10 Jun
Preserving Some of the Harvest

 It’s late spring now, and there are not yet the loads of tomatoes or zucchini to deal with. However, there are things to harvest.  The freezer is loaded with sliced and slightly sugared strawberries, lightly dressed in lemon juice. This will be made into jam later in the year to give as gifts. And now I look forward to a large raspberry and black berry haul. The first garlic may be coming out now or soon. I pulled the first dozen and hung them right in the grid of my mesh fencing so they can air dry, though this can be done in the house as well. Once the leaves are papery, I will cut them off and the bulbs will last for months.  I often take the smallest of them and peel each clove and put them into a bit of olive oil to store in the fridge or mixed with basil, crushed walnuts and parmesan for pesto. Lettuce is being eaten fresh of course and I am picking peas everyday too. The shelling type can be shelled, boiled for a minute or two, plunged into cold water, drained and frozen. The snap peas and snow peas are kept in the fridge for snacking with humus or my sister’s wonderful Asian pasta recipe. Bush beans will be producing this week and they too can be par boiled 2-4 minutes, cooled, drained and frozen in bags. They can also be pickled in jars and kept in the fridge.  By the end of the month, it’ll be time to harvest the potatoes and these can dry on cardboard in the shed or garage and then stored for months. As things come out, sweet potatoes go in; another small area of carrots, beets, pole beans on the peas trellis’, zucchini planted several times to out wit the squash bugs.  Once the broccoli is finished, Hubbard squash will go in under the bug netting. Corn is started in small cells to go out this week. Cucumbers can be grown up the fencing.  And I am looking farther out too, as Brussel Sprouts and cabbages can be started mid-summer for fall harvest. Flowers are abloom and inspiring the pollinators and birds. And I am grateful and feeling better about my consumption and use of resources. Time was, every home had a bounty to harvest, What’s growing for you?                                                                               - By Jenny Folk

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