• Preserving the Harvest VS. Put 'Em Up

    I'm sure many of you are reaping the bounty of your harvests this summer! It's always a fun and busy season when that produce starts kicking in and the “preserving” season has begun.

    It can also be a stressful time, though, and that's where a great book to guide you makes all the difference. We have 2 amazing books on food preservation - The Big Book of Preserving the Harvest by Carol W. Costenbader AND Put 'em Up by Sherri Brooks Vinton - which often leads people to wonder which they should choose.

    When we go to Garden Shows or Expos, I have been asked many times, 'What's the difference between the two?' or 'Which one do you like better?'

    So I thought I would compare the two and share what each book has to offer.

    Lets talk about PUT 'EM UP:

    1. Includes step-by-step instructions for freezing, drying, pickling, and canning.

    2. Covers 33 different vegetables and fruits.

    3. Easy referencing. For example, when you find yourself in abundance of tomatoes, you only have to look under the “Tomato” section and find recipes like “Heirloom Tomato Salsa” or "Easy Bake Tomato Paste". Just simply look up your vegetable or fruit, and find the recipe you are looking for.

    4. You can also find different preserving recipes for whichever vegetable you are working with. Just choose the method that is right for you.

    5. No need to be an expert! The recipes are easy to follow.

    6. Practical recipes with basic ingredients.

    7. Includes a great resource section in the back of the book about local, sustainable farming and home preservation.


    1. Tells us the best methods of preserving for over 60 vegetables and fruits,including canning, freezing, drying, cold storage, pickling, and juicing... just to name a few.

    2. Gives information on when to harvest and what to look for when produce is ready in the garden.

    3. Step-by-step instructions.

    4. Divided into sections such as “Canning” with all the instructions followed by several canning recipes. Then you'll find the“Drying” section, followed by several drying recipes, and so on.

    5. Easy to follow. Packed with a lot of “extra” information, including hundreds of “tips” throughout the book.

    6. Learn how to make your own vinegars and seasonings.

    7. Several fun ideas for gift-giving your preserved food.

    So even though both books teach us how to preserve our food, both have a unique spin and give us something special. And each one is FULL of valuable information, whether you are a beginner or an expert.

    What is your "Go-To Book" when the produce starts filling up your kitchen? What's your favorite way to preserve food?

    Leave a comment below, along with your email, and your name will be entered in our Gift Certificate Giveaway! Winner will be notified by email on September 10.

  • Feeding a Vegetarian

    The idea might not overwhelm vegetarians themselves, but for me – a girl who loves her fried chicken – it was a little intimidating at first when I married a man who'd never eaten a hamburger.  What was I going to feed him?  I laugh looking back now at how obvious our solution was and how fortunate that it could be found in familiar territory.

    Our garden would serve as our main course!

    Why, those beautiful vegetable harvests deserve to be more than a side dish!

    In the 7 months that Andrew and I have been married, let's just say there have been many attempted cooking experiments.  Some turned out better than others, of course, but that's to be expected.  (Fortunately, I have one very patient husband!) Finding the meals we both can enjoy – straight from the garden no less – is something to celebrate for sure!

    In honor of those great crops that make great meals, White Harvest has created a place on Pinterest where we've collected some of our favorite garden recipes.  We invite you to check it out here: and try a few for yourself.

    We all could be more efficient gardeners if we studied our recipes a bit more.  Take note of the ingredients and seasonings when you're cooking your favorite dishes.  What things could you have grown yourself? I bet you'll be surprised how many there are.

    Take it from me.  Don't be afraid to experiment in the kitchen or the garden. Familiarize yourself with new things until new favorites reveal themselves.

    A few of the recipes we found lately and loved were the Parmesan Asparagus, Farmer's Market Vegetable Sandwich, and the Black Bean Enchiladas.  All of these and more can be found on our Pinterest page above.  Hope you find something there you can't resist!  If you already have a favorite garden recipe, we'd love to hear it in the comments below and give it a try.

    Learning to feed my vegetarian has certainly proven a challenge at times, but it's given me yet another reason to keep gardening.  There are countless ways to combine our love for gardening with our cooking and the health benefits really are off the charts!

  • Cool Weather Crop Recipes

    Summer isn't the only time to think about recipes. We're dreaming of delicious meals long before it's time to bring their ingredients indoors. Right now, just looking at our young tomato and pepper plants makes me hungry for a tasty salsa or stir-fry. It's the beginning of a wonderful season. So why not, before you're too busy with "garden duty", store up the best recipes? Below are a few cool weather crop ones to get you started. WARNING: You'll be hungry once you read these.

    Dressed-up Broccoli

    3- 1/2 cups broccoli florets
    3 Tbsp. dry bread crumbs
    2 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese
    1 Tbsp. butter or margarine, melted
    2-3 garlic cloves, minced

    Place broccoli and a small amount of water in a microwave and broiler-safe 1-1/2 qt. dish. Cover and microwave on high until crispy and tender, about 5-6 minutes; drain. Combine remaining ingredients and sprinkle over the broccoli. Broil for 4-5 minutes or until lightly browned. Makes 7 servings

    Arugula Summer Salad

    4 Cups fresh arugula or baby spinach
    1 large sweet onion, thinly sliced
    2 medium tomatoes, cut into wedges
    2 Tbsp. Olive oil
    1 Tbsp. Lemon Juice
    1 Tbsp. Red Wine vinegar
    Salt and pepper to taste

    In a salad bowl, combine the arugula, onion, and tomatoes. Whisk the dressing ingredients, drizzle over salad and gently toss to coat. Serve immediately. Makes 6 servings.

    Tomato and Spinach Pasta Toss

    2 Cups penne pasta uncooked
    1/2 lb. hot or mild Italian sausage, casing removed
    7 Cups baby spinach leaves
    1 can (14 1/2 oz) diced tomatoes with basil, garlic, and oregano, undrained
    1 Cup shredded mozzarella cheese
    2 Tbsp. Parmesan cheese

    Cook pasta as directed on package. Meanwhile, crumble meat into large deep skillet. Cook on medium-high heat until cooked through, stirring occasionally; drain. Add spinach, tomatoes and dressing; cook 2 minutes or until spinach is wilted, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Cover to keep warm. Drain pasta; place in large serving bowl. Add meat mixture and cheeses; mix lightly. Makes 6 servings; 1 cup each.

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