Agriculture,  Culinary History,  Farming,  Food History,  History,  Plants,  Produce

Preserving All the Bounty

When I was a little girl, I loved reading over and over again the descriptions of the harvest seasons in Laura Ingalls Wilder’s books. There was something so intriguing to me about how the pioneers preserved their harvest and the satisfaction that was felt when the harvest was all brought it. The coziness of those autumn days reached through the pages and delighted me. They still do 🙂

If you were a farmer, farming meant you also needed to know how to preserve all that bounty! If you had a good harvest or even if you had a bad one, you wouldn’t want to waste anything. And it’s incredibly good feeling to be able to put up the food that you grew with your own hands!

There are lots of different ways of preserving the bounty of the farm. And farm wives were well versed in all of them! Some foods kept well on their own like nuts and hard winter squash, but most foods needed to be preserved for later. Here are just a few ways that they kept their harvest for the winter.

  • Canning
  • Drying (Fruits and vegetables)
  • Root Cellar storage (Good for vegetables that grow underground like potatoes)
  • Making jams and jellies
  • Smoking and drying meat
  • Making syrups and distilling
  • Fermenting
  • Pickling

Now days, we might not be smoking our own meat, but preserving the bounty of the harvest is still a good idea! Unless you are really intrigued by one of these early skills and want to learn it, don’t forget that there are easier ways of preserving food today. Give freezing, dehydrating or vacuum sealing a try!

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