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.

In Ground Storage - Root Cellar Construction

In Ground Storage - Root Cellar Construction

One thing that's been on my todo / wishlist is the creation of an underground cool storage room or chamber for fruits and vegetables.

Having grown up in a house that had a cellar I was familiar with the benefits of a low technology and energy efficient way to protect and store harvests for long periods.

After selecting a suitable location that shouldn't accumulate ground water, the project was initiated in November 2022
May 23, 2024
Pickled cucumbers

Pickled cucumbers

Details   A glut of cucumbers this year and plenty of left over apple cider vinegar so....
  • Soaked cucumbers in salted water over night
  • Sterilise jars and lids
  • Boil vinegar with dill seed
  • Pack jars with peeled, sliced cucumber and fill with hot liquid
  • Seal and wait
Date   March 10, 2022
Mediterranean style preserved olives

Mediterranean style preserved olives

Details   While looking for the simplest recipe for processing small scale harvest of home grown olives I came across the following process:

Make a simple, straight cut into each one or poke each with a fork. This will allow them to release some of the bitterness and soak flavour faster. Place all olives in a big pot, cover them with water and place a big, heavy plate in the pot to keep the olives at the bottom, fully submerged. Leave olives in water for 2 weeks, changing the water every day.

Sterilize your glass jars and lids first by washing them with warm soapy water and then popping them in the oven at low temp (120C) until completely dry. Allow to cool before handling. If lids are plastic, do not put them in the oven but pour boiling water over them. Add olives to jars, making sure they are packed as tight as possible. Stuff as many as you can. To make brine, for every 500ml water, add about 100ml vinegar and 2 TBSP coarse salt. Pour brine in the jars filled with olives, to the top of the rim, until it begins to overflow – it is key that no air remains in the jar. Screw the lids on the jars, label them and leave them in a dark cupboard for about 2 months

Step 3: MARINATING THE OLIVES – make enough for 1-2 weeks at a time
Now your olives are ready to take on the flavours of the marinade. Put the olives into a saleable container and add the following:
  • Chilli powder or flakes
  • Lime juice + zest
  • Finely chopped garlic
  • A nice coating of olive oil
Marinade oil leftover after eating will make a wonderful addition to salad dressings! Place olives in the fridge for 1-2 days. Flavours develop as they sit. Keeps well for few weeks in the fridge.
Date   July 03, 2017
Tags     olive  preserve  recipe 
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
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
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
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
Next page