Bountiful Tips

 Author, 2010

Author, 2010

Harvest time is here, and now you realize you planted waaay too much.  With tons of tomatoes, bushels of beans, and zillions of zucchinis, you might feel like there is more than you can use.  Here are some ideas for getting the most out of the most you’ve ever grown.

Preserve Your Harvest

Canning and freezing is a great way to save your harvest for later.  For example, tomatoes can be blanched, peeled, and frozen for future use in soups and sauces.  There’s nothing better than some fresh tomato soup on a cold, winter day.

Donate

Many local food pantries will accept donations of fresh produce.  However, we suggest talking to them first to know when you are allowed to drop off your harvest.  To locate a food pantry near you that accepts donations visit AmpleHarvest.org.

Don’t have a local food pantry?  Set up a “free” farm market in your front yard.  Just set up a table with a sign.  Also, consider a donation box.  Then you can donate the proceeds to charity.

Neighbor in Need

You might be getting tired of zucchini bread, but I bet the elderly widow down the street would love some.  Perhaps the family that just had a new baby would like some homemade pasta with a fresh tomato sauce.  Even if you just prepare a gift basket of produce, I’m sure it would be appreciated.

Post on Facebook

There are a number of local social media gardening groups that encourage sharing produce.  I’m sure that if you post a picture of the produce to your Facebook wall, you wouldn’t have a problem finding takers.  You might even make some new friends along the way!

Compost It

This might seem counterproductive because you put in a lot of effort growing that awesome cabbage, but at some point … well … it’s time.  Composting is actually a great option because it makes rich compost for the next generation of delicious produce.  A helpful, possibly messy, tip is to cut up the produce so it breaks down faster.


Header Image Source - By Elina Mark - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0