Prepare to Can

You know you’re serious about preserving homegrown food when you start canning in your kitchen. Learn more at TwiceasTasty.com.
You know you’re serious about preserving homegrown food when you start canning in your kitchen. As summer temperatures peak and the garden explodes, canning supplies take up semipermanent residence on the kitchen counter, and many evenings feature the “ping” of sealing jars.

As I mentioned while describing the pros and cons of canning, it’s a time-consuming process with must-follow rules and specialized tools. That’s part of why I’m such a fan of canning large batches and even multiple batches: If I’m going to spend the time, I want to fill a row of jars. Otherwise, I choose a quick preservation method like refrigerating or freezing. I even stash produce in the fridge or freezer to can later when I have a decent stockpile and more time. Doing so breaks up the canning process, making it seem less of a project.

Even though they take effort, canning projects are worth it, and some of my most delicious preservation recipes are stored stably and safely at room temperature in jars.
Read more about water-bath canning

Prepare to Dehydrate

Dehydration is simple and handy in the kitchen and on adventures.  Learn more at TwiceasTasty.com.
As you prepare to preserve your harvest, it’s easy to overlook a simple and effective technique: dehydration. The process provides nutritional, flavor, and storage benefits and both preserves and enhances a surprising range of foods. Dried foods are handy not just in your kitchen but also in your child’s lunchbox, the stem bag on your bike, the front pouch on your daypack, and your ski jacket pocket.

Like most preservation techniques, dehydrating has pros and cons. On the upside, dehydrating intensifies the flavor of food, saves space, and needs little hands-on time. On the downside, food that isn’t fully dried or properly stored can mold. And although you can dehydrate in open air, you’ll get the best control over moisture, heat, and other factors is you use a dehydrator.
Learn to dehydrate and make Marinated Dried Tomatoes

Quick Food Preservation

Refrigerating, freezing, and dry storing are the trifecta of quick preservation. Learn more at TwiceasTasty.com.
Preserving your harvest often seems like a daunting, time-consuming task, involving pounds of produce, stacks of jars, and boiling kettles on some of the hottest days of the year. Large-batch canning can operate that way: as a project, albeit one that fills your pantry. But it’s not the only way to preserve what you grow. Preservation can happen every time you come in from the garden with a little more than you and your family will eat at the next meal.

Refrigerating, freezing, and dry storing are the trifecta of quick preservation. As I mentioned while describing their pros and cons last week, produce preserved in these ways requires minimal prep and handling. Most of the tools and packaging you need are likely already in your home. Storage times can vary widely with these techniques, but some tips and tricks will let you get the most out of each. Best of all, a wide range of food can be preserved simply and easily with these quick preservation techniques.
Read more about quick food preservation

Prepare to Preserve

Whatever your type of produce, storage space, or free time, you can save your harvest. Learn more at TwiceasTasty.com.
How’s your garden growing? If it’s anything like mine, you’ve moved beyond planting to weeding and harvesting—and harvesting, and harvesting. With so much food coming ripe so quickly, it’s time to dig out the canning kettle, dehydrator, crocks, and other preservation tools that will let you enjoy homegrown (or farm fresh from a CSA) produce the rest of the year.

Later this month, I’ll be teaching a free online workshop through Free the Seeds that focuses on preparing to preserve your harvest. It’s a big topic, with far more information than I can share in one session, so I’ll be expanding on that topic all month here at Twice as Tasty. Be sure to join me online July 15 so that I can answer your questions directly (sign up for the Free the Seeds mailing list to receive a registration email), and then check back here for additional tips, tools, and recipes that save your harvest. You’ll also find pages of information on basic tools and techniques here.
Read more about preparing to preserve