This involves cleaning out the deep freezers by using up last years meats and frozen foods by sorting, tossing and separating the old from the new. Our veggies are stored away by blanching, freezing in single layers and then vacuum sealing in food storage bags. I've got three of our four freezer shelves designated for this summer's goods, leaving one shelf for last year's goods that will be eaten first. Any produce that has been frozen too long gets tossed in the compost bin. We store a mix of home canned goods as well for emergencies such as peaches, green beans and tomato products.
Our raspberries produced and produced! They have been turned into homemade jams, juices, and some frozen for later use. We have an abundance of wild raspberries, blueberries and huckleberries as well. Frozen berries are good additions to homemade waffles, yogurt, pies and smoothies. These can be easily grown, picked wild, or purchased at your farmer's market. With the exception of lemons, we try and only buy produce in season.
We're starting to harvest herbs such as dill, thyme, oregano, marjoram and basil for drying. They get picked, bundled and hung in the rafters of our shed. In a week or so, they're dry and ready to strip off the stems to store away in jars. We go through a lot of herbs during the winter months and growing them in the garden is quite easy. With the exception of the basil and rosemary, most of our herbs come back each year.
Now that we've made the initial investment installing our gardens, much of our produce is practically free by harvesting and saving our own seeds .. and that's a good thing!
Ask yourself this question: 'This coming year I'd like to learn how to _________ .'