- Pick crops at the height of ripeness. Freezing won’t make spoiled fruit good, nor ripen under-ripe produce.
- Invest in top quality, heavy-duty freezer containers.
- Blanch any green vegetables to stop the enzyme action that discolors produce and robs nutrition. Do this by cooking vegetables in boiling water a few minutes until bright green, and then plunging them into ice water to stop the process. Drain and freeze.
- Berries can be rinsed and flash frozen on cookie sheets, then packed into freezer bags. Soft fruits should have a sugar syrup or commercial ascorbic acid added before freezing to retain color. Herbs can be cleaned and frozen into ice cubes, or frozen in bunches in plastic containers.
- Frozen foods don’t last forever, but have a “shelf life” of six to 12 months. Be sure to mark dates on freezer containers and rotate the stock.
- Check freezer temperature. It should be below 0 degrees F.
With freezing, a bumper crop needn’t be a big headache. Just freeze the freshest batches every day. And enjoy in the months to come!
Written by Sow True Seed Garden Ambassador for WNC, Nan Chase