It’s officially summer, and summer means the garden is bushing out and starting to promise some delicious produce. It may be almost August, but our garden is just getting ready to deliver!
Last year brought an almost overwhelming wave of produce. The apricot trees (which hadn’t yielded fruit for about ten years) were loaded with big golden globes of sweetness. My husband spent each morning picking apricots, and I spent the afternoons cutting and freezing apricots.
Then a neighbor called and offered us plums, as many as we could take. Another gave us peaches. Then there was an amazing deal on fresh blueberries at the store.
Too much produce!
We were spending every afternoon, evening, and Sunday canning and freezing fruit, and it was getting exhausting. I had wished for a great apple crop that year, but at this point I was glad we didn’t have one!
As much work as all that fruiting was, it would have been more had we not invested in the right tools for the job. Two specifically that I recommend you have for preserving any kind of produce are a large funnel and a bag holder.
The funnel I bought as part of a canning kit. You can buy them individually, but I needed the rest of the kit anyway. Everything seems to be quality and held up very well to last year’s long summer of preserving.
We made a lot of use out of the jar lifter and bubble remover, and it was nice to have an extra timer. The funnel of course we use year round, especially when we freeze cooked beans.
The bag holders came in a set of two, and honestly I think I will be buying more. We use them when we fill our smoothie bags, freeze cooked beans or produce, and any other time we are filling bags. We often wash plastic bags and reuse them, and the bag holders serve as a perfect rack to dry them on. I do love a multitasker.
Most of the time we are using these bag holders with quart freezer bags, but they can extend for use with gallon bags as well.
Aim for simplicity
These seem like simple tools, right? I have found that the best kitchen gadgets a.) are simple and easy to use, and b.) have multiple uses. These both qualify.
Though our fruit trees seem to be taking a break this year, I do plan to purchase some fruit from local orchards so we can enjoy some peaches through the winter. Do you grow any of your own produce, or do you prefer to get it from stores and farmers markets?
Have a wonderful summer!