Here in Floyd & Montgomery Counties (VA) we are finally getting some much needed “spring” rain (on June 18th no less!) and local gardeners are just starting to harvest garlic scapes, lettuces, rhubarb, greens, and peas.
Spices are perfect for harvesting right now as well and dehydrating or freezing them for use all year long. As you can see from the picture below, potatoes are just starting to set flowers around here and tomatoes and peppers are about 6″ above the ground. Our seedling transplants are all in the ground, and our gardens are growing and getting ready to produce a bounty for us in about 4-6 weeks.
In anticipation of this year’s bountiful harvest, ’tis the season to prepare for upcoming canning and food preservation of locally grown/locally sourced produce. The Virginia Cooperative Extension Master Food Volunteers of Floyd and Montgomery County (VA) along with our gardening partners Plenty! and Micah’s Garden, have been hard at work preparing our gardens and planning for a battery of wonderful food preservation classes!
Participants also learned the difference between canning low acid foods (pressure canner needed) vs. canning high acid foods (boiling water bath canner needed) and how to adjust the Ph in certain low-acid foods (like cucumbers, peppers, and tomatoes) with lemon juice or vinegar to ensure a safe product.
Upcoming classes include Pressure Canning 101 where participants will learn how to safely pressure can green beans at home. These classes fill up quickly and a fun time is most definitely had by all. (However, the truly best part is being able to eat your own home-canned green beans in the middle of winter!!!)