Hurry, get the harvest in!

And the rush is on. August means bushels of ripe tomatoes, summer squash overrunning the garden, gallons of cucumbers and peppers, and corn tasseling overnight. That is, if you're one of those gardeners who never fails!

That's not me and that's probably not you. One crop or another fails now and then and we have to say, "Well, the tomatoes did well, anyway!"

Whatever your garden is producing well right now is THE crop to take care of. Keeping it through, or at least until, the winter, is the essence of country living when it comes to food.

Canning, freezing, dehydrating, pickling and the use of root cellars each have their benefits. Decide what to do with each food by researching and studying your own situation.

If you're lucky enough to have a root cellar or a cool basement room, you can keep root crops and some others in a fresher condition than other methods. Canning gives you convenience foods, while dehydrating uses a minimum of storage space. Freezing is the easiest way to put up the harvest but maybe the least dependable. Pickling can be done without a pressure cooker or canner of any kind if you ferment the food.

Which way will it be? It's time to make the decisions and full speed ahead! Here's to a great harvest this year.

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