This month's notes: December 2016: Apples are still available, but already picked. In some areas, late season crops, are still available (if there hasn't been a frost) - like persimmons, pears, winter squash, kiwis, even figs and raspberries. See your state's crop availability calendar for more specific dates of upcoming crops. But now it is time to tag your Christmas tree at a local Christmas tree farm (and enjoy a bonfire, smore, hot chocolate and free hayrides, and often Santa visits! And next Spring, you'll want to take your children to a free Easter egg hunt - see our companion website to find a local Easter Egg hunt!
And we have home canning, preserving, drying and freezing directions. You can access recipes and other resources from the drop down menus at the top of the page or the site search. If you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to write me! Also make your own ice cream - see How to make ice cream and ice cream making equipment and manuals. Have fun, eat healthier and better tasting, and save money by picking your own locally grown fruit and vegetables, and then using our easy directions
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Do you have a favorite fruit or vegetable, and you'd love to get it fresh and local, but you don't know when it is normally harvested in your area? Then you are in luck: these pages link to the United States first national crop harvest calendars. Just click on your state below and the link will take you to the crop calendar for your state or area!
How precise are the calendars?
They're as precise as the weather! Which means, they can normally vary by 1 to 2 weeks. So, to be safe, call the farms 2 weeks before the start of a season for a given crop, according to the calendar for your area!
Crop Availability / Harvest Calendars by Country and State or Province
To find out when a specific fruit or vegetable is normally ready for harvesting / picking in your area, click on your country or state below!, then scroll down that page!
PYO Farms Outside the U.S.
[ Australia ] [ Canada: Alberta, British Columbia, Newfoundland, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Prince Edward, Quebec, Saskatchewan, Yukon ] [Italy] [Japan] [ South Africa ] [ New Zealand ] [ United Kingdom ]
[ Adding a Farm outside of North America ] Looking for pick your own farms in other countries? Living in another country, such as France, Italy (Italia), Germany (Deutschland), Nederlands, or Sweden? Help me compile a list for your country - just write me!
[General picking tips and a guide to each fruit and vegetable] [How much do I need to pick? (Yields - how much raw makes how much cooked or frozen)] [Selecting the right varieties to pick] [All about apple varieties - which to pick and why!] [Picking tips for Vegetables] [ Strawberry picking tips] [ Blueberries picking tips]
Illustrated Canning, Freezing, Jam Instructions and Recipes
[ All About Home Canning, Freezing and Making Jams, Pickles, Sauces, etc. ] [FAQs - Answers to common questions and problems] [Recommended books about home canning, jam making, drying and preserving!] [Free canning publications to download and print]
Easy Preserving Directions - How to...
- General know how and fruit/vegetable picking tips
- Why you should use a canner and how to choose one.
- Summary of approved home food preserving methods
- Canning methods that are considered to be unsafe: steam, microwave, dishwasher, oven, or just sealing the jars without further processing?
- If you are new to home canning - see these do's, don'ts and tips
- Frequently asked questions about canning
- Frequently asked questions about freezing
- Jams and jellies
- Canning - anything that can be safely canned at home!
- Juices: Canning fruit and vegetable juices
- Freezing directions
- Pie fillings
- Sauces, Salsas, Syrups, Fruit Butters and Chutneys
- Soups - canning vegetable and meat soups at home (see this page for tomato soup)
- Preserving Venison
- Pickling - more than just cucumbers
- Drying / food dehydrating
- Ice cream, gelato and sorbets
- Other recipes - roasted peppers, basil pesto, pies, cakes and much more
- Using honey in place of sugar
- Equipment and supplies
- USDA Food Grades - Ever wonder what was "Grade A"? And why you don't see grade B? How to select different foods, including fresh, frozen and canned? Wonder no more with this one-page guide!
- Food safety - what is botulism?
- NEW! Table of the pH and/or acidity of common fruits, vegetables, grains, breads and common food products
- NEW! This page provide basic facts regarding food poisoning and pathogenