Preserving an Abundant Harvest

As summer draws to a close we’ve a huge abundance of foods coming out of the garden.  Nothing will be allowed to go to waste. As I look around me, these are just a handful of examples happening right now. 

Yellow cherry tomatoes

Dried yellow cherry tomatoes

Whilst we use a wide range of techniques to preserve our bounty, we’re making the most of the last of the summer sun to do lots of dehydrating at the moment. Dehydrating works well for us as it’s cheap to achieve, retains maximum nutrients, and is cheap and easy to store. A bucket of tomatoes dehydrates down to a potful for storage, but that’s a pot packed full of goodness!









Rowan berries

Dried rowan beries






Rowan berries are always plentiful. We dry them and grind them, then add a spoonful to the flour when making bread in winter. They’re high in vitamin C and provide an interesting tart fruity taste.


Surplus are dried for the animals and added to their seed mix.Sunflower














Quince, awaiting their turn to be transformed into quince jelly. It’s one of the easiest jellies to make as quinces are so high in pectin.







We love the cheerful sunflowers. But when they fade the heads are dried for the animals. The rabbits and the chickens appreciate being thrown an entire head of seeds. The trick is to catch them before the wild birds strip them!








Fennel is just one the herbs being dried for teas. We’ve found an inventive way of hanging sage for drying!











Fermenting elderberries





Elderberries fermenting, to be turned into aguardente or vinegar. Apples are also on the go, with spares put aside for the goats.










Pumpkins, and marrows like this one, will store for months in a cool, dark place.

Mushrooms and chestnuts






We’ve found the first wild mushrooms this week, and the chestnuts are starting to fall. Autumn is on it’s way! Right now it seems crazy to be preserving food as there is so much of it around, but in a couple of months we’ll really be appreciating our work now.

Excess mushrooms will be dried or preserved in oil, and chestnuts ground into a delicious sweet flour which makes particularly tasty pancakes.






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