In today’s society frugal living is a must. In the state of the economy, people are always looking for ways to save money. If you buy your fruit and vegetable produce in the super market it will often become very expensive. However, you can save a ton of money by harvesting your own fruits and vegetables. You can grow any number of vegetables and store them for very little cost compared to buying them.
First, you must do some research. Find out the proper ways to grow each vegetable. Many require different condition to thrive. Then, you need to learn safe ways to alleviate pests. Home grown vegetables are great for consumption, but you need to keep in mind what chemicals are present in pesticides. It is best to use an organic approach. This may seem like a hassle but it will ensure that your produce is safe for consumption.
After a little hard work, you will often find yourself with too many vegetables to use at the time of harvesting. Some may go to friends and family, but there is still often plenty of extra left over. Do not let the extras go to waste. This article will display, many methods of storing vegetables. Keep in mind every vegetable needs to be stored with an appropriate method. Not all will stay fresh if stored improperly.
The first method of storing vegetables is by freezing. This is also the easiest method. Any thing can be used, from boxes and bags to airtight vacuum sealed packages. It is best to boil vegetables for a small amount of time before freezing them. This will get rid of any parasites or harmful materials on them. Freezing vegetables will preserve the vitamins and other nutrients. Some suggest using a small amount of syrup on them. This is supposed to improve the taste. However, I would suggest freezer bags or vacuum sealed bags. It will keep them from getting freezer burned after a long period of time. You may want to have an extra freezer or deep freezer for this method.
The second method is drying. This may often be the cheapest option, but it is difficult without extra material. To dry vegetables in the sun temperature need to remain extremely hot for a long period of time. It may take up to five days. This method also attracts insects. However, you can buy a dehydrator in do the job in a fraction of the time. You need to boil the vegetables long enough to remove the skin. Then set the dehydrator to at least 120 degrees Fahrenheit. This will take approximately six to eight hours. Once dried store the vegetables in sealed containers. Place them in a dark room temperature area, such as, a cabinet.
The next method is pickling. Pickling uses the naturally provided acid to preserve the fruit. It will not be sour as long as enough sugar is added for what you are pickling. The best thing to go buy is taste. This can also be used for fruits as well. You can buy pickling vinegar at the store. However, any vinegar will work as long as it has at least eighteen percent acidity. This method is good because the acid will not allow any harmful bacteria to grow.
Canning is the last and most intricate process. Often times special canner machines are needed. There are different methods for fruits and vegetables. The cans must be boiled to prevent any bacteria growth. Adding a small amount of sugar into the can will help preserve the taste and color. For vegetables you will want to use a pressure canner. You simply place the can inside the canner and boil for ten minutes. There will be steam and you need to make sure it only feels half the can. Each vegetable will have a different boiling time. You need to do some research and create a reference list of the ones you will use.