At the beginning of every harvest season, my husband and I ask the same question:What the heck were we thinking when planting our garden? It’s just the two of us and we have too much food! Our main problem is figuring out what to do with our excess bounty. Here are a few money saving solutions to consider if your garden produced more than you can eat:
We had a great crop of tomatoes and green beans, like usual, this year. Unfortunately, our cucumbers bit the dust before we had a chance to taste them. I was looking forward to sampling our heirloom lemon cucumbers, but no such luck. Instead of disposing them in the garbage, we recycled them. Composting is good for the earth and can create great soil for your future garden. We bought a compost barrel for under $200 this year. Prior to this, we piled any leftover or unused vegetables in a special area in our backyard. Although we didn’t encounter this problem, you may encounter some critters looking for food. Odor can also be an issue, depending upon what you toss in the pile (especially onions or eggs). It’s important to rotate your pile with a pitch fork or shovel so that the entire pile has a chance to deteriorate into dirt. If you are pretty handy, you can create your own enclosed area. Check out this site for composting tips.
Most crops will last up to a year (or longer) when you store your items in freezer bags. A neat thing I learned through Pinterest is to freeze your herbs in ice cube trays. Some experts suggest you blanch your vegetables in water for a couple of minutes and transfer them in an ice bath before you store it them in freezer bag. After you stuff your veggies in the bag, take the air out as best you can before you seal it. I found this website handy for learning how to freeze veggies.
This is an old fashioned method that has worked for countless generations. Essentially, you store your harvest goodies in individual mason jars in a dark, cool room for up to a year (or longer). It is very involved but worth the effort. It’ll take a lot of time, patience and practice. You have the option of keeping your crops in supply throughout the winter season, giving it to friends and family or donating the canned food to your local food shelter. For further tips, check out this website.