grow it cook it preserve it eat it wendy pillar blog gardener grow your own in dorset
Don't give away the goods! -
This idea is going to be controversial, but this year, I'm suggesting that you don't give away the fruits of your hard work in the vegetable garden. It's good to be generous and to share an abundance, but why the compulsion to give away home grown food? You wouldn't go to the supermarket, then give what you have bought away to the neighbours when you come home, and you wouldn't expect a farmer to give away her crops, yet the home grower seems to be expected to give away a good part of their produce, as if it cost them nothing to produce.
I am fairly serious in trying to grow a very large proportion of our fruit and vegetable needs, and I expend a good deal of money, time, effort and expertise doing it. It's part of our household ecosystem. To give the resulting produce away undermines the value of that produce and trivialises the activity -
With some crops, such as cucumbers, there isn't much choice, as they can't be preserved, or at least I haven't found a way to do so yet. But don't give away tomatoes. They are so easy to bottle, dry or freeze, and contribute enormously to brightening up the otherwise limited brassica-
As an overall strategy, do develop your techniques for storing your produce as your first approach, and plan your quantities well -
You will probably still end up giving away cucumbers though ...