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Are you enjoying fresh produce from your garden, farmers’ market, or even roadside stands? June in the Northern Hemisphere means the beginning of summer and the beginning of garden abundance. June is also a wonderful month for fresh fruits! I’ve put together a few of the popular vegetables or fruits you may be picking this month and my favorite ways to preserve my June harvest.
A great way to stretch your food dollars is to purchase fruits, vegetables, and even protein in season or to (frugally) grow your own. If you are in an area where you started your garden several weeks or months ago, you may be harvesting now. If you’re in Zone 4b, like me, harvest is still weeks—ahem, months—away. Even so, I’m picking up items in the grocery store when they are at rock-bottom pricing and preserving them for future use. Here are a few things I’m looking for.
Preserving Your June Harvest
Harvest time for blueberries is early June to early August, with some varieties peaking earlier or later. Freezing is a simple and easy way to preserve your blueberry harvest. Be sure to allow them to freeze in a single layer before bagging to avoid a lump of blueberries. Blueberries can also be canned, fermented, or dehydrated. So many options for these lovely little gems!
Keep in mind, when fermenting fruit, they do not have as long of a shelf life as fermented vegetables, such as cabbage. The natural sugars in the fruit turn into alcohol. Be sure to use whey or another starter and monitor your ferment. I check and burp my ferments (kept in cold storage) weekly, paying special attention to how it looks and smells. Most fruit ferments last only a few weeks to months.
- How to Freeze Blueberries
- Canning Blueberries
- Canning Blueberries (and other berries)
- 3 Easy Methods for Dehydrating Blueberries
- Lacto-Fermented Blueberries
- Lacto-Fermented Blueberry Jam
- Fermented Blueberry Sauce
Spring and early summer are the usual harvest times for this cool-weather crop. Hot weather can cause lettuce to bolt. Many gardeners will plant a second crop of lettuce in the fall when it starts to cool off.
For the most part, lettuce isn’t a good candidate for long-term storage options. I like to keep the lettuce in the ground and harvest it as needed, for as long as possible, instead of trying to preserve it.
That said, there are methods for preserving an abundant harvest through freeing, fermenting, and dehydrating. Just don’t plan on using that lettuce in a salad! Use it for smoothies, soups, stews, or even casseroles or, in the case of fermented, a probiotic-rich condiment.
- How to Preserve Lettuce: Tips and Tricks to Preserving Lettuce
- Lacto-Fermented Lettuce (or any delicate green)
- How to Dehydrate Lettuce
- Frozen Greens for Smoothies (water and blender method)
- Can You Freeze Romaine Lettuce For Smoothies
- 10 Ways to Regrow Food in Water (this is something new I’m trying with our Romaine and other lettuce varieties with a stump. Instead of composting the stump, I’m attempting to grow a new head of lettuce! I’ll try it and report back on how it’s working for me)
When I lived in Oregon, I couldn’t wait for June. June meant fresh strawberry season! I’d find a u-pick farm and harvest waaaay too many. Well, too many for a normal person. But I never tired of them! While fresh-from-the-field strawberries are still my favorite, they do preserve nicely for future use.
- How to Freeze Strawberries (whole)
- How to Freeze Strawberries (whole or half)
- Canning Strawberries (with or without sugar)
- Recipe for Strawberry Jam
- Air Fryer Dehydrated Strawberries
- How to Dehydrate Strawberries & Strawberry Powder
- Fruit Leather Recipe
- Fermented Strawberry Sauce
- Fermented Mixed Berries
Apricot harvest starts mid-spring and runs into early summer. Dehydrated apricots are one of my favorite snacks and a lovely addition to a charcuterie board. I’ll admit, I just call it a meat and cheese tray since I’m not trendy enough for properly pronouncing charcuterie board. Lacto-Fermented Apricot Chutney is another one of my favorites. It’s slight tang is perfect with cheese and crackers or alongside a poultry dish. I also like it added to yogurt.
- Freezing Apricots (syrup pack or sugar pack)
- How to Freeze Apricots (fruit only)
- Canning Apricots
- Apricot Jam Recipe
- Dried Apricots
- Apricot Butter (Lacto-Fermented)
- Lacto-Fermented Apricot Chutney
- Cultured Apricot Fruit Leather
Cattails: Swamp Supermarket
Okay, okay! So… you may not think about cattails when looking for items to preserve and harvest. And truly, many parts of the cattail can be harvested and enjoyed year-round (depending on your climate). June is prime time for harvesting cattail pollen and the young tender shoots. While the rhizome is usually not harvested in spring, I’m including the info so you can refer back to it for your fall harvest. Be sure to check this article for more information on cattails.
- Gathering Cattail Pollen
- Cattail Pollen Harvesting and Drying
- Pickled Cattail Shoots
- Pickled Cattail Shoots Recipe
- Cattail Rhizome: Flour from the Marsh
More Articles You May Enjoy
- Instant Pot Chocolate Cheesecake With Probiotic Blueberry Sauce
- Instant Pot Strawberry Cobbler (grain-free, nut-free, naturally sweetened)
- Main Dish Salad – A Quick, Healthy & Delicious Meal
- July Meal Plan Ideas: Bring on the Salad!
- Reducing Food Waste: Fruits and Vegetables