End of Season Bounty
Surplus Savvy tips. Learn what you can do with your extras at the end of the season.
Having extras at the end of the season is normal and, indeed, need not be a problem solved by letting some of your harvest go to waste. Here are some options to consider:
- Give away extras. If your neighbors and friends aren't interested, find a local food bank or soup kitchen that will gladly accept your surplus.
Plant a Row for the Hungry is a national program that gets fresh produce into the homes for the hungry. Click here to see how you can contribute.
- Leave the harvest in the ground as fall turns to winter. In particular, many root crops—if well-mulched to shield them from soil-temperature fluctuations—actually do very well and indeed gain improved flavor. You can pop outside and harvest as needed. Examples include: parsnips, rutabaga, onions, leeks, carrots, potatoes, and Jerusalem artichokes.
- Store them. A cool (non-freezing), dry (to avoid rot) place is ideal—maybe a basement or garage. Examples include: onion, garlic, potatoes, winter squash.
- Freeze them. Many vegetables freeze well, though you may wish to peel, cook, or blanch them first. Check a good cookbook to help you decide what is the best tack.
- Can and preserve. Knowledge of these techniques, and good recipes, used to be passed down from generation to generation. If you don't have anyone to teach you, do some online research or find a good book. Realize you will need the proper supplies, time, and patience—but the payoff is splendid!