Sunday, September 16, 2012

Filling the Shelves

Much of the harvest was eaten fresh this season, but there has been a bit to put up for winter storage.  I'm slowly filling the shelves. My goal is to eat far less imported produce and fruit this coming winter. Food safety continues to be an issue due to poor inspections, mass produced GMOs and pesticides used in conventional farming. See this year's dirty dozen.

If you grow your own food in your own home-composted soil and preserve it yourself, you know exactly what you're setting on the table daily. What I lack in variety I can always buy in bulk at organic farmers' stands to bring home and preserve... and wild blueberries are in season! It's a ton of work, granted, but truly worth it.

I've been drying and freezing my herbs for years as well. I keep my old spice bottles and refill them with my own garden's herbs. Saves a bundle and drying herbs is the easiest way to start preserving food because they are a cinch to grow and store. All you need to do is wash, hang by stems to dry and then store in your containers.

Conversely, wash and dry off the fresh herbs and freeze fresh in a ziplock for months (be sure to remove all the air, you can use a straw to do this). You can also preserve some in oil. There's nothing like grabbing summer herbs from the freezer to dress up a salad or winter stew.

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