Category Archives: Green Beans

asparagus

Preserve the Harvest

asparagusThe growing season may be over, but that doesn’t mean you’ll have to do without the fresh fruits and vegetables you’ve bought all summer at your farmers’ market. There are several ways you can save them and enjoy them throughout the winter.

Freezing is the easiest, quickest, and safest way to preserve vegetables, though it doesn’t work for all types. Asparagus, broccoli, green beans, peppers, summer squash, and dark leafy greens freeze well, and if you cut it off the cob, so does fresh corn. Use the freshest veggies possible and make sure they’re free of any damage and wash them. It’s best to blanche the vegetables before freezing, to preserve their quality by destroying the enzymes that destroy taste and color. To blanche, bring a large pot of water (at least a gallon for each pound of vegetables) to a boil, add the clean and trimmed veggies to the pot and check for doneness after a minute. When they are done, remove them from the pot and put them into an ice water bath to stop the cooking process. Let them cool and dry them well.  Pack them into freezer bags — the heavy-duty kind are best — and force out as much air as you can. Pack them into the freezer but be careful not to crowd them.

When you’re ready to use them, you don’t even have to thaw the vegetables. Just drop them into your stir-fry, casserole or soup and cook as usual. A short time in the microwave will make them ready to eat. Be careful not to overcook or you’ll find those crisp veggies will end up soggy.

Another option is to can vegetables using the hot water bath method. This method of preserving foods dates to the 1800s, when Napoleon sponsored a contest to discover a means of preserving large amounts of food so that he could feed his troops while on the march. The winner was Nicolas Appert who heated food to a certain temperature, killing the germs that cause spoilage. The heat also forced air out of the jar so that it sealed the lid.

Canning works best with high acid vegetables, so it’s especially good for tomatoes; beans, beets, and carrots are also good for canning. You’ll need some equipment, including a kettle wide and deep enough to hold several canning jars and enough water to cover them; canning jars, and lids. It’s important that you closely follow all directions for water bath canning; check with Cornell Cooperative Extension for canning instructions and canning classes in your area.

 

 

Photo Credit: Meditations Via Pixabay

Massachusetts Ave Farmers Market

Massachusetts Avenue Project (MAP) Growing Green Mobile Market

Massachusetts Ave Farmers MarketMAP operates both a Mobile Market and an urban farm in Buffalo. We grow most of the produce we sell and source the rest from other local farmers so that we can bring fresh, local, natural or organic produce to areas where it is not easy to find grocery stores.

When is the market open?  The market is open Thursdays 4 PM-6 PM (Elim) and Fridays 11 AM-1 PM (Moot); June-October.

Where is the market located?  The market is located at Elim Christian Fellowship, 70 Chalmers Ave. Buffalo, NY  (Thursdays) and BFNC Moot Senior Center, 292 High St. Buffalo, NY  (Fridays)

Does the market accept EBT SNAP Benefits? Yes, and we also accept FreshConnect checks, where you receive a $2 check for every $5 you spend in SNAP Benefits. We also administer and accept Double Up Food Bucks (DUFB), where if you spend $10 from your SNAP Card at a participating farmers market, we give you another $10 to buy fresh fruits and veggies at the market! We also accept Senior and WIC Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program (FMNP) checks. As a SNAP vendor, we partner with Cornell Cooperative Extension’s Eat Smart NY program to bring nutrition education to our customers.

What products do the vendors offer? The market offers a variety of in season fruits and vegetables.

What makes your market special?  In addition to providing fresh produce, we focus on youth development – we hire youth in the community to work on advocacy, gardening, customer service, and creating value-added products.

Special Events: None planned yet, but stay tuned to our Facebook page and sign up for our newsletter at mass-ave.org so you don’t miss anything!

For more information about Massachusetts Avenue Project (MAP) Growing Green Mobile Market, visit their website http://mass-ave.org/  and their Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/MassachusettsAvenueProject

Check out what is being picked this week*:

Peas, Lettuce, Beets, Greens, Radishes, Green Onions, Strawberries, Cherries, Cabbage, Broccoli and Cucumbers.

*Availability will vary by market, due to differences in growing zones.

 Recipe of the week: Cheesy Cabbage Casserole

http://snaptomarket.com/?recipe=cheesy-cabbage-casserole