Posts: 11121
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 1:32 pm
Location: hawaii, zone 12a 587 ft elev.

How do you preserve your harvest

At the peak and end of the season, there is more than I can use or give away. I bought a pressure canner, but I haven't had the nerve to try it out yet. I don't grow 100 different kinds of tomatoes or much of anything else in quantity. I would like to know simple ways to deal with extras in smaller quantities and also how to use them.

Right now I have extra tomatoes, peppers, citrus (meyer lemons, persian limes, calamondin), bilimbi ( I am giving these away). Bitter melon is a weed but the leaves and fruit are edible. Wild bitter melon has the most bitter fruit.

I could use recipes for any of the above for fresh or preservation.

For example:
Citrus fruits: I use them fresh and give or give them away or trade for other things.
Left overs:
Fresh citrus peels spread around the garden is a non-toxic way to deter pests and keep cats out of the plants.
Freeze citrus juice in ice trays

My grandfather used to keep a jar of lemons in a jar on the roof for sore throats. I know it had salt and lemons in it, but I don't know what else was in it?

Anybody know how to dry citrus peels? I love li hing mui and lemon peels, but I don't know how to make it.

How do you dry or preserve tomatoes in oil and more importantly. How do you use them later?
Got a good recipe for tomato paste I can keep in the freezer?

Eggplant recipes? We grow and eat a lot of eggplant here, but I have more eggplant than recipes.

Pepper recipes and ways to preserve them.
I like to grow a lot of different kinds of peppers from not to blistering heat, but I use just a few. I give away a lot of them.
How to preserve peppers? Need recipes for dried peppers. ( I use the car to dry the peppers. It works well.) , hot pepper sauce recipes. ( I only have 4 hot pepper sauce recipes. Chili pepper water, Hot peppers with garlic in fish sauce, fenadeni, and salsa.)

Recipes for Asian greens?

Recipes for freezing vegetables. Carrots, beans, squash, leafy greens (spinach substitutes). Which ones freeze well, which ones don't.
Zucchini does not freeze well, so I make zucchini bread and freeze it instead.

How do you freeze fruit? Which ones freeze well? I am thinking of using them for sorbet's or smoothies. I freeze bananas and mango, but they have to be either cooked, blended or eaten frozen. They aren't good once they are defrosted and mushy. It is actually hard to eat a black banana in the first place even when I know the inside is still good.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

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Super Green Thumb
Posts: 4659
Joined: Mon Mar 23, 2009 5:59 pm
Location: TN. 50 years of gardening experience.
Contact: Website

Re: How do you preserve your harvest

Tomato canning is easy. If you cold pack tomatoes in jars after canning top 1/4 of jar will be air = wasted space. Cut all your tomatoes to remove center core and bad places then bring them to a boil to remove air. Pour hot tomatoes in jars 1/2" from top. Clear top edge of jar put on seal then screw on ring finger tight. Put jars in water bath canner with 1/2" of water over each jar or pressure canner cook pints 20 minutes and quarts 40 minutes. Let cool naturally until room temperature. Wash jars, date jars, put jars in pantry. No need to boil empty jars, rings & seals you can not kill bacteria twice only paranoid people do that. .

I have never canned peppers but I did use bread & butter pickle recipe to make pickled jalapeno peppers wow they are so good. I have also frozen several kinds of whole peppers.

All those fruit juices you want to save can be saved in empty 2 liter soft drink bottles. Go to wine store or ebay buy camdon tablets drop 1/2 of tablet in each bottle to preserve juice for storage.

It has been many years since I dried thin sliced tomatoes. Put them on a cookie sheet in oven on lowest temperature until dry. They become very concentrated tomato flavor.

Tomato paste is made from tomato skins. Remove skins from boiling tomato pot puree them in a high speed kitchen blender. Can them or freeze them.

Tomato sauce is made form whole tomatoes with seeds removed. Bring to boil puree skins into pulp can in jars.

Stewed tomatoes are whole tomatoes with seeds and skins removed.

Slice peppers in thin strips or thin pieces I put them on a cook sheet in front seat of my vehicle parked in the hot sun. Inside of vehicle gets 150 degrees peppers are dry in a few hours.

Recipes for freezing vegetables. Carrots, beans, squash, corn, leafy greens (spinach substitutes). I never blanch vegetables that is something paranoid people do. Wash them clean put them in zip lock bags fill the freezer full. Try to eat them all in 6 months so they don't get freezer burn. Been doing it like this 40 year nothing ever spoils.

Fruit freezes very well in zip lock back wash and clean first. When fruit freezes it expands 10% larger this will break all the juice cells. When you thaw fruit all the juice runs out this is a wine making trick to remove juice. Thawed fruit goes flat like letting air out of a balloon. You can still eat it, it taste the same it just fells & look weird. Works great for smoothies, pies, cobblers, jello, jelly, jam, lots of things. I have recipes that call for black bananas. Black bananas turn to sugar and are very sweet when added to other things like, cake, muffins, quick bread, cobbler, etc

Posts: 11121
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 1:32 pm
Location: hawaii, zone 12a 587 ft elev.

Re: How do you preserve your harvest

I have a couple of yellow collards in the garden and they are taking up a big space.
I was trying to figure out how to prep some of it for the freezer. Can I wash and freeze the leaves, or do I blanch and freeze?
If I make a soup or cook the collards with ham, how long will it keep? What else can I do with it?

Another thing. I got some heavy cream, but I did not use all of it. What else can I use it for and can it be frozen?
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

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