How To Handle an Overabundant Veggie Garden
When your vegetable garden is bountiful, it can be beautiful, but it can also turn into a burden. These ideas can help you decide what to do with a garden of more than plenty.
Donate to a local food pantry.
Did you know that most food pantries love donations of fresh fruits and vegetables? Fresh produce can be terribly expensive. It’s worth calling ahead to check, but this is a fantastic way to make sure your zucchini finds a good home.
Learn something old
Do what farmers and their families have done for centuries to balance out feast and famine – learn to can, preserve, dry, or pickle your excess veggies to enjoy later. In the US, your local Extension Service (Extension.org) often offers free or low-cost classes. In Canada and the UK, try a local garden club or botanical garden.
Host a neighborhood harvest swap
Think holiday cookie swaps, but much healthier. If you had a bumper crop of beans, and a neighbor is the tomato whisperer, you can enjoy the fruits of each other’s labor. Celebrate at the end of the season with a harvest party for the whole block — you might inspire some new gardeners to join your ranks!
Plan your plot.
Sharpen your pencil when it’s time to plan your next year’s vegetable garden. Maybe you can reduce the size of your garden (and your weekly weeding, as well). Use the extra space to try something new, like a cut-flower garden, a honeybee hive, or a chicken coop.
Expand your horizons.
Or, if you clearly have a knack for growing veggies and love all that time in the garden, consider opening a stall at the local farmer’s market! Or maybe this could be a good side hustle for a teen with a green thumb and an interest in starting their own business.
When I grew citrus trees, we collected fruit from the stock trees to give away. It was easier than disposing of it.
Do all of the above. It can be exhausting but so worth it over the long winter months. Always encourage more people to process in-season fruits and veg so can eat seasonally vs always wanting fresh strawberries and tomatoes mid winter.
I am enjoying your newsletter very much, Larry. It is so informative.
I but inexpensive bags or re-use cleaned ones and share out with family and neighbors.
Yes. Extra veggies are a good thing. Thank you ??