30-days-of-summer-in-the-garden

Got produce? Gardening tips to make summer's bounty last

Share your garden's bounty this summer.During summer, whether you have an abundant vegetable garden, receive a weekly community-supported agriculture box of veggies, or just couldn’t stop buying produce at the farmers market, you may be asking yourself, “What do I do with all these vegetables?”

Here are some ideas of what to do with excess produce before it wilts away.

Use a seasonal cookbook
Summer is a great time to eat fresh, local food. There are many seasonal cookbooks, From Asparagus to Zucchini, A Guide to Cooking Farm-Fresh Seasonal Produce is one of my favorites. I like that it’s published by Wisconsin’s FAIRSHARE CSA Coalition – they know their seasonal veggies!

I haven’t tried it yet, but FAIRSHARE recently published a companion to Asparagus, titled Farm-Fresh and Fast: Easy Recipes and Tips for Making the Most of Fresh, Seasonal Foods. It’s on my short list!

Basil drying

Preserve what you can’t eat
Garlic, many varieties of onions, and down the road, root vegetables and winter squash, will keep a long time. Just eat as you need them. Drying and freezing are a couple of great options for small-scale food preservation. I dry herbs by tying them in bunches and hanging in a warm dry place out of the sun (house or garage attic are great for this). A food dehydrator can dry just about anything. No need to buy one, I got one from a friend who had an extra, or keep an eye on your local second hand stores.

Freezing is a little more involved, but nothing that you can’t do with a little research and hot water (really). And if you want to learn more about canning, search online for a water-bath or pressure canning class. They are usually 2-3 hours each.

Share your bounty
If you’ve simply got too much food to eat and no time or desire to preserve it, share it!

  • Pack up extra produce and go introduce yourself to a neighbor you’ve been meaning to get to know better.
  • Encourage healthy snacking at work. Slice up some produce and bring in a vegetable platter. Boast about where it came from.
  • Donate it! Many food pantries now accept any quantity of fresh produce to share with their communities. My community garden organizes a collection bin and last year, we donated more than 300 pounds of fresh produce to several Madison, Wis.-area food pantries. Your donation won’t be on that scale, but will be just as appreciated.

Josh Feyen - the Urbane Farmer shares his “raised-on-a-farm” wisdom and writes about urban farming and organic gardening topics on his personal blog, too.

30 Days of SummerEditor's note: However you spend it, summer has a wonderful, effortless way of bringing us closer to the ones we love. In this spirit, American Family invites you and your family to join us for our 30 Days of Summer celebration.

Throughout the season, we’re featuring ideas - like gardening - for family fun and safety with our communities on FacebookTwitterPinterest and Google Plus. We’ll also offer opportunities for you to share your own summer experiences with us. Visit the American Family Insurance Facebook page today and throughout the summer to join the 30 Days of Summer celebration with your own comments, stories and pictures!

by Josh Feyen on Mon, Jul 22 2013 10:40 am
Posted by Josh Feyen on Mon, Jul 22 2013 10:40 am

2 Comments

Judy Skog said on Jul 22, 2013
As a loooong-time CSA member, I couldn't have survived without the Asparagus to Zucchini cookbook.

I recently got their new one, Farm, Fresh and Fast and have tried 5 or 6 recipes. They've all been good. This one also has a chapter on fruit.
tree trimming company in orange county said on Jul 31, 2013
These gardening tips will help plants survive for long time, any time you’re facing a drought or a long spell of hot weather. They are simple, straightforward and easy to put into practice.



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