It’s around that time where most gardens are producing way more vegetables and herbs than we can ever use. While tomato sauce and zucchini bread are great ways to use up those extra vegetables, that will only go so far. Zucchini bread for breakfast, lunch and dinner gets old very quickly.
Thankfully, we at City Floral have had many years to perfect ways to use up that surplus of vegetables. Here are 6 ways we handle the excess of vegetables and herbs that have overtaken our own gardens.
Give to Friends and Family
Everyone loves fresh veggies and what better way to make someone’s day is with a vegetable goodie bag. Fill up a paper or reusable bag with those extra vegetables and herbs and hand deliver them to your friend’s and family’s homes. Surprising your friends and family with a gift they can eat is something they will all enjoy…and you may get a meal out of it!
Preserve and Pickle those Veggies
Preserving and pickling does take a bit more effort in order to get a result, but the rewards of delicious vegetables throughout the year will be worth it. Canning whole or chopped veggies is one option but there are so many ways to preserve those veggies. If you don’t have a lot of time a quick pickle is easy and takes about 30 mins start to finish. Fermenting cucumbers, peppers, carrots, garlic and other vegetables is another way to preserve. Fermenting can help enhance the nutrient content by producing by adding good bacteria to the vegetables.
Donate to a Food Bank or Food Pantry
Not only is donating your bounty a great feel good for yourself but it helps a lot of those in need of fresh vegetables and herbs. Luckily, there are many organizations in Denver that you can donate your fresh veggies too. Places like The Denver Food Rescue, Food Bank of the Rockies and Project Angel Heart are all awesome organizations that will accept your excess vegetables and herbs.
Start a Crop-Swap on Nextdoor
Nextdoor is a great resource for things happening in your neighborhood. Starting a crop-swap can help connect you with others that also have a lot of vegetables. Getting your neighbors involved will help you get rid of some of those extra crops and possibly create a trade system. Say you have too many zucchinis, but your cucumber crop was less than stellar, simply see if anyone would like to swap zucchini for cucumbers.
Most vegetables and herbs will freeze with very little extra work. It best to get a container that will protect the flavor, color, moisture content and nutritional value of the vegetable you are freezing. The National Center for Home Food Preservation is a great resource for how to freeze those extra veggies.
Set up a Veggie Stand
Setting up a vegetable stand can be a fun activity for you and your kids. Start with a FREE sign taped to a basket or table of the different vegetables you grew this year. Then as your neighbors walk by you can strike up a conversation and hopefully give hose veggies a new home!