When you live in an area with 4 distinct seasons, the end of summer can be bittersweet. Sadly, it marks the end of the growing season—but on the bright side, it’s also a time to reap the fruits of your labor. That being said, if you’re lucky enough to have a garden with a variety of vegetables, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be able to enjoy them all year round! With the right tools and a little know-how, you’ll be enjoying fresh vegetables even when it’s snowing outside.
In this article, we’ll share everything you need to know about how to store vegetables from the garden. So, let’s dig in!
Things To Do To Preserve Your Garden Vegetables
Preserving garden vegetables can be done in a variety of ways, and it’s easier than you might think.
Store Garden Vegetables in The Dark
Firstly, you can store your vegetables and produce in a cool, dry, dark location. Generally, it’s good to store vegetables, such as squash and root vegetables, in a dark spot where there’s plenty of air circulation. You can also store potatoes, sweet potatoes, onions, garlic, yams, and rutabaga in dark places with good ventilation.
Highhumidity, light, and heat can spoil some fresh foods faster. Thus, it’s important to keep your fresh foods away from all three for the best results.
A root cellar or dry cabinet is ideal, because it stays cool year-round and keeps things relatively dry and dark. Spaces like this will help keep your veggies crisp and tasty throughout the colder months. If you don’t have a root cellar or other dedicated storage space, any old pantry or basement should work well enough—just make sure there’s good ventilation.
Preserve Your Vegetables from the Garden Naturally
Let Mother Nature do the work for you! Protect your garden’s fresh vegetables from spoiling by letting nature take care of them in the following ways:
Ferment Your Garden Vegetables
Fermentation has been used since ancient times to preserve vegetables. Microorganisms in the fermentation process create acids or alcohols that destroy harmful pathogens. These microorganisms also change the flavor and texture of the food in a way that makes it easier for us to digest. It’s also an easy, inexpensive process that will just require a few simplefermentation supplies, such as a good knife, fermentation jars, a fermentation weight, and some sort oflid with an airlock. That’s all!
If you want to know how to store vegetables from the garden with fermentation, check out our blog onhow to ferment vegetables at home. The article contains all the details you need to know to ferment different vegetables, such as beets, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, garlic, green beans, hot peppers, onions, and tomatoes.
Pickling is one of the most delicious and easiest ways to preserve vegetables from your garden. It’s a fun activity to do together with your family and friends, and the colorful jars of pickled fruits and vegetables look beautiful in any kitchen. Pickles are also the perfect accompaniment for salads or grilled meats.
Although cucumber gets all the credit as a summertime treat, did you know you can pickle green beans, okra, and radishes? Yes, you heard us right! In fact, you can also pickle asparagus, turnips, peppers, bell peppers, tomatoes, beets, cauliflower, carrots, ginger, onions, mushrooms, rhubarb—and the list goes on.
Learning how to pickle is super easy! It just requires the right materials. Here are a few of our favorite pickled recipes:
- "Kosher" Dill Pickles
- Kohlrabi Pickles With Dill and Mustard
- Carrot and Parsnip Pickles
- Watermelon Rind Pickles
Make Other Fermented Foods from your Garden Veggies:
Not only is fermenting a great way to preserve vegetables, but it’s also a great way to make delicious food, such as sauerkraut and kimchi. Furthermore, fermented foods are easy to digest and are filled with beneficial bacteria (probiotics) that help your body digest food more easily, boost your immune system, and keep you healthy!
What’s more, getting started with fermented food is easier than you think. If you've ever wanted to create your own dill pickles, sauerkraut, kombucha, and other amazing foods, thesefermentation kits are a perfect choice. Our kits contain everything you need to get started. With these fermentation kits, you can easily follow any of our recipes:
Freeze your Vegetables:
Freezing is perhaps the most common method of preserving garden vegetables. While it does usually require more time and effort than simply storing fruits and vegetables in a root cellar or a closet, freezing is still very convenient.
Unlike canning and drying, there’s no need to invest in extra equipment. Very few kitchen gadgets are needed to freeze your bountiful harvests. The freezing process also doesn’t require any additives or preservatives to prevent spoilage. In fact, freezing preserves the taste and nutritional value better than any other method, because it locks in moisture and flavor.
However, whether you’re preserving fresh herbs, vegetables, or fruits, it’s important to freeze them properly to avoid freezer burn and maintain quality and flavor. The best way to freeze vegetables is to blanch them first by boiling or steaming them for a certain amount of time, then submerging them in ice water.
Dehydrate Your Garden Vegetables for Longer Preservation:
Dehydrating is another way to preserve many vegetables from the garden. It’s one of the oldest methods of preserving vegetables and fruits. It uses heat to evaporate moisture and air to carry it away. Dehydrated foods take up less space than frozen or canned foods because water has been removed. Some vegetables suitable for dehydration include carrots, celery, corn, green beans, potatoes, and tomatoes.
Furthermore, dehydrated vegetables are a tasty, nutritious alternative to frozen or canned vegetables. They store compactly and can be used in various ways—you can add them to soups and stews, mix them into salads, enjoy them as snacks, or even use them as garnishes.
Can Your Vegetables in Canning Jars:
Canning is a great way to preserve the freshness of summer fruits and vegetables when they are at their peak. Canning involves heating and cooling food in jars or cans to kill harmful bacteria and create a vacuum seal. It’s called canning because of the jars or cans that are used during the process.
When properly done, canning is an easy way to keep foods fresh for much longer than you would otherwise get out of them. It’s important to use fresh, high-quality, and safe ingredients for canning.
Leave Your Vegetables in The Ground to Preserve Them:
Hardy root crops such as turnips, rutabagas, beets, and carrots can be leftin the ground over the winter and harvested as needed. If you’re concerned about them freezing in the ground during particularly harsh winters, straw or dry leaves can be placed over them to insulate them from the cold. You may need to wrap them in burlap or some other material that will keep out moisture, but this is totally optional!
Conclusion: How to Store the Vegetables from Your Garden
If you grow your own vegetables and want to keep them fresh all year round, you can do that by preserving them. Fermenting, pickling, freezing, dehydrating, and canning are some of the many ways you can do this.
Garden season can come and go quickly in many parts of the country, but if you follow these steps to preserve your harvest, you’ll be able to enjoy your garden fare throughout the winter months.