Sharing Your Heirloom Vegetable Harvest With Friends & Families

Are your tomato plants producing more than you can process or freeze?  Or is your garden looking like cucumbers gone wild?  If you have a plentiful harvest, you definitely should share them amongst your friends and family who will appreciate them.  Here are some tips to ensure your fruits and veggies don’t go to waste AFTER you give them away (because let’s face it, haven’t most of us been given some free veggies and we just didn’t quite get around to using them before they went bad?)

Pick the day you give away
Vegetables are best the day you pick them, despite what the grocery stores try and tell you.  It is usually better to be left on the plant for that extra day than to sit in a bag by your garage door for that extra day before you can deliver them.

Plan who you will give it to
If you know your sister loves tomatoes, don’t pick her a box full of heirloom tomatoes for her, only to discover this was the weekend she was travelling on an out-of-state camping trip with her family.  If you are picking for someone specific, pick up the phone and make sure they not only will be home to receive your veggies but that she will be home to enjoy them too.

Is it really a disliked vegetable?
Maybe you have a bumper crop of turnips or Brussell sprouts.  You might think they are the best vegetables on the planet, but let’s face it, they aren’t that popular.  However, you never know which of your friends might also consider the turnip the all star of all vegetables.  So even if you think no one likes turnips, do offer out those often disliked vegetables to others and find out who loves them.  And don’t forget to share recipes too!

Check your local food banks
Many food banks love fruits and veggies from the garden, but sometimes they cannot accept them on certain days because they do not have proper refrigeration for anything not taken that day.  It is usually best to drop off first thing in the morning, or find out what days are best for them to receive fresh produce.  But because food banks have different rules (some don’t accept garden grown produce, believe it or not), phone or visit ahead of time to be sure.

Cook it up
Especially if you have older relatives who don’t cook as often, college age kids who lack cooking skills, or simply friends with very busy families, sometimes the best thing you can do is turn that extra zucchini into zucchini bread or turn all those tomatoes into a huge batch of marinara sauce that can frozen in individual portion sizes.   There are many people who would be very grateful for some homestyle cooking with ingredients right from your garden.

Share and Enjoy

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