Preserving the harvest effectively, when the harvest is over.........-part 2

Welcome to Our Sunday Café, we are pleased you stopped by for a visit. Today we are offering another delicious recipe from our kitchen. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did…

How to make the most of your backyard garden.
This food is from our small backyard garden. Small harvests are easy to process and while it does not seem like you are going to have enough when the growing season is over, you have all you need. The process of successfully processing and storing your harvest can be found here

Now that summer is coming to a close, the harvest is complete for many of the crops in the garden. The sudden hot burst in our summer weather ended the growing season for our string beans and sugar snap peas. But not before we got plenty for the freezer. The garden contained two types of green beans, a tri-color mix of bush beans and standard pole beans. This year we did not plant Italian Roma green beans.

The tri-color beans were snapped raw and tray froze, while the pole beans were left whole, blanched and frozen on a tray. As each bean type was harvested, they were processed and bulk stored in large 2-gallon freezer bags until ready for long term storage. You can check out the post about changing the way I store food for the winter, here if you like. This year has gone so well, even though my food saver decided to break and a Costco run was necessary!

Today I packaged the bulk stored food. In order to eliminate unnecessary waste, packaging was in usable amounts. Or amounts that will allow flexibility. For instance. The snapped beans are in one pound packages. While I won't cook the full package for just the two of us, since they are individually frozen, I can pour out what I do want to cook and return the rest to the freezer. Yet I have many recipes "pinned" on Pinterest calling for, yep you guessed it, one pound of green beans.

The blanched green beans are also in one pound packages, but for a different reason. When thawed these will be used for winter salads like this one, and again one pound of green beans is needed. In addition, I have some salads and stir-fry recipes "pinned" that also use one pound of green beans.

The sugar snap peas are another matter, these were packaged in 12-ounce packages. They are delicious simply thawed and dressed lightly with vinaigrette or an Asian style dressing and 12 ounces is plenty for a salad or even a side dish of gently cooked pea pods.

Rhubarb is processed in one pound packages of sliced chunks, as many recipes call for that amount. There will also be packages of diced rhubarb, if a recipe calls for less than the package, like the snap beans, the rest can be returned to the freezer.

The Swiss Chard was packaged to serve just the two of us. These packages will also be a nice addition to soups or pasta dishes. If we are serving additional people at dinner, simply grab more packages!

While I will continue to harvest, process and freeze Swiss Chard and Rhubarb, this is what was packaged for long term storage today:

In packages intended to be used, in recipes and cooking
that will fit our needs.

The bulk storage bags are washed, and drying, ready to be used again. Often I will use plastic bags many times before they are tossed into the recycling. The exception is meat. I also prefer to hand wash, while I have put a bag through the dishwasher, I do not think they are as strong after that process.

And last year's produce, is in the bottom slide drawer in the freezer, to be used first.

Oh, look a package of Roma green beans!


Presenting our unique and delicious collection of original recipes in our new book, Pantry Basics Book I available right here!

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  1. We have had the most amazing gardening weather this year, haven't we?! I posted last week: but I've still got a ton of tomatoes that need to be harvested, carrots aplenty await us, and I just might get one more picking of green beans! I've been freezing our beans, but canned them this year since we have limited space. Love that you reuse your freezer bags!

  2. wow! Look at all that food/veggie for you to stock up and use this winter. I am so jealous! IT all looks wonderful great job

  3. I'm so jealous! I miss my garden this year. We had every intention on planting it in February (like usual) but life got in the way and got a little crazy. Hope to do it next year, no matter what!

  4. We will work on building raised bed for next years garden, I think this will add to the condition of the soil and of course be easier to weed....Thanks for stopping by.

  5. What a wonderful harvest, Melynda! Thank you for sharing the ways you preserve it with us at the Hearth and Soul hop. There's nothing like enjoying garden fresh produce in the depths of winter!

  6. Thats so wonderful that you harvest all that! I'm really hoping next year after
    I move into my new home, that I will have more time to garden! Its son my bucket list. its a really SMART and cost savings. Love if you share this on Fabulous Friday Party
    Thanks Maria


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