I’m not actually harvesting anything from the garden because its dormant. It's covered in a thick, 3 foot layer, of snow that won’t melt until May. Instead I’m eating my way through the vegetables and fruit I’ve frozen, fermented, dried, canned or put in the root cellar.
Garden grown food I have left-
In The Freezer- tomatoes, peas, beet greens, broccoli, parsley, dill, cilantro, 3 types of mint, basil, strawberries and saskatoon berries.
Fermented Vegetables- include chili peppers and mixed herbs with onions.
Dried- sage, dill seeds, thyme, oregano, mint, and garlic.
Canned- pickled garden vegetables, strawberry jam.
Root Cellar - potatoes, garlic.
We’ve eaten all the frozen- kale, collard greens, spinach, swiss chard, summer savory, carrots and beets, that I had in the root cellar, at the beginning of winter.
Fermentation is a new, to me, way of preserving food. Bacteria present in fermented foods keeps its pH low, acidic, preventing molds from growing and keeping the food fresh to eat. As well as preservation the bacteria enhance the foods flavour. I prefer the taste of fermented vegetables much more than the vinegary taste of pickled vegetables and the overcooked taste of canned vegetables.
At the end of last summer I fermented parsley, basil, a bit of chopped onion and squashed garlic in a small canning jar on the kitchen counter. The plan was to use it as a flavour enhancer. Yesterday I put a teaspoon of the herb mixture into some rendered down frozen tomatoes I was making into a sauce for pizza. I let it sit on the counter for almost a two hours before putting the assembled pizza into the oven.
With the addition of a wholewheat, sourdough, thin crust, the pizza was easily the best tasting one I've made to date.
Besides preservation and fabulous taste there is a third thing- all that bacteria in fermented food is good for you. Eating fermented food increases and diversifies the bacteria in your body making it a more efficient fighter of disease.
Many foods can be fermented. Sourdough, I wrote about making sourdough bread over here, is another fermented food. I like the taste of it so much I'll never go back to eating regular bread. My next experiment with sourdough is using it to make croissants, I'll let you know how they turn out.