Preserving the harvest

The garden is in the zone of just keeping up with weeding and then picking all of the wonderful vegetables that are coming. Cucumbers, green beans, and yes, some tomatoes are all starting to come at once and so keeping up with all of the harvest is a challenge.

If you would like more information on Preserving the Harvest, please attend my presentation 6:30 p.m. today at the Marshall-Lyon County Library on just that-preserving the harvest. If you are like me and have been canning a good long while, this is for you too. There are many advancements in the world of canning and other preservation methods that are important to hear about. A good example is that at one time we did not worry a whole lot about canning tomatoes and just pressure or water bath canned them because of the acid level that is found in tomatoes. However, with some good scientific research, we are finding out that even today’s tomatoes (as compared to tomatoes grown 20 years ago) are not as acidic as we once thought. This means adding a little lemon juice to tomatoes makes sure that they are canned properly.

How about venting your canner before you place the weight on top of your vent or have you been like me and you just kept the weight on the vent from the beginning? Why is this important to vent your canner?

And last but not least, it is always fun to find out where food preservation has come from and what just a little bit of the history was about how people throughout the world preserved their food. A hint, drying was used quite a bit!

This type of programming is something that if you decide to volunteer with the Lyon County Master Gardeners, would be something you not only could learn about but help area residents with too. Preserving food was once something people did in order to have enough food until they were able to get back into the garden again. It was something that they had to do in order to survive. It has now become a past time in order to provide food for yourself and your family to enjoy and even sometimes to give as a gift at Christmas time too.

Do you love nature and green spaces, like learning new things, and want to give back to your community? Why not become a Master Gardener volunteer? Don’t be frightened! You don’t need a master’s degree — just a passion for volunteering in your community to promote healthy landscapes, healthy people, and a healthy planet. The University of Minnesota has trained thousands of Master Gardeners, who each year contribute more than 140,000 hours of service in Minnesota communities. And it doesn’t take much to get started — just 48 hours of education, plus 50 hours of volunteering, and then 25 hours each year thereafter.

Join us! Apply by Oct. 1. Learn more at extension.umn.edu/master-gardener or contact us at mgweb@umn.edu or at my cellphone number at 507-828-5754. For more information on gardening you can also reach me at s.dejaeghere@me.com

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