Tags: gardening | foods | store | winter

Gardening: 5 Great Foods to Store All Winter

By    |   Tuesday, 14 June 2016 08:40 AM

Home gardens can produce a bounty of fresh vegetables during the height of the season, but many gardeners have discovered how to use their gardens to supply food year-round.

Growing these five crops that store well or are easy to preserve can help you enjoy homegrown vegetables well into the winter months.

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1. Garlic — This hardy root vegetable is essential for many tasty recipes. Margaret Roach of A Way to Garden grows an entire year’s worth of garlic in her garden each year. After harvest late in summer, dry the bulbs in a warm place out of direct sunlight. Trim the roots, brush off excess soil, and store them for many months in a cool, dry place.

2. Potatoes — Planted in early spring and harvested in late summer, potatoes are a great addition to any winter root cellar. Stored properly, such as in bins layered with newspaper in an unheated garage or basement, they will last for months, says Mother Earth News.

3. Winter squash — Varieties of squash suited for winter storage develop a very tough outer rind that helps protect the flesh inside and keeps it fresh for months. Margaret Roach advises gardeners to harvest winter squash when the stem is getting woody and the outer skin is tough and dull-looking. Leave several inches of stem attached to the squash and cure them in a warm place out of the sun. For storage, keep the squash in an unheated basement or garage just as for storing potatoes.

4. Parsnips —These cold-tolerant root vegetables are planted in spring and can be harvested gradually, well into the winter months. They taste even better once they have been hit with a light frost. Margaret Roach suggests leaving parsnips in the ground as long as possible. Insulating the soil around them with heavy mulch or straw helps keep them from freezing. Dig parsnips as needed, or they will keep in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator for months.

5. Tomatoes — Most people don’t think about enjoying tomatoes from the garden in the winter, but canning and preserving expert and author Marisa McClellan provides a step-by-step tutorial on how to can your bumper crop of tomatoes. Properly preserved whole tomatoes are wonderful to use in soups, stews, and sauces, and they will last on your pantry shelves all winter.

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Brande Plotnick is an ambitious home cook, gardener, beekeeper, writer, and speaker who started her website, Tomato Envy, to inspire others to find their deliberately decadent life at home. Brande’s down-to-earth style and approachable manner have been winning over the readers who follow her blog. Her work has been featured in Urban Farm Magazine, Natural Awakenings, Mother Earth News, and the Whole Seed Catalog.

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Growing these five crops that store well or are easy to preserve can help you enjoy homegrown vegetables well into the winter months.
gardening, foods, store, winter
Tuesday, 14 June 2016 08:40 AM
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