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My question is simple, where do i start with preserving food? What would be good things to do/try for a beginner?
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Freeze surplus green beans, broccoli, spinach (all lightly blanched, and vacuum sealed or in ziplock bags). Can whole tomatoes or sauce. Make jam or pies or breads and freeze extra. Dry herbs (if you don't have a dehydrator, leave them on the stem and put into paper bags in a dry room for a few weeks). Dry sliced tomatoes or halved cherry tomatoes in a dehydrator at 130 degrees or in the oven on low with the door propped open a little. Store onions, garlic, or winter squash in a cool, dry basement. Store potatoes, carrots or beets in a cool, humid basement. Start with whichever one strikes your fancy! Those are all the easy ones I use :) Are there any you want more information on?
Do you like pickles? A simple way to preserve extra beans and, of course, pickling cucumbers is to pickle them. I like to use a slice of hot pepper, garlic cloves and fresh dill heads with a pickling brine recipe from a reliable source. I use pickling cukes from my own garden plus organically grown from the local farmer's market. It was easy to grow and use my own bush beans for "dilly beans" this year. If you don't want to can them (a water bath canner will do for pickling), you can make a small batch and refrigerate them. Tomatoes are also easy to can, using the water bath method.
Merry had great suggestions. For directions on different methods of preserving, the Nat'l Center for Home Food Preservation ( has the most up-to-date guidelines. I also recommend the book "So Easy to Preserve" ( the most thorough of those in print.
Also, contact your local Cooperative Extension to see if they hold workshops for canning and other methods of food preservation!
Start here! The Center for Home Food Preservation at the University of Georgia offers a free on-line tutorial on canning, freezing, drying, etc. Their site also has detailed info on preserving each fruit, veg. This is a RELIABLE source of info, unlike much of what is on the web.
All good information. Look into Preserving the Harvest a former group in the KGI archives for a wealth of information. Stay natural, David



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