How to Harvest Your Own Vegetables

How to Harvest Your Own Vegetables

Harvesting and preserving vegetables and herbs from your garden is a great way to enjoy fresh produce year round! Not only does it save you money on grocery bills, but the satisfaction of growing your own produce is unbeatable! In this blog post, we'll look at how to harvest and preserve your veggies and herbs so they stay delicious all year long. From timing to storage techniques, we'll cover all the essential tips you need to make the most out of your garden harvests. So whether you’re a beginner or a pro, let’s get started!

  1. Know when it’s time to harvest: Depending on the vegetable or herb, you should be aware of when it’s best to harvest. For example, tomatoes should be picked when fully ripe and herbs, like basil and chives, should be harvested before flowering.

  1. Harvest carefully: Once you have determined that the vegetables or herbs are ready to harvest, do so with care by using garden scissors or shears for herbs. Gently pull vegetables such as carrots, beets and turnips out of the soil.

  1. Clean your harvest: After harvesting, rinse and dry off the vegetables or herbs with a clean cloth to remove any dirt. For leafy greens and herbs, you may also want to soak them in cool water for about 10 minutes and then give them a light shake to remove any dirt.

  1. Prepare for preservation: Once the vegetables and herbs are clean, there are several methods you can use for preserving them. Drying is a great option for herbs such as oregano and rosemary, while blanching followed by freezing or pickling is ideal for most fresh produce. 

  1. Dry them: For herbs, the best way to dry them is by spreading them out in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with paper towels and placed in an area with good air circulation such as near an open window. Leave them for 1-3 days until they are completely dry, then store in an air-tight container.

  1. Blanch and freeze: To blanch, bring a pot of water to a boil and place the veggies in for two minutes, then transfer them to an ice bath. After they’re sufficiently cooled, drain and package the vegetables in air-tight freezer bags. Finally, label each bag with the contents and date.

  1. Pickle: To pickle, you’ll need a Mason jar, pickling vinegar and herbs or spices of your choice. Boil the vinegar, pour it over the vegetables in the jar and add salt and herbs to taste. Put on the lid and store them in the refrigerator for up to two months.

Harvesting and preserving the vegetables and herbs from your garden is an easy and rewarding way to enjoy the fruits of your labor for longer. With a little patience, you can experience the joys of gardening without having to buy store-bought produce all year long!