It’s been something however a typical Maine summer time.
An uncommon quantity of rain and lack of sunny days have thrown some backyard crops off schedule. Produce is ripening early, late or extra sporadically, which implies these trying to put up meals have to regulate and adapt how they protect this 12 months’s harvests.
However meals preservation consultants are assured there shall be loads of homegrown produce to place up this 12 months — so long as you make some changes to the way you do it.
“I consider we’ve a sturdy manufacturing of Maine meals,” mentioned Kathy Savoie, professor with College of Maine Cooperative Extension. “Individuals right here used all kinds of rising strategies and now we’re getting the new, sunny days we want.”
Right here’s what it’s worthwhile to know.
Just a few tomatoes at a time: In case your tomatoes are solely ripening on their vines a number of at a time, it’s arduous to make a big batch of salsa or sauce. Savoie suggests freezing tomatoes as they ripen till you have got sufficient to course of.
“Core them and simply hold including them to a freezer bag in your freezer,” she mentioned. “When you have got sufficient to make a sauce or no matter you need to make, simply take them out and thaw them.”
An added bonus is that when the tomatoes thaw, the skins will slip proper off.
Make a half-batch when you possibly can: In case your general harvest is small however you continue to need to make a sauce or salsa out of tomatoes, strive making a small batch. There are recipes that may be lower in half whenever you don’t have sufficient produce for a full batch.
“Be sure you are utilizing a validated U.S. Division of Agriculture or Nationwide Middle for Dwelling Meals Preservation recipe,” Savoie mentioned. “These may be lower in half to make smaller batches.”
Reducing jam and jelly recipes in half is a little more troublesome, she mentioned. It is determined by what sort of pectin you might be utilizing. Ensure to verify the recipe on the pectin’s packaging to see if there are directions for utilizing much less.
A lot humidity: Whereas residence canning isn’t affected by humidity, dehydration is, Savoie mentioned.
“If you find yourself dehydrating meals, you might be working to take away the moisture within the meals,” she mentioned. “With excessive humidity, you might be then working towards the weather with quite a lot of moisture within the air.”
Savoie encourages individuals to make use of a business residence dehydrator as it’s way more environment friendly and reliable than drying issues out in a low-temperature oven. However as soon as it’s executed, you aren’t.
Retailer your dehydrated meals in an hermetic container or bag after which watch it for 2 or three days if circumstances are humid, she mentioned.
“Be aware even should you assume it’s executed drying,” Savoie mentioned. “Control it to see if condensation is forming within the jar or within the bag.”
If it does, it must be positioned again within the dehydrator for extra time to drag further moisture out of the meals.
“With canning and preservation, you might be at all times within the vibe with the season,” Savoie mentioned. “You might be at all times working with what is obtainable.”