zucchini or corn. Humble burgers, casseroles, pulled meats and other dishes can be supercharged with the flavor of a good relish! Warning…these are so tasty, you might not want to buy store-bought again.
Berries can be preserved by canning, freezing, or dehydrating. Often berries turn into jars of jam. Think beyond jam, make syrups, fruit butters, pie filling, can berries whole, freeze fresh berries for use later, make fruit leather, and so much more.
A Recipe Round Up of some of our favorite ways to put up red or black raspberries, blackberries or wine berries.
Our Strawberry Round Up has more than a dozen amazing recipes for you to enjoy.
If you are growing herbs in your garden, you’ll likely find most plants give you more than you can use on a daily basis, so it’s helpful to have some other preserving methods up your sleeve.
When life becomes stressful, nature can be a peaceful escape and gardening, in particular, can prove to be quite therapeutic. We hope that you can take the opportunity to learn some new gardening or preserving skills that will stick with you even when this current state of sheltering in place is in the past.
Penn State Extension Master Gardener Program is offering a free eight-week webinar series about victory gardens. Learn about best practices for growing vegetables including, starting seeds, site selection, soil, mulching, weeds, planting and more.
If you’re interested in more ways to strengthen your pantry dollars, check out a few of our Pinterest boards;
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