With fall just around the corner, our home gardens are plentiful and farmers markets are loaded with produce.  Here are some smart and creative ways to lengthen the life of your produce, so you can enjoy them through the winter months, even if you aren’t an expert.


  • Some produce may need to be blanched prior to freezing
  • To blanch boil a pot of water and salt
  • Drop the produce in and boil for half the amount of time that you would normally boil to eat
  • Immediately transfer to a bowl of ice water
  • Remove, pat dry in paper towels and then transfer to freezer bags
  • Apples and beans are perfect for blanching


  • A quick and easy way to make some produce last longer
  • Freeze in amounts that are easy to thaw and consume
  • Always label the date that the produce was packaged so you can use the FIFO (first in first out) method
  • Freeze as soon as your fruits or veggies are ripe
  • Raspberries, blueberries, peas, beans, rhubarb are great to freeze
  • For any fruit (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries), use cookie sheet and parchment paper and place in freezer first and then transfer to freezer bags so that they don’t turn to mush

Drying (Dehydration)

  • Drying produce takes up less storage space and is easy to do
  • Tomatoes, peppers and apples are a perfect option to dry
  • Set your oven to 225 F for apples and 200F for tomatoes
  • For apples, mix sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle on top and bake for approximately 1 hour
  • For tomatoes, cut baby tomatoes in half, toss with dried oregano, thyme, salt and pepper Turn the tomatoes face up and bake for approximately 3 hours
  • Apples edges will curl up and tomatoes will feel rubbery

Canning – The Easy Way

  • Canning is tedious and takes a long time
  • Take your baby cucumbers and make pickles by using a refrigerator option
  • Use mason jars to combine sliced cucumbers, garlic, pickling spice, dill, salt and cider vinegar
  • Set them on your counter out of the sun for two days to four dates (check the taste)
  • Once ready, put them into your fridge where they can last up to 6 months in your fridge

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