One of the things about growing your own food — if you are a successful grower, that is — is that there is often more than you can eat. There’s always freezing, processing, drying, canning, etc but even so, in our case at least, we’ve often grown more than we can eat in a timely manner.
What to Do with Extra Produce
The beauty of this is that most people love it when you give them fresh fruit or vegetables. Of course if I consistently only offer my neighbor zucchini she might get tired of accepting but most people love to get produce, especially free produce.
There are some friends and family that prefer to get the finished produce as well. Not everyone likes to cook and it just so happens that I do. So, when we have a surfeit of corn or what have you, it’s time to have a BBQ, or when I have so many raspberries the freezer is inundated so I make jam, there are plenty of folks who would love to have a jar or two.
A couple of relatives are older and can no longer cook so we use a significant number of our tomato haul to make sauce for assembly line lasagnas made ahead and then frozen for their later use. The same goes with soup and many other dishes. I make big batches and then freeze into smaller portions for my elderly family members, using my own produce of course.
Donating Extra Produce
Even so, there have been times when I either haven’t had the time to process the produce or the sheer volume is ridiculous. This is when I take a bag to work, the food bank or yes, I’ve literally left piles of squash out front of our house for dog walkers and the like.
Each year I swear to grow less. Maybe this year will be that year. If not, there are food pantries popping up all over my city… I think they may be the beneficiaries of some of my surfeit of produce this year.