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Book Review: How to Store Your Garden Produce: The Key to Self-sufficiency
By Piers Warren, Reviewed by Mary Zellachild

How to Store Your Garden Produce: The Key to Self-Sufficiency book cover“There is a huge sense of satisfaction in being so self-reliant that you can grow fresh fruit and vegetables all year. With less than an acre, you can cultivate enough produce to feed a family of four for an entire year – but as most produce is ripe in the summer and autumn, most of it will go to waste without proper storage. This book is a modern guide to storing and preserving your garden produce, enabling you to eat home-grown goodness all year round. It is beautifully organised with the first part detailing a variety of creative storage methods, including basic storage, clamping, drying and vacuum-packing as well as pickles, chutneys, cheese, jams and jellies. The book also features an easy-to-use A-Z list of produce, in which each entry includes recommended varieties, suggested methods of storage and a range of delicious and unusual recipes to try out...” (Amazon)

As summer gets into gear and our gardens begin to produce, thoughts turn to preserving the harvest, and How to Store Your Garden Produce contains a lot of useful information on this topic, packed into a small space. Descriptions of 14 different storage techniques—including “clamping” and “vacuum packing”—are brief but complete. Fruits and vegetables from apples through turnips each have their own section. Many of the recipes may prove to be an unfamiliar but enticing eating experience for gardeners in the US. This book is straightforward without a lot of filler.

One criticism: in the canning section, it mentions using the oven. The oven canning process is not safe according to the USDA and numerous other sources (for example oven-canning), as it does not reliably allow the temperature to get high enough to kill bacteria that cause spoilage and illness, and it can cause also glass bottles to shatter. For up-to-date information on safe canning methods, visit the University of Georgia’s National Center for Home Food Preservation’s at:

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