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Garden for fresh food, canning and freezing

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created May 02, 2013 at 3:22 PM

I am planning my garden here in Minnesota and I'd like some input fron some other paleo peeps. I want to plant things that we can enjoy fresh but will also freeze or can well. Would especially appreciate any tips for freezing or canning fresh from the garden as this will be my first go at it come harvest season. I really want to make the most of it and grow the things that are more difficult to get from an outside source that is healthy/paleo/fresh and organic. I'm thinking homemade tomato sauce and salsa(tomatoes, onions, cilantro and some kind of peppers maybe??), cabbage for kraut, winter squash, broccoli and greens. And are there some herbs that are easy to grow and dry myself? Would love to hear from other gardeners some good things to plant and some canning/freezing recipes. I'm even interested in prepping some dishes that would freeze well so my family can enjoy them at least mid winter, like eggplant parmsean. Let's hear it for the urban farmer!

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2 Answers

1
39311794c054f89a226f33e1afd08721

on May 02, 2013
at 06:46 PM

I'm actually doing all greens this year, a few cucumbers. I do delicate varieties that I can eat raw or steam and freeze. Many foods I can get with limited pesticides. For example, summer squash grows so fast, I'm not as worried about pesticides and I need to cleanse my property of the kinds of molds that grow on them anyway. Carrots and sweet potatoes are cheap in the store and not worth my time and space.

Greens are great because they can produce for so much of the year, even past freezes. I have enough varieties to be okay during the hot months where they tend to get bitter. I just consider that growing time getting the roots good and strong so I can cut them off low when the weather cools and get a nice, sweet cool-weather crop that grows quickly.

0
618fc5298c4a96b817c4918c795a875f

(1217)

on May 16, 2013
at 10:53 PM

Hey! High five for embarking on this adventure of growing your own - I know ALOT about this, being a longtime food grower & garden designer. There is alot of info on the internet about the best things to grow for your region - I'd suggest that you familiarize yourself with the particulars of growing food in the North, it is a short growing season that might be tough for things like hot peppers, which need time and heat to fully develop their spicy flavors. The varieties of tomatoes you plant will be very important to your success with them as well - look for Russian varieties and dependable heirlooms. Cilantro likes cool weather, so you should have luck with it, as well as with parsley. Broccoli, cabbage, chard, kale, spinach -these are going to be great in your garden because they thrive in cooler temps. I can't really grow them in hot, dry Southern California - BOO! The mediterranean herbs like rosemary, thyme, basil, oregano, and marjoram might not be evergreen or perennial for you, so you'll have to plant them every year and store them. In addition to freezing, it would be great if you can invest in a dehydrator - I dry many of my herbs as well as garlic, tomatoes, celery, carrots, and sweet peppers to use as soup bases. It makes it SO EASY to spice up anything! Growing herbs is, in my opinion, where you get the biggest bang for your gardening buck because organic herbs are really expensive and for the same price you can have herbs all year long that you grow yourself.

Damn I could write a book on this. Oh - that's right, I already did. It's called "The Edible Front Yard" - all about growing food that is ornamental as well as healthy and nourishing. A couple of other great books you might want to look into are "Yes, You Can" by Daniel Gastieger and "Eat Cook Grow" by Willi Galloway

BEST OF LUCK!!!

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