Preserving the Harvest: Part 1

This time of year, my attention turns toward putting up some of the fresh fruits and vegetables that are part of my CSA box. So far this year, I have done so in a number of ways that I will share over the next few weeks.  Some items keep well in a cool cabinet or cellar, such as winter squash, potatoes and onions. When I get my box I put these away and turn my attention to the veggies that should be eaten right away. I then freeze some, and have begun experimenting with lacto-fermentation, preserving in oil, and creating chutneys (see last week’s food blog). Freezing, however, is probably the easiest way to preserve the harvest.

Please share your methods with me at or via our Fair Ridge Farms Facebook page.

indexFrozen veggies, including green beans, corn, mixed veggies, and okra.

Green beans: cut up green beans as desired, then place in a pot of boiling water for 1-3 minutes. Then chill rapidly by placing green beans in a sink partially full of ice and cold water. Then, lay the green beans out flat on cake pans or some other surface, and place in the freezer so that the green beans freeze individually rather than as a large clump. After they are frozen, place in freezer bags.

Sweet Corn: Place the entire ears of shucked corn in a pot of boiling water for 1-3 minutes then chill rapidly by placing ears of corn in a sink partially full of ice and cold water. Then once the ears are cool, cut the kernels off the cob. Lay the kernels out flat on cake pans or some other surface, and place in the freezer so that the green beans freeze individually rather than as a large clump. After they are frozen, place in freezer bags.

Mixed veggies: prepare some of the green beans and corn as above, but add carrots, lima beans, or peas, following the same procedure used for the green beans.

Okra: Remove the stem ends from the okra pods without cutting into the gelatinous center of the pods. Then place in a pot of boiling water for 1-3 minutes and follow the same steps as listed above for green beans.

I think it is a good idea to use these frozen veggies within a year. They make great additions to soups, pot pies, stews, and so on!


FULLSHARE August 27th, 2015

photo (5)

FULLSHARE                                     HALFSHARE            MINISHARE
Tomato X6+                                                    X5                                 X2
Zuchini X2                                                       X1                                   X1
Peppers Sweet banana/bells X4                 X3                                   X2
Onions Sweet X2                                            X2                                    X1
Yellow Squash X2                                          X1                                     X1
Spaghetti Squash big                                     med
Asian Long Beans X1                                     X1
Eggplant X1                                                     X1
Pablano Peppers X3
Sweet Corn X5

Tomato and Ground Cherry Chutney

Tomato and Ground Cherry Chutney

Tomato and Ground Cherry Chutney

Ground cherries are a relative of the tomato, pepper, potato and garden huckleberry, all in the nightshade family. They are husked like a tomatillo but sweeter than a tomatillo–almost fruity with a pineapple flavor. They can be eaten raw or cooked in pies (see your recipe in this week’s full share) and other baked goods. This week’s recipe features fresh tomatoes and ground cherries, a chutney that will keep for a month or two in the refrigerator. This sweet and spicy chutney is a good accompaniment to cheese and crackers, grilled meat, and fresh vegetables. This recipe is inspired by Preserving Food without Freezing or Canning by the French Gardeners and Farmers of Terre Vivante. Read more about the book here.

Tomato and Ground Cherry Chutney

3 1/2 – 4 cups peeled, seeded and chopped tomatoes

1 large onion, chopped

1/2 cup (or so. More or less would be fine) ground cherries, husked

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup apple cider vinegar

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 stick cinnamon (or 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon)

Combine all ingredients in a large pot and cook for 30 minutes over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to low and cook for about 45 minutes. Place in a large, clean jar and then screw the lid on tight.


Ratatouille with Pasta

Ratatouille Pasta

Ratatouille Pasta

Ratatouille originated in the South of France and makes use of an abundance of summer vegetables. Use the vegetables in the recipe but feel free to substitute your choice of veggies as well. Recipe adapted from Rachel Ray and can be found here.

Ratatouille with Pasta

4 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 tsp crushed red pepper (optional)

olive oil

2 bell peppers–use any variety from this week’s box. I used a purple pepper and a green pepper, seeded and chopped

1 medium onion, chopped

1/2 large eggplant, chopped

2 small summer squash, diced

black olives–about a handful, chopped

2 tbs capers, drained

3 1/2 cups of peeled, seeded, and chopped tomatoes ( to make the tomatoes: place 3-4 tomatoes in boiling water for a couple of minutes. Cool. Cut an “x” into the skin of the bottom of the tomato, then peel. Slice the tomatoes to remove seeds. Chop remaining.)

handful of basil, chopped

1/2 lb penne or other pasta, cooked al dente.

Heat garlic and crushed pepper in olive oil over medium heat, until garlic sizzles. Add all ingredients, with the exception of tomatoes and basil. Cover pan, reduce heat to medium-low, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes. Add tomatoes and basil, and heat through. Serve with pasta, or alone as a side dish.


