Le Temps Des Conserves (My preservation calendar)

Preservation in action
yes, I can! (and dry, and freeze, an jar, and bottle) Photo Credit Kay Beatty

I am fairly serious about preserving food. In fact a few years ago, there was an article about me in the local newspaper.  Kay Beatty wrote it and took the pictures. There is a rhythm to it, throughout the year. One does not built a pantry of home preserve food in 2 days or 2 weeks. It takes over half the year to do it, little by little. Some things are done in big batches: for example, hit a pick-your-own berry patch and freeze/can 20 lbs of berries. Others are done throughout the growing season (canning tomatoes, one or two canner-loads at a time). And others still are done in very small quantities, as things are available: typically herb ferments, or condiments… but those are the spice of life in the kitchen!

So here is my preservation calendar, based on the fruit &  veggies we grow in quantities for preserving or can get in abundance locally.


  • Strawberries: jam, spread, syrup & shrub, freeze chunks/slices, freeze pre-measured puree
  • Harvest & hang bunches of herbs to dry: mints, lemon verbena, lemon balm, thyme. oregano, nepitella
  • Blanch & freeze spinach
  • puree & freeze dill; make dill oil.


  • Blueberries: jam, spread, syrup, can, freeze, occasionally dehydrate
  • Sour & sweet cherries: cordial, jam, juice, fruit leather, fruit butter, freeze (pitted or unpitted), dehydrate
  • green coriander berries: freeze or ferment
  • Red currants, white currants, black currants: jam & jellies (sometimes mixed with other fruit), juice, freeze
  • garlic scapes: pesto/paste, ferment
  • soft leave herbs: paste (freeze or ferment)
  • dry tea herbs such as camomile, calendula, linden, mints etc
  • rhubarb: can spread/sauce, jam, chutney, freeze


  • Apricots: jam, juice, can halves or puree
  • Beets: pickle, dehydrate &  powder
  • Blackberries: juice, syrup, shrub, wine, jam, spread/sauce, freeze
  • Cabbage: sauerkraut & kimchi
  • Cherries, sweet, & blueberries: jams, can spread/sauce, juice, butter, freeze (cherries may be pitted or unpitted)
  • Cucumber: bread & butter  pickle, dill pickles, lacto-ferment, relishes
  • Garlic: cure, pickle, confit, ferment, paste (ferment or freeze)
  • Raspberries: see blackberries
  • Peaches & Nectarines: dry, fruit leather, jam, can (halves, slices, puree), freeze (slices or premeasured puree), pickle
  • Plums: can (roasted, halves, puree), jams, spreads, cutting preserve, pickle, chutney
  • Shiitake: saute & freeze, dehydrate
  • Zucchini: dry, sott’olio, relishes


  • Blackberries: see above
  • Chayote greens: saute & freeze
  • Corn, sweet: pickle, freeze
  • Cucumber & Zucchini – see above
  • Eggplants: roast/grill & freeze; sott’olio
  • Elderberries: freeze, jams, syrup
  • Figs (should we be so lucky every few years only): jam, can, freeze, dry
  • Green beans: blanch & freeze, pickle (by themselves or in relishes)
  • Peaches, nectarines & plums: see above. Also paste or “cheese” (aka cutting preserve)  with some plum varieties
  • Peppers, sweet: roast & freeze; chop & freeze; relish; paste (freeze or ferment)
  • Plums, including Damsons: see above
  • Raspberries: see above
  • Swiss chard: blanch & freeze
  • Tomatoes: dry, can (juice, puree, sauces, condiments)
  • Tomatilloes: freeze; can (by themselves or as salsa verde)


  • Apples: can (sauce)
  • Autumn berries: juice, fruit leather, jelly
  • Green beans: see above
  • Pawpaw: puree & freeze, fruit leather
  • Pears, European & Asian: can (whole, slices or sauce), chutney
  • Peppers, sweet: see above
  • Peppers, hot: pickles, hot sauce, lacto-fermented, freeze
  • Quince, European: can, roast & freeze, jam, paste (aka membrillo or quince “cheese”)
  • Quince, Japanese: jelly
  • Raspberries: see above
  • Rhubarb: can spread/sauce, jam, chutney, freeze
  • Tomatoes: see above
  • Tomatilloes: see above


  • Apples & Pears: see above
  • Chayote: dark warm storage, pickles
  • Chestnuts: freeze, dry/flour
  • Ginger: pickle, candy, preserve in honey, jam, paste (ferment or freeze)
  • Peppers, sweet & hot: see above
  • Asian persimmons: freeze puree, pickle
  • Winter Squash: warm storage, pickle
  • Sweet Potatoes: warm storage
  • Green tomatoes: jam, chutney & relishes, sott’olio

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