This summer’s weather has been beautiful, especially compared to last year. We’ve had no days in the 100’s this year and plenty of rain, versus the drought last year and spending half the summer in critical heat. It’s made a difference in more ways than one. With the sun being less intense, the tomatoes, peppers and okra have taken much longer to do their thing. But they’ve been consistent and we have plenty of moisture in the ground to take us into fall.
With the weather making a warm up over the next week, all the summer produce will be making another hard push to produce heavily before fall weather moves in. That means now is the time to start your canning and freezing for winter goodies.
Canning is the preferred method for most fruits and veggies. It makes certain you have food on hand to quickly open and prepare throughout the colder months and keeps those foods safe in the case of power outages. Boiling water baths are the easiest way to preserve foods and requires the least amount of equipment. If you’re new to canning there are plenty of resources on the internet. My canning bible has always been the Ball Blue Book of Preserving. It takes you step-by-step through everything you need to know, from preparation to recipes on how to use those canned goods later. It also takes you into using a pressure canner for the low-acid foods, like green beans, with many more options and recipes.
If you’re not interested in canning, freezing is the next best thing. Even with minimal freezer space, preserving the summer bounty this way still gives you a healthier, better tasting option for the winter. Fruits and almost all veggies can be easily perserved through freezing. The Ball Blue Book has instructions for this, too, and the internet is another valuable resource. Properly preparing items for freezing is easy and pretty quick in most instances and means your goodies will taste their best when used later.
If you’re interested in buying any items in bulk to save for later, now’s the time. We can take your order for peaches, tomatoes, green beans, cucumbers (picklers) and apples (which are coming into season soon) and deliver them to you in bulk at any of our market locations. Many of these are going out of season soon so be sure to contact us right away! Pricing is as follows:
Peaches – 1/2 bushel (approx. 26 lbs): $40
Tomatoes – 1/2 bushel (20 to 25lbs): $35 for canners (bumps, bruises, soft spots, misshapen); $45 for the better ones we sell at our stands.
Green Beans – 1/2 bushel (approx. 12 lbs): $35
Picklers – 1/2 bushel (enough for 10 to 12 quarts of pickles): $30
Sweet Corn – 5 dozen: $20
Apples – 1/2 bushel (approx. 20 lbs): $20; full bushel: $35
If there’s something else you want to preserve in bulk, like zucchini, peppers or eggplant, let us know and we can work it out for you. Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll hook you up!