Preserving produce

The art of keeping perishable foods for use at a later time adds variety to the diet and lowers the cost of eating. Techniques include drying, pickling, wine making, jams and freezing. The objective is to offset some of the abundance and healthy seasonal fruit and vegetables to a time of scarcity.

Black Turtle Beans

Black Turtle Beans

Four months ago I planted a small handful of beans in an area of about six square meters.

Now they are ready to pick and I have gathered in at least 30 - 40 times what I planted.

This has got to be one of the best and easy to measure returns on effort expended.
March 20, 2011  beans  black turtle  harvest 
roast & blend

roast & blend

We have an over-abundance of tomatoes at the moment and it's hard to think of what to do with all of them. A fantastic way to preserve tomatoes is to roast them and then blend them... and then put them into freezing containers or bags and into the freezer.
March 06, 2011  tomatoes  baking  preserving 
Got 'matos precious?

Got 'matos precious?

Our tomatoes are out of control, a huge improvement over last year.

We have a bunch of different varieties but the most prolific by far are the roma. Last year a lot of these ended up in the compost and subsequently sprung up all over the garden. Unable to bring myself to pull them out we are now drowning in tomatoes.
February 19, 2011  tomato  preserve  stew 
Drying Plums

Drying Plums

The plum harvest has started and we are using every technique to preserve and offset some of the bounty.
Drying is one easy, low tech way to save fruit for another day. I made some trays with fine wire mesh that can be hung in the sun.
January 02, 2011  plums  drying  preserving 
Drying Fruit

Drying Fruit

Another way of dealing with surplus fruit is to dry them in the sun for use over winter.

Use a simple wooden frame with fine mesh / gauze stretched over and then place the cut fruit and put the whole contraption out in the sun.
February 17, 2010  Fruit  Drying  Preserve  Summer 
Peaches

Peaches

Our crop of peaches came ready unexpectedly early. Thanks to the wet season they are sensationally juicy.

As with the plums we have more than we know what to do with and so jam making was in order.
February 15, 2010  Peach  Jam  Preserve  Fruit 
Plum Wine

Plum Wine

With an excess of plums and apparently to much spare time, I decided to try and make wine. The process is reasonably simple, so I have high hopes.
No doubt as other fruit come ready I'll be experimenting with other flavours.
January 30, 2010  Plums  wine  fermentation