What To Do with the Extra Produce from Your Garden

One of the best ways to enjoy fresh food is to grow a garden. There’s plenty of fresh food to enjoy during the summer, and it doesn’t cost very much when you grow it yourself.

But what happens when you have extra produce? You don’t want it to just rot. The good news is that you do have some options for making use of it. Here are some ideas for using the extra produce in your garden:

Give It Away

You don’t have to just try to get rid of squash; you can give away other produce as well. Your neighbors will appreciate peppers, strawberries, tomatoes, corn, and other produce. If you have a lot of extra produce, share it with the people you know. They will enjoy it, and you don’t have to see it go to waste.

Another option is to find out if the local soup kitchen accepts donations of fresh produce for what they make. The local food bank might accept it as well. Being able to provide a service for your community, as well as food for your own table, can be very satisfying.

Sell It

Of course, you don’t have to give it away. You could decide to sell it. If you have kids, this can be a great way for them to earn a little extra money. Have a “farm stand” set up so that they can sell your extra produce. You can also consider whether or not it makes sense to take the extra to a local farmer’s market. Some markets charge a hefty sum for participation, so it might not make sense if you don’t have a lot of produce. Consider your options, and figure out what makes sense for your family. Selling your extra yield could mean a little extra cash in your pocket.

Preserve It For the Winter

Just because you don’t eat it during the summer doesn’t mean that you can’t eat it some other time. You can preserve most fresh produce with the right processes. A number of fruits and vegetables can be bottled or frozen. You keep the nutrients and most of the flavor, and you can enjoy your garden even during the winter.

There are also ways to preserve your produce in other forms. When we have a lot of apples, we make applesauce and pie filling. It’s a fun way to preserve all those extra apples. You can also turn extra tomatoes into spaghetti sauce or salsa.

Dehydration is another good way to preserve some of your produce. Many fruits can be dehydrated and stored, or made into fruit leather. I like to dry my herbs and use them year-round. They are tasty, and it saves me having to go to the store when I want herbs.

There is no reason to throw out any of your produce. If you must, turn it into compost. But, really, you are better off giving it away, selling it, or preserving it for use later.

What do you do with extra produce from your garden?

Top tips to make your eco-home count

Have you looked at the news recently? If there isn’t a new war raging, a political sleaze scandal or a threat from some foreign entity you hadn’t heard of until now, there’s celebrity news to neutralise your panic.

It’s all enough to make you feel so helpless in the world. But there’s one story that keeps popping up in the news, and it’s all the more terrifying because it might cause the actual end of the world.

You guessed it – it’s climate change. But despite the panicked clamour from news headlines, this isn’t a story that has to leave you feeling impotent. With a number of alterations to your home, you could turn it from a hefty polluter to an eco-dream.

Make a suntrap for the summer

With the endless sun of the summer drawing near, now is the perfect time to turn your home into a place to catch those rays and convert them into something even more useful.

For a start, invest in extensions such as conservatories with ceiling windows to capture those rays. Not only will this allow you to have a summer snooze indoors, it’ll also oxygenate your home and allow it to retain heat more effectively, saving you on energy bills.

Next, install a few solar panels to turn that shimmering sun into a new energy outlet for your home. Although they won’t come in handy during those dark and drudging winters, they will ensure that you’re not wasting finite resources unnecessarily.

Essentially, this will save you on energy bills and cut down immensely on your reliance on fossil fuels.

Insulate, insulate, insulate

Those heating bills always mount up in the winter, don’t they? But if you haven’t insulated your wall cavities, those bills will pile up even higher.

Call in some professionals to fill your walls with fibreglass and you’ll be able to halt heat trying to worm its way out through your wall cavities, saving you on energy costs when those chilly months come knocking.

DON’T keep up with the Joneses

Energy efficiency isn’t just about making additions to your home – it’s also about skimping on the things you don’t really need.

In so many cases, people obsess over the latest gadget, gizmo, doowop or thingamajig that their neighbour has and buy something similar in a bizarre display of self-worth.

But the more gadgets you buy, the more energy you’ll expend using them. So, before you go splashing out on an IPad, a big screen telly or a sports car, take a minute to think about whether you actually need them.

And really, what’s more important – your latest exorbitant purchase, or living a sustainable, healthy and planet-friendly life?