Plan for Storing Up in Season

In this part of the world, we can’t just grow anything any time we want.  There are seasons for everything we eat (and often times we can’t grow it here no matter the season!).  So how do you have strawberries on your pancakes in the middle of winter?  Or real blueberries for muffins?  Or tomatoes for a soul-warming chili on the coldest night of the year?

Well, you can pay exorbitant prices for mushy, nutrient-lacking tomatoes at the grocery store, or you can store up your own in season.  Oftentimes we don’t think ahead about this though and are caught off-guard.  We all of a sudden realize that fresh tomatoes (or raspberries or zucchini) are here and won’t stick around long, and frantically freeze/can/dry as much as we can in an afternoon.  But if we had a plan for storing these foods for the year, we’d be much less stressed and much more efficient when the time comes!

Here’s a list of the main things we’d like to store up while they’re in season this summer/fall:
Asparagus
Rhubarb
Strawberries
Blueberries
Wild Raspberries (picked from our property)
Spinach
Broccoli
Cucumbers (for pickles)
Peaches
Onions
Carrots
Zucchini
Tomatoes
Potatoes
Corn
Green beans
Apples
Pumpkins/Winter squash

The other part of planning is having the tools ready to properly store each of fruits or veggies you want to keep.  The most common methods for preserving are freezing, canning and drying.  Do you have enough jars and lids and the proper canning equipment ready for when those first veggies are ready?  Or containers to freeze fruit well without worrying about freezer burn in a few months?

I encourage you to make a plan, think ahead this season, and see how much you can store up!

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