Fullshare 8/20/15


FULLSHARE                                                           HALFSHARE          MINISHARE
Tomatoes yellow/red  X6                                                      X5                                    X2
Basil   X1                                                                                   X1                                     X1/2
Sweet Onion  X2                                                                      X1                                    X1
Beans green/long/horticultural X1                                      X1                                    X1/2
Zuchini green/yellow         X3                                                X2                                    X1
Bell Peppers chocolate/lime  X4                                          X3                                       X2
Potatoes                                                                                     X1
Spaghetti Squash      X1big                                                     X1med
Yellow Squash            X2
Okra X1pt




Enjoy late summer’s tomato bounty with this easy appetizer.


3-4 large red tomatoes

2-3 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 cup kalamata olives, quartered

1 tsp. capers

large handful of basil, chopped

olive oil

apple cider vinegar

salt and pepper


feta (optional)

Tomato topping:

Submerge tomatoes in a large pot of boiling water for 2-3 minutes. Remove from water and let cool. Slice into the tomato skin and peel the tomatoes. Quarter the tomatoes, remove seeds, then finely chop and place in a bowl. Add olives, garlic, capers, 2 tbs or so of olive oil, and a 1 tbs vinegar. Stir together and add basil.

For toasts:

Heat broiler. Slice baguette (probably 1/2) and place on a baking sheet. Brush olive oil onto each toast. Brown in the oven.

Place tomatoes on toast right before serving. Enjoy!

Members, do you have any recipe ideas you would like to share? If so, email your recipe and a photo to

Fullshare 8/13/15


FULLSHARE                                          HALFSHARE      MINISHARE
Sweet Corn X9                                        X5                          X2
Tomatoes    X6                                        X4                           X2
Bell Peppers  X3                                     X3                           X2
Eggplant       X1                                       X1                           X1
Asian Beans or Green Beans X2         X1                            X1/2
Sweet Onion   X2                                   X1                            X1
Yellow Squash  X2
Kale X2
Chard X1
Zuchini X1
Burpless Cucumber X1
Pears X6

Boxes may vary slightly.  We are experiencing effects now from the large amounts of rain earlier this summer.

FULLSHARE August 5th, 2015


FULLSHARE                           HALFSHARE       MINISHARE
Sweet Corn X12                                      X6                              X3
Pablano and Jalapenos                        X2/3                           X1/3
Bell Peppers Colored   X3                     X2                               X1
Tomatoes Red and Yellow X6              X4                              X2
Beans yellow, purple, green                 X2/3                            X1/3
Sweet Onion   X2                                    X1
Watermelon X2                                        X1
Yellow Squash   X3                                  X2
Potatoes or Okra
Scarlet Kale
English Cucumber

Fullshare July 27th, 2015


FULLSHARE                                 HALFSHARE             MINISHARE
Tomatoes x6                                            x4                                  x2
Scarlet Kale                                              x1/2                              x1/3
Beans yellow, purple, roma, green     x2/3                               x1/3
Celery (substituted potatoes in some) x1                                  x1
Bell Peppers x3                                        x2                                   x1
Yellow Squash x5                                     x2
Sweet “Candy” Onion x2                         x1
Watermelon any of 4 varieties x1-2      x1

Individual Boxes varied slightly this week

Green, Yellow, and Purple Beans

Romano, Yellow Wax, and Purple Beans

Romano, Yellow Wax, and Purple Beans

What to do with all those beans?

This week’s full shares contain three varieties of green beans: the thick, flat Romano bean, yellow wax beans, and purple beans. All three types can be prepared as you would any other green bean recipe. The Romano bean holds up well to long, slow cooking, making it a good choice for stews, soups, and braising. Alas, the purple beans lose their color when cooked, so it might be best to eat these raw if you want them to keep their color.

Search our food blog for a number of green bean recipes, including the following:

Parmesan Green Beans and Kale

Green Bean Curry

Green Beans with Olives

Southern-Style Green Beans

The following recipe is from CSA member, Chrissy Bender, and you can check out this recipe on her blog here.

This post originally appeared on Cincinnati Moms Blog, part of City Moms Blog Network.garlicgreenbeans

Roasted Garlic Green Beans with Pine Nuts

Fresh green beans can be so delicious. They can also be very bland with the wrong recipe. This is a great recipe- simple enough, yet great texture and a wonderful flavor. If you don’t have white balsamic vinegar, you can substitute regular balsamic.

cooking spray (organic canola is my favorite)
1 lb. green beans, trimmed and cut into 1 – 1.5” pieces
1 sweet onion, sliced into half-moons
2 T minced garlic
salt and pepper to taste
3 T pine nuts
1.5 T white balsamic vinegar

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Spray cooking spray on a rimmed baking sheet. Spread beans and onion on sheet. Spread minced garlic over the top. Spray with cooking spray and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.

Bake for 25 minutes.

Sprinkle pine nuts over the beans, then change over to the broil setting. Move sheet up to the top rack. Broil for 2-3 minutes- keep your eye on it so the pine nuts don’t burn!
Scoop beans to a serving bowl and toss with the vinegar.

Thanks for sharing!! Members, if you would like to share a recipe on our food blog, please email your recipe and a photo to

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