Dear Aggie

Question and Answer for August 18th: 

Help! My garden is overflowing! I have tomatoes, squash, greens, beans and herbs all ripening at the same time! How can I keep these fruits of my labors from going to waste?

There are worse problems to have than too much healthy food, but seriously, no one wants to put all this effort into something only to see it wasted! You can preserve garden produce by dehydration, pickling, canning, and freezing methods. You can also share with the neighbors or donate to a local food pantry. Make triple the amount of a favorite garden dish and freeze the remainder for meals this winter. Later on, you will be thankful for the treat. Stir fry a huge batch of greens, label and freeze in freezer bags. Harvest your basil, garlic scapes, or other herbs to make flavored vinegars and oils for gifts or blend into a huge pot of garden pesto. Freeze the pesto in small single use containers for flavoring all winter long. Some products like potatoes and onions will wait patiently while you take care of more perishable vegetables. Cabbages and cucumbers can be fermented in big batches for sauerkraut or pickles. Cornell Cooperative Extension of Jefferson County offers food preservation workshops. CCE also loans out canning equipment for beginner preservers who may not have water bath or pressure canning equipment at home. Join the ranks of highly successful gardeners and sell excess garden produce on a stand in your front yard –easy cash for next years seed money! To learn about food preservation workshops, visit

Question answered by Cathy Moore, Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Fort Drum Issue Leader for Cornell Cooperative Extension of Jefferson County. Contact her at 315-788-8450 or


Catherine Moore
Agriculture, Natural Resources & Fort Drum Issue Leader
(315) 788-8450 ext. 236

Last updated August 17, 2018