Posted by: sweetpea | August 4, 2006

Storing the harvest

I’ve been investigating other ways of preserving my surplus harvest other than freezing.  Some things such as squashes will keep well over the winter once the skin is cured, and I can freeze things like beans. Others like parsnips and some carrots can stay in the ground and be harvested when needed, although I’m thinking I might lift them after the first frost and store them in a clamp rather than risk the rat taking them.

There are other veg like the courgettes and tomatoes which I get masses of, and love, but so far the only way I have of storing them in the long term is through freezing them. I tend to roast them first to intensify the flavour and reduce the overall size, but even so they are starting to take up too much space in the freezer!  So I’ve been looking into dehydrating them and storing them in olive oil.  

Dehydrators seem very expensive, although I have found a cheap one, but I’m a little wary as it probably won’t last that long.  I found instructions on making a solar dehydrator, but I’m guessing it’s probably not that suited to UK weather!  However a lovely freecycler sent me a link to a DIY dehydrator that he’d made, and I’m very tempted to make one, although when I’ll find the time I don’t know!  Probably won’t be in time for this year’s harvest, but could make a good winter project to add to the list which also includes a home made wormery as the one I have is far too small.

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