My name is Lisa Orgler and I love teaching garden design in a fun and simple way. Click here to learn more.

Preserving the Garden

As I work on my next tutorial, I thought I'd share what's been filling my limited spare time: preserving goodies from our garden.  

My husband is a crazy vegetable gardener.  We keep some of his edible growies, while giving most of it away to friends, neighbors and food pantries. For those that we keep, freezing is our preferred method of preservation. One of my favorite recipes is for freezer pickles, given to us by my mother-in-law.  I posted this last year and thought it needed a reprisal to help those overwhelmed with a cucumber harvest. As a bonus, I threw in some extra tips for other goodies we freeze way below.

FREEZER PICKLES

4 cups of sliced cucumbers

2 cups of onions

4 teaspoons of salt

2 tablespoons of water

3/4 to 1 cup of sugar

1/2 cup of cider vinegar

1 teaspoon of dried dill

Mix cucumbers, onion, salt and water. Let stand two hours and drain (but do not rinse).

Add sugar, vinegar and dill.  Let stand.  Stir from time to time until sugar dissolves and liquid covers cucumbers.

Pack in glass or plastic jars with 1" head-space.  Freeze.

Makes four 1/2 pint jars.

FREEZING STRAWBERRIES

These are so simple. I just clean them, remove the greens, slice in half (or keep them whole), pop into a freezer bag, then into the freezer for winter. That's it! If you love strawberries and have a small space, I encourage you to grow a few plants. They do like to spread though, so make sure you contain them well. 

FREEZING SPINACH

Pick leaves, clean them, and remove the stems. You can blanch spinach or simply place leaves and a little bit of water into a blender, then freeze in ice cube trays. I like to pop one spinach ice cube into a smoothie. You really don't taste it, but it adds lots of vitamins.

FREEZING BROCCOLI

Pick broccoli heads, clean and chop as desired. Soak them in a bowl of salted water for 30 minutes to remove any insects.  

Blanch by placing in boiling water for three minutes, then directly place them in cold water.  Now you can pack them into freezer bags and place them into the freezer. {You can also blanch green beans this way too...minus the salted water part}


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