Garden Harvest 2021|
Earlier in Spring, you met Lois Robinson, our guest garden blogger who works here in sales at Pine View Farms. She and her husband Darrell grow a massive garden that feeds them all winter long
Lois and Darrell are experts at growing, harvesting and preserving prairie fruits and veggies. I thought a harvest blog post would be an appropriate roundup to Lois' Spring planting post.
2021 has definitely thrown us some weather curveballs. Lois generously shared her notes for how she's handling the 2021 garden harvest. Here it is. ~ Melanie Boldt
So, you have prepared many fresh vegetable recipes from the bounty in your garden. Now you need to preserve some of that bounty to enjoy after the summer has gone. Let me share my tried and true preservation solutions and recipes with you…
- Peas and beans - blanch and freeze.
- Cucumbers - small cucumbers make great dills. I like “Pop’s Dill Pickles” recipe. Larger cucumbers, slice to make bread and butter pickles. This recipe can also be made with Zucchini.
- Zucchini – after you baked mountains of cookies and muffins, and maybe made some pickles, pull the plant(s) and call it a day!
- Beets – they have a better flavour when picked smaller. Make beet pickles, or borscht.
- Kale & Spinach – Throughout the summer I pick young leaves, wash throw in a bag and freeze. Crush frozen leaves, to save space in your freezer. Use in soup, stir fry, quiche, etc.
- Herbs – I pick and dry throughout the summer. Store in a jar in a cool dry place.
- Onions – most years I would pick and dry them in the sun in the fall, then store in my cold room. This year, rot started to spoil my onions early. So, I dried every onion I could salvage. Tears were shed but i have jars of dried onions ready for cooking. It's a blessing in disguise!
- Tomatoes – when you are tired of making tomato sauce, throw whole tomatoes in a bag and freeze, to make more sauce later. Tomatoes also keep well for years after drying. Use dried tomatoes in soups, stews, egg dishes, pizza, etc.
- Potatoes – harvest and store in an insulated box between 4 to 7 degrees Celsius.
- Carrots – leave in the garden until after a good frost. Wash, tip, dry and bag, store at 4 degrees Celsius. I process carrots in my Vitamix to make ice cubes for smoothies.
- Winter squash – pick after mature for longer storage. Cut from the plant, leaving a 2” stem. Squash will last for several months in a cool dry space.
Summer fruit, strawberries, raspberries, haskaps and Nanking cherries are picked, cleaned, bagged and frozen, to use in smoothies. I make Nanking Cherry ice cubes for smoothies and sauce for my special brownie recipe:
Brownies with Nanking Cherry Sauce (gluten free)
Using a blender mix:
1 pint Nanking Cherry Sauce (see recipe below)
1/4 c. honey
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups steel cut or large flake oats
1/2 c. cocoa
1/4 tsp. salt
When blended, add 1 cup chocolate chips and 1/2 tsp baking soda
Pour into 9x13" baking dish and bake at 350F for 35 minutes. Serve with more cherry sauce on top, whipped cream or ice cream.
Nanking Cherry Sauce
Place 8 lb. of Nanking Cherries in a pot. Slowly cook until pits are loose. Using a whisk helps accomplish this task.
Then pour the cherries into a colander. Shake until only pits remain in the colander. Pour the sauce back into the pot, add 1/4 c. honey and blend with a hand blender for a smoother sauce. Bring to simmer. Sterilize and prep jars with 1/2 tsp lemon juice in each jar. Pour sauce in jar and seal tight.