A-Z Gardening in Zone 3-4

For the organic gardner struggling in the short season climate

Freezing and canning your garden produce

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Linda and I have been very busy these past few weeks harvesting and processing our garden bounty.  So far we have frozen numerous pints and quarts of peas, green and yellow string beans, broccoli, cauliflower, and water bath canned 7 quarts of tomatoes.  We harvested and dried our garlic and soon we will be pulling up our onions and drying them and storing both in our cool dark basements.

The peas finished producing in the middle of July.  The string beans have stopped producing enough to freeze, but we can still find enough to have with a meal or eat raw.  Broccoli has just about stopped producing and the cauliflower may have enough for one more round of freezing.  The tomatoes have been producing for a few weeks now.  Last week we had enough to can 14 quarts and after a look in the greenhouse this morning we have another batch to do this week.  So far we have 21 quarts of tomatoes.

The Stripped German tomatoes have been producing very large tomatoes.  Yesterday I harvested about 15 huge tomatoes, they have been producing steadily for weeks now but yesterday’s haul was the most at one time.  We are giving away and eating as many as we can because you cannot water bath can Stripped German tomatoes safely because they do not have a high enough acid content.  Linda and I have been stuffing ourselves with bacon and tomato sandwiches, our favorite way to eat them.  It really is a shame that you can’t keep tomatoes like apples so you can enjoy them over a longer period of time.

The new fiberglass roof on the greenhouse has made a big difference in the amount and size of peppers and tomatoes we have grown this year.  The old fiberglass roof had darkened due to the fiberglass fibers being exposed to the elements because of erosion of the protective layer and mold discoloring it.

Soon we will be freezing corn and digging up our potatoes for storage in the root cellar and the last crop to be harvested will be winter squash and pumpkins, which we store in our cool basements.

This year we have very few apples and blueberries, probably due to a very warm spell in April that started the trees and bushes blooming followed by a very cold spell.  Cool and rainy weather keep the bees from pollinating the them.  There might be a shortage of honey bees but I have noticed a big increase in the  number of bumble bees in my apple trees and blueberries this spring.

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Author: tbenkovitz

I have been gardening for over 50 years, 38 of them as an organic gardener in the short season climate of upstate New York.

2 thoughts on “Freezing and canning your garden produce

  1. Tania and Linda, as someone who doesn’t can and is working his way through his eighteenth gallon of tomatoes — frozen — let me offer you this tip from one of my Italian colleagues: chunk tomatoes and place in a lasagna pan, add minced garlic, chopped parsley and basil, and two sprigs of rosemary. Toss with olive oil. Add sea salt and black pepper. Roast in a pre-heated 425-degree oven for about 35 minutes. Let cool. Freeze in plastic freezer bags (gallon size). I expected this to be an old Italian recipe — but Maria confessed that she got it from Martha Stewart! but that her Italian father and mother-in-law approved. All very best, Nolan

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  2. Tania and Linda, just checking in. I imagine that you’ve been more than a little busy what with freezing and canning and putting your garden to bed. No time to post on your blog! If you tried the recipe for roasted tomatoes, you can use that as a base for soup. Just puree in a blender and add cannelini beans — and some garlicky croutons. My freezers are full. I am cooking kale right now . . . . hoping to find some space in the freezers. I would recommend your adding leeks to your ’09 garden, by the way. Maybe it was the wet July, but this year’s crop was beautiful. I have some nice dark (rich in antioxidants) honey to share with you — whenever. All best, Nolan

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