It’s harvest time in the valley. This is when we head to the u-picks, the markets, farmers roadside stalls and stock up. What to do with all of this bounty? This is the time to plan for the rest of fall and the winter to come. I think we all have gone overboard at one time or another and then find ourselves with a bushel of apples or quarts of plums and pears and finding that we cannot eat them fast enough.
Pickling, Preserving and Canning are popular ways of keeping fruits and vegetables. The kitchen pantry, cold rooms and root cellars are also making a comeback. If you aren’t lucky enough to have these consider building or having them built. It can be easier than you think to put aside some food to enjoy over the long winter months. Fermented foods are also making a comeback, think sauerkraut, not only for the taste but the health benefits as well.
Whether you want to start small with a little bit of jam or want to preserve your whole harvest look to your local library for help. We have titles like the Complete Root Cellar, ClearlyDelicious an Illustrated Guide to Preserving, Pickling & Bottling, or IndependenceDays : a guide to sustainable food storage & preservation. There are so many other books we can offer whether you are a beginner or an experienced food preserver. Recipe books too! With the award winning Best of Bridge home preserving : 120 recipes for jams, jellies,marmalades, pickles & more being one of our newest additions.
There is nothing like the feeling of looking over a counter filled with jars of pickles or jam that you have made yourself. Have fun exploring this activity and who knows you might be planting your own garden next spring. We have books for that too.
--Patricia Milner, Head of Reference Services