An Introduction to Preserving the Harvest

Last Updated on April 15, 2024 by Real Men Sow

Preserving the harvest is the best way to ensure that you continue to have fresh, healthy, seasonal food throughout the year. You can also help provide for your family and friends should there be a need. You’ll also learn how to preserve your own food so that it doesn’t go to waste.

You can save money on food, be more independent, and still enjoy fresh, healthy, seasonal food throughout the year. You should also learn how to preserve your own food so that it doesn’t go to waste.

Ways To Preserving the Harvest of your Garden

If you are new to food preservation, where do you begin? What are the essential things you should know before you start? All your questions are answered right here.

Methods of Preserving the Harvest

Canning food is often the first thing we think of when we think about food preservation. This can ensure that your food will remain fresh for a long time. Foods were stored in root cellars before refrigeration was invented. We can now freeze food to preserve them. There’s a good chance you’ve already used a freezer in the past. If so, congratulations! You have already preserved food.

However, freezing foods is not always the best option for preservation. This is especially true if you live in rural areas where power outages are frequent. Your food may be spoiling in your freezer if you live in an area that experiences frequent blackouts. It’s a good idea to have a few different preservation methods on hand.

Three Methods of Preserving the Harvest


You can freeze almost any food, provided you have a basic understanding of how to do it. First, you should remove pits from fruits before freezing them. Frozen can be done with most fruits and vegetables. You can freeze most fruits and vegetables by placing them on parchment paper. Then, flash freeze them. This will ensure that they don’t stick together in one big glob.

To preserve the quality of some vegetables, such as potatoes, green beans and broccoli, they must be blanched first before freezing. Before they can be frozen, all fruits and vegetables should be washed. To ensure that tomatoes and strawberries are ready for consumption, they should first be hulled.

Tips for freezing vegetables and fruits

It’s easier to peel the skins off frozen tomatoes if you plan on making tomato sauce later. Frozen tomatoes can be easily removed by running them under warm water. It is also helpful to freeze tomatoes when they are ready to harvest, as harvests don’t always happen in one go. You can freeze them when they are ready to be used in a large batch of sauce. Once you have enough, you can remove them and can them.


There are two types of canned food: water bath canning or pressure canning.

Canning Water Baths

Water bath canning is the easiest way to can and it doesn’t require any special tools. You can water bath canner your home-canned foods by heating them in hot water for a set amount of time. To make your canned food last longer, you will need to kill all bacteria and seal it.

Water bath canning is safe for high-alcohol fruits with a pH of 4.6 or less. The acidic zone of pH is where most fruits such as berries, apples, citrus, and stone fruits fall. They are all safe to water-bath can. To ensure safety, many recipes require the addition of an acid like lemon juice or vinegar.

Canning Under Pressure

The process of pressure canning differs from water bath canning. Although the basic technique is the same: sterilize jars, put food in jars, and heat water for a time, pressure canning is different. The water inside a pressure canner is heated to boiling, which kills harmful bacteria that aren’t easily killed at regular boiling.

Pressure canning is required for most vegetables, which have a pH greater than 4.7. Pressure canning is also required for fish and meat.

Safe pressure canning: Precautions

Water bath canning is possible with just a large stainless steel pot and some basic kitchen tools. However, pressure canning requires a proper pressure cooker with a weighted gauge and a locking lid.

Pressure canning is a dangerous process. The lid could explode from the top of the pot as pressure builds, making it a potentially deadly bomb. This is a rare and difficult occurrence if you follow proper procedures and lock your lid properly. There are many safety features in modern pressure canners, so there is no reason to be concerned.


Botulism is something you need to be concerned about because it can be dangerous when improperly canned foods are used. This is a serious form of food poisoning that can be deadly. The spores thrive in anaerobic environments, which is an environment without air. For example, spores thrive inside sealed Mason jars.

Botulism spores are killed by acidity. This is why you can safely water bath acidic fruits and vegetables (like vinegar for pickled vegetables). They can also grow on non-acidic meats and vegetables if they aren’t processed at sufficient temperatures. Botulism spores can survive boiling and must be processed at higher temperatures than what you can get without a pressure cooker.


Drying Herbs

You just need to gather some herbs, such as rosemary, oregano, and thyme, along with parsley. You can tie them at the stem using twine, string, or an elastic band. Hang them out to dry in direct sunlight, away from moisture and rain. Sun drying herbs like chives is also a good idea. 

Importance of a Dehydrator

A dehydrator will definitely speed up the process, keep your temperature controlled, and make sure no bugs get to your product before it’s all dried up. You can dry vegetables and meats in a dehydrator. The dehydrator works at a low temperature for a long time so food doesn’t get burned. It is similar to a slow cooker that cooks food.

You don’t need a dehydrator if you don’t want to invest in one. Be careful, though. Even the lowest oven setting can burn food if it is left on for too long. Dried foods can be stored for a long time and are better than canned food. Dried foods don’t need to be added sugar or other ingredients. 


Preserving the harvest of your garden allows you to enjoy fresh, local fruits and vegetables during the winter months. It can also save you money each year because instead of purchasing produce from a grocery store, you grow and preserve it yourself.

Real Men Sow
Real Men Sow

Hello, I’m Pete and I’m currently based in the west of Scotland, in a small place called Rosneath, where I’m exploring my garden adventures. I personally started gardening around 6 years ago and initially, I started out by growing my favorite fruits and berries, such as strawberries, Raspberries & Gooseberries. Since then I’ve added a lot of vegetables and working closely with my neighbor, it’s been a lot of fun.