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hanson

How to Keep & Store Crops?

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Was reading a few ideas in another thread but this is my first garden and just looking at how its doing, I'm going to have more crops than I'll know what to do with.

Whats the best way to store this stuff so I can utilize it throughout the fall and winter?

I'm going to have tons of Tomatoes (my Tomatoe plants are darn near 4' high), Peppers (Jalepeno, Red, Green, Pablano, Chile), Potatoes, Green Beans, Carrots, and Onions. I've got a bunch of Pumpkins going but I'm going to give most of those away to friends with kids.

BTW... just picked my first Beans, 2 Jalepenos, and have small potatoes already too.

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Get yourself some quart jars and lids and a big pressure cooker, and learn how to do home canning. There are a couple of good home canning booklets by Mason or Kerr that will give you pretty much all the basics you need to know...

U of M Extension is a good source of information - they also have a HSOforum...

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We store our carrots and beets in large Rubbermaid containers full of sand. Just make sure the sand covers each one and try to keep them from touching. You'll even see them start to sprout new tops after a little while.

Onions and potatoes we just keep them in a Rubbermaid without sand and keep them all in cool dry places.

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This is what I do with what you have....

Potatoes.....store in a dark container.A closed box will work.Put them in a cool room.If you have an extra fridge,put some in the crispers since they will start to sprout by January

Green Beans......Blanch in the microwqave for a couple minutes and dump into ice water.Put them on a cookie sheet and freeze them.When frozen put them is a zip lock or even better vacumn them.

Peppers.....cut them in half and take out the seeds.Freeze them in zip lock bags.When you want to use them.....just take out what you want and run under warm water to thaw them.Label each bag.

Carrots.....I store them in zip lock bags and in the fridge.

Tomatoes.....When it looks like a killing frost will happen,pick all the tomatoes.Put them on a shelf or on newspaper in the basement.Cover with newspaper.Check them every so often and eat the ripe ones.They won't be as good as ripe now,but better than what is in the store.I usually have tomatoes into December.

I should have enough tomatoes to start making salsa,spagetti sauce,taco sauce,pizza sauce and tomatoe sauce next week.

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Blanching your veggies is good, but I do it on the stove, by doing it in the microwave you lose any nutrients in the vegetable.

Nope......other way around since veggies in water on the stove top will lose nutrients but there is no water when I put them in the microwave.

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i was just wondering why you take the seeds out of the pepper before you freeze them thanks

This is what I do with what you have....

Potatoes.....store in a dark container.A closed box will work.Put them in a cool room.If you have an extra fridge,put some in the crispers since they will start to sprout by January

Green Beans......Blanch in the microwqave for a couple minutes and dump into ice water.Put them on a cookie sheet and freeze them.When frozen put them is a zip lock or even better vacumn them.

Peppers.....cut them in half and take out the seeds.Freeze them in zip lock bags.When you want to use them.....just take out what you want and run under warm water to thaw them.Label each bag.

Carrots.....I store them in zip lock bags and in the fridge.

Tomatoes.....When it looks like a killing frost will happen,pick all the tomatoes.Put them on a shelf or on newspaper in the basement.Cover with newspaper.Check them every so often and eat the ripe ones.They won't be as good as ripe now,but better than what is in the store.I usually have tomatoes into December.

I should have enough tomatoes to start making salsa,spagetti sauce,taco sauce,pizza sauce and tomatoe sauce next week.

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You don't have to.I just do it that way.Won't make any difference unless they are hot peppers and you want more heat.

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Ken W - can you be specific on how you blanch green beens in the microwave. How many beens do you do at one time and you said no with no water and for 2 minutes? Do you just lay them on a plate or something else? Thanks.

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Hey Ken

Whats the best way to store corn. I remeber my parents using an electric knife and then storing it in a zip lock.

Thanks,

Chad

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I use a Corning Wear dish and fill it up.About what would be 1/2 a freezer bag full.Put in microwave for 4 minutes and dump into ice water to stop the cooking.Then spread them out on a cookie sheet and freeze.

For short term......just put them in a zip lock freezer bag and take out as many as you want to eat.For longer term.....I put the frozen beans in a food saver bag and vacumn.

For corn.....I cut it off the cob and blanch in the microwave also.4 minutes for 1/2 freezer bag full.Then same as beans......dump it into a bowl of cold water.Take a slotted spoon and skim off the silks and parts of the cob that float on top.The kernals will sink to the bottom.Spread out on a cookie sheet and freeze.Then vacumn seal.I can be stored in a zip lock for a few months.

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I just did my first batch of green beans. I boiled them on the stove, then did the ice bath, and froze them. Seamed simple enough. Cutting up the beans pretty much sucked but they are soooo good though, worth it.

Will have to do it again in less than a week.

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My beans and peas get about 2 minutes and broccoli get about 3 or 4 minutes in the steamer and then a quick cool in ice water. Corn get about a 3 minute boil and then ice water. I don't like what a microwave does to anything that I eat.

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