Ever had some surplus veggies from your CSA share that you didn't know what to do with? Use this section to get some ideas for how to preserve that surplus through canning, freezing, fermenting, making jam or jelly, or pickling, so that you can enjoy those veggies throughout the year.


Canning works by creating a tight vaccum seal in the container, keeping out oxygen and other bacterias and yeasts that naturally break down your vegetables. Safety and cleanliness is essential when canning foods; if proper sanitation isn't used when canning, you run the risk of botulism, a deadly form of food poisioning. Luckily, keeping safe and clean is easy by following some basic rules! Check out the below links for some great resources on how to get started canning.
Happy canning!


Freezing is an easy and convenient way to store your veggies for later use. Some veggies freeze better than others and proper packaging is required to protect the flavor, color, moisture content, and nutritional value of the food. In general, some characteristics of good freezing containers/packaging are:
  • Moisture vapor resistant
  • Durable and leakproof
  • Won't become brittle and crack at low temperatures
  • Resistant to oil, grease, or water
  • Protect foods from absorption of off flavors or odors
  • Easy to seal
  • Easy to mark


Fermentation is a way to harness some of the naturally living yeasts and micro-organisms that surround us everyday and nurture them in a way that develops great flavor and preservation. Eating fermented foods also introduces diverse vitamins and cultures in to your body, that are excellent for health. Some common foods that utilize fermentation are bread, cheese, wine, beer, sauerkraut, vinegar, soy sauce, and yogurt.

Here is a simple sauerkraut recipe, adapted from Sandorkraut, to get you started fermenting!


Timeframe: 1-4 weeks (or more)

Special Equipment:

•Ceramic crock or food-grade plastic bucket, one-gallon capacity or greater
•Plate that fits inside crock or bucket
•One-gallon jug filled with water (or a scrubbed and boiled rock/brick)
•Cloth cover (like a pillowcase or towel)

Ingredients (for 1 gallon):

•5 pounds cabbage
•3 tablespoons sea salt


1. Chop or grate cabbage, finely or coarsely, with or without hearts, however you like it. You can mix green and red cabbage to end up with bright pink kraut. Place cabbage in a large bowl as you chop it.

2. Sprinkle salt on the cabbage as you go. The salt pulls water out of the cabbage and this creates the brine in which the cabbage can ferment and sour without rotting. The salt also has the effect of keeping the cabbage crunchy, by inhibiting organisms and enzymes that soften it.

3. Add other vegetables. Get creative! Grate carrots for a coleslaw-like kraut, or include onions, garlic, seaweed, greens, Brussels sprouts, small whole heads of cabbage, turnips, beets, and burdock roots - the possibilities are endless! You can also add fruits (apples, whole or sliced, are classic), and herbs and spices (caraway seeds, dill seeds, celery seeds, and juniper berries are classic, but anything you like will work).

4. Mix ingredients together and pack into crock. Pack just a bit into the crock at a time and tamp it down hard using your fists or any (other) sturdy kitchen implement. The tamping packs the kraut tight in the crock and helps force water out of the cabbage.

5. Cover kraut with a plate or some other lid that fits snugly inside the crock. Place a clean weight (gallon jug of water/rock/brick) on the cover. This weight is to force water out of the cabbage and then keep the cabbage submerged under the brine. Cover the whole thing with a cloth to keep dust and flies out.

6. Press down on the weight to add pressure to the cabbage and help force water out of  it. Continue doing this periodically (as often as you think of it, every few hours), until the brine rises above the cover. This can take up to about 24 hours, as the salt draws water out of the cabbage slowly. Some cabbage, particularly if it is old, simply contains less water. If the brine does not rise above the plate level by the next day, add enough salt water to bring the brine level above the plate. Add about a teaspoon of salt to a cup of water and stir until it’s completely dissolved.

7. Leave the crock to ferment. You can store the crock in an unobtrusive corner of the kitchen or in a cool basement if you want a slower fermentation that will preserve for longer.

8. Check the kraut every day or two. The volume reduces as the fermentation proceeds. Sometimes mold appears on the surface.  Skim what you can off of the surface; it will break up and you will probably not be able to remove all of it. Don’t worry about this. It’s just a surface phenomenon, a result of contact with the air. The kraut itself is under the anaerobic protection of the brine. Rinse off the plate and the weight. Taste the kraut. Generally it starts to be tangy after a few days, and the taste gets stronger as time passes. In the cool temperatures of a cellar in winter, kraut can keep improving for months and months. In the summer or in a heated room, its life cycle is more rapid. Eventually it becomes soft and the flavor turns less pleasant.

9. Enjoy! Scoop out a bowl or jarful at a time and keep it in the fridge. Each time you scoop some kraut out of the crock, you have to repack it carefully. Make sure the kraut is packed tight in the crock, the surface is level, and the cover and weight are clean. Sometimes brine evaporates, so if the kraut is not submerged below brine just add salted water as necessary. Some people preserve kraut by canning and heat-processing it.

10. Develop a rhythm and keep it going! You can start a new batch before the previous batch runs out. Remove the remaining kraut from the crock, repack it with fresh salted cabbage, then pour the old kraut and its juices over the new kraut. This gives the new batch a boost with an active culture starter.

Check out these websites for more information and resources about fermenting foods:

Jams and Jelly

Vegetables can be used in various jams and jellies as well! It is not just for fruit anymore. Check out these recipes for some creative ideas that use basil, peppers, onions and zucchini:


Pickling is a great way to store and save your excess vegetables and create something new and different than a basic fresh veggie! A basic guide to pickling is below followed by some links to innovative pickling recipes that will get you excited about storing any left over vegetables from your share.

For the brine:
10 cloves garlic, peeled
2 cups white vinegar
6 teaspoons kosher salt
Several sprigs of fresh dill
1 teaspoon celery seed
1 teaspoon coriander seed
1 teaspoon mustard seed
1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
1/2 teaspoon pink peppercorns (if you have 'em)

For the vegetables:(you can use any or all of these!)
6 Kirby cucumbers, quartered lengthwise
6 young spring carrots, peeled and cut in half lengthwise
1 handful large scallion pieces or green beans
A few pieces of cauliflower to tuck wherever they'll fit
4 small hot red chiles or 2 jalapenos

In a medium saucepan, bring 4 cups water to a boil, reduce the heat so the water simmers and add the garlic. Cook for 5 minutes. Add the vinegar and salt, raise the heat and bring to a boil, stirring until the salt dissolves. Remove from the heat.

In 2 clear 1-quart jars, place a few sprigs of dill. Divide the seeds and peppercorns between the jars. Using tongs, remove the garlic from the brine and place 5 cloves in each jar. Then pack the jars full of cucumbers, carrots, scallions or green beans, cauliflower and chiles. You want them to be tightly stuffed.

Bring the brine back to a boil, pour it over the vegetables to cover completely, let cool, then cover and refrigerate. The pickles will taste good in just a few hours, better after a couple of days. And they'll keep for about 3 months.

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