September is a critical month for harvesting fruits and vegetables—at the peak of their taste and ripeness. One of the most important decisions is how quickly do you want to eat your produce? Many gardeners choose to eat in season, while others choose to preserve some of it for winter months.
There are numerous ways to preserve ripe produce. Canning or bottling fruits and vegetables to make everything from pickles to conserves is becoming very popular. Bottling, however, involves high cooking temperatures and isn’t really a safe place for inexperienced help. Freezing and drying are two very simple food preservation techniques and are better options because both of them can be done safely with older and younger children.
Here’s a step-by-step tutorial for freezing corn to show you how easily it can be done and how you can get your kids involved.
Research conducted at school garden projects indicates that students who learn about and grow some of their food are more likely to enjoy eating fruits and vegetables. If that’s the case, then it stands to assume that the result would be the same (if not greater) from growing and harvesting fruits and vegetables at home. Teaching children to incorporate these basic food preparation skills, along with what they learned about growing food this summer is a great way to tell the whole story about where and how food is produced. More importantly, by teaching and learning these skills with your children you’ll instill the self-confidence that comes through accomplishing a valuable (and tasty) task.