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As our garden begins to wind down and we prepare for a potential first frost, September still gives us a bit of a harvest. In some ways, it’s almost a race between things maturing and the frost ending the season! For the September harvest, I’m highlighting three root vegetables—onions, beets, and carrots—which should be fine even if we do have a light frost. Apples and cabbage round out this month’s picks for my local area.

Preserving Your September Harvest

Not only will you save money by buying produce in-season, but if you can grow your own or find it locally, the bonus is amazing flavor. We’re still harvesting tomatoes and summer squash, too, which were highlighted in last month’s post: Preserving Your August Harvest.

Be sure to check my previous posts: Preserving Your May Harvest, Preserving Your June Harvest, and Preserving Your July Harvest for my top five picks for those months. (Picks! Get it? LOL)


Preserving Your September Harvest


I think cabbage may be my favorite vegetable. It’s so amazingly versatile! It can be served raw as coleslaw, cooked as a side or even a main dish, and fermented to turn into tasty and gut-friendly sauerkraut.

Cabbage also stores very well, provided it is kept cold and moist. A root cellar is the ideal long-term storage space for cabbage, but there are other options such as a garden mound, pit, or clamp if you don’t have a root cellar. We have a cold room (an unheated room on the front of our house) that has worked well as a makeshift root cellar, giving us several months of storage.

Canning plain cabbage isn’t recommended, but pickled (sauerkraut) is fine. Personally, I prefer lacto-fermented sauerkraut that is left raw not only for the flavor but because of the probiotics and other vitamins and enzymes.


Preserving Your September Harvest: Beets


I’m a huge beet fan. Roasted and pickled are my favorites, but I’m more than willing to try other beet dishes. Canning is probably the most popular preservation method for beets (Note: Because they are low acid, you use a pressure canner for plain beets), but you can also freeze, dehydrate, or ferment them. Plus, beets store well in the ground until a hard freeze and then in a root cellar.

Remember! You can use the beet greens too. Check out this post for ideas.


How to Preserve Onions


When the bulbs are large and the tops begin to yellow and fall over, it’s time to harvest the onions. Once harvested, they’ll keep as-is for a long time with proper storage.

Before storing, be sure to cure the onions to dry the outer skin and prevent rot. Spread in a single layer on a clean, dry surface. Allow them to dry for two or three weeks until the skin is papery and the moisture is gone from the necks.

Some people like to layer onions in nylon stockings, knotting between each onion. A basket or crate that allows airflow is another good way to store them. A root cellar is the ideal storage location, but a basement, garage, or cold room will also work as long as they don’t freeze.

Looking for other ways to preserve onions? Onions can be frozen, pressure canned, dehydrated, or fermented. Pro tip: Dehydrating is best done outside or in the garage.

Preserving Your September Harvest


Apples are probably one of the most widely known and best-storing fruits out there. With proper storage, and depending on the variety, you may be eating fresh juicy apples throughout the winter.

There are also many, many ways to preserve fresh apple goodness, such as freezing, water bath canning, dehydrating, and even fermenting.


Preserving Carrots


Delaying the carrot harvest until after a light frost will result in amazing flavor and sweetness. Those of you with mild winters may even be able to keep the carrots in the ground almost indefinitely, picking when ready to use. If this is you, I’m jealous!

Carrots can be stored whole in a root cellar or kept in sand, and they’re also perfect for all our favorite preservation methods.


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How do you preserve your September harvest? Leave a comment below!

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