Enjoying Your Harvest

It’s getting towards the end of the growing season and you’re probably wondering what to do after you harvest all of the fruits, vegetables and herbs from your garden. Cooking with recipes that include ingredients grown in your garden is a great way to enjoy your harvest. Saving seeds for next year’s growing season is an excellent method to plan ahead and save money. Canning or freezing fruits and vegetables as well as drying herbs are both smart techniques to make your harvest last you until next summer. It is also environmentally friendly, economical, and practical. Preserved vegetables last for a long time and the best part is, you know exactly how they were grown and treated.


Harvesting Method: Dry
When to Harvest: Let pods dry on vines until they have fully matured and turned brown in color (about 6 weeks after ripened). Note: Only allow 1-2 pods to mature on each plant to extend growing season.
How to Harvest: For small amounts, open pods by hand. Flail pods for large amounts.
Storage: Store seeds in a tightly sealed glass container. Keep seeds in a dry and cool place.

Harvesting Method: Dry
When to Harvest: Let seedpods dry on plants.
How to Harvest: Shake seeds loose.
Storage: Store seeds in a tightly sealed glass container. Keep seeds in a dry and cool place.

Harvesting Method: Fermentation
When to Harvest: Leave tomatoes on vines until they are fully mature and have changed in color (from green to red).
How to Harvest: Cut tomatoes in half and squeeze out the seeds and jelly-like substance and ferment for 3-4 days. Rinse and dry.
Storage: Store seeds in a tightly sealed glass container. Keep seeds in a dry and cool place.

For more tips check out our article on Seed Saving 101.


Canned Carrots
Hot Packing Method:

1. Gather 2 lbs. of carrots per 1 pt. jar
2. Begin boiling water; the larger the pot the better
3. Wash and cut/slice the carrots as desired; it is best to remove the ends
4. Boil the carrots for 3 minutes and then pack into jars
5. Leave 1/2-inch of headspace (gap between vegetable and lid)
6. Add 1/2 tsp. salt to each pt. of beans
7. Fill jar with 1/2-inch of boiling water
8. Use a rubber spatula to remove any air bubbles
9. Screw on the cap tightly
10. Wipe the jar and lid well; the can should be completely dry

Raw Packing Method:
1. Gather approximately 2 lbs. of carrots per 1 pt. jar
2. Heat up the pressure canner over low heat with warm tap water and the lid off
3. Wash and cut/slice the carrots as desired; it is best to remove the ends
4. Pack carrots tightly into a jar leaving 1-inch of headspace (gap between vegetable and lid)
5. Use a funnel or ladle to add water; every carrot should be covered, but there should still be 1-inch of headspace remaining at the top
6. Add 1/2 tsp. of salt to each pt. of carrots
7. Screw on lids
8. Use jar tongs to place the jars on the pressure canner's rack
9. Make sure the boiling water is 8-inches high
10. Place as many jars as desired or that can fit into the pressure canner properly
11. Allow the canner to stem for 10 minutes with the lid on
12. After 10 minutes has passed, put weight on and allow pressure to build to 10 lbs.
13. When the gauge hits 10 lbs. set your timer for 25 minutes
14. Adjust the heat as needed in order to maintain 10 lbs. of pressure

Frozen Corn
1. Pick the corn and remove all husks
2. Clean the corn
3. Fill a large pot 3/4 full with hot water (bring to boil)
4. Fill a large bowl with ice and cold water
5. Place the ears of corn into boiling water for exactly 5 minutes
6. When blanching time is up, quickly place corn into ice water dish
7.Cool corn exactly 5 minutes
8. Drain well
9. Remove whole kernels from the ear using a knife
10. The corn should come off in strips (it will break apart in bag)
11. Place corn in a freezer safe bag and label with date
12. Make sure all air is out of bag in order to prevent freezer burn If desired, add flavor to your corn by stirring in salt and sugar.

For more tips check out our article on canning & freezing.


1. Cut herbs from plant.
2. Remove any yellowed or diseased leaves.
3. Shake gently to remove any debris or insects.
4. Rinse with water, if necessary. Dry well.
5. Bundle herbs together with twist ties. Twist ties make it easy to tighten the herb bundles when as the stems shrink from drying.
6. Cut holes in a paper bag and wrap around the herb bundle, tying it at the neck. 7. Store in a warm, dry place.


Casseroles, eggs, fish, sauces, salads, fragrances, meats, soups, vegetable salads, dips, and alcoholic beverages

Meats, punches, jellies, bread, pasta, and fragrances

Soups, stuffings, pastas, and meats. Can be combined with other herbs

For more tips check out our article on Cooking with Herbs.


Apple Butter
Makes 5 pints (10 cups)

6 lbs apples, stemmed, cored, cut into quarters
1 cup brown sugar
2 cups granulated white sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
2½ cups apple cider
½ cup apple cider vinegar

Place all ingredients in a 7-quart slow cooker. Gently mix them together. Cook on “low” for 20 hours, stirring occasionally. Puree the apple butter until smooth. Continue to cook with the lid off for 4 more hours until the apple butter thickens. Add sugar to taste. Store in refrigerator for up to 1 month or can apple butter immediately after cooking.

Pumpkin Zucchini Carrot Bread
Makes 1 loaf

1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup grated zucchini
1 cup grated carrots
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder 1/2 teaspoon salt

Combine oil, sugar, eggs and vanilla and beat until smooth. Add zucchini, carrots and pumpkin puree and mix. In a separate bowl, mix remaining ingredients together with a whisk. Add dry mixture to the wet mixture – DO NOT OVERMIX. Pour mixture into bread pan and bake at 350 degrees for 25-35 minutes.

“In seed time learn, in harvest teach, in winter enjoy.” - William Blake