As is so often the case, a particular crop comes on all at once, producing more than I could ever use. Right now, it’s broccoli – a perfect example of why learning different methods of preserving crops is such an important part of vegetable gardening! All of a sudden, all of my large and prolific broccoli plants – which until last week didn’t look like they were producing much more than gigantic leaves – have broccoli heads on them. Like many crops, it’s essential that you harvest broccoli right when it’s ready – when the heads are still tight – otherwise, it starts to go to flower (which is very pretty, but not particularly tasty).
So, my mom and I cut all of the broccoli heads that were ready to go, then cut them up into 1-1 1/2″ florets, dunked them in boiling water for 2-3 minutes, then immediately submerged them in ice water (to stop them from cooking) for another 2-3 minutes, and then into quart freezer bags. Preserving fresh garden produce doesn’t get any easier than this!
I think that my crop is so productive this year because of the new raised beds in the veggie garden – and the new, fresh soil in those beds. It makes all the work from earlier this spring worthwhile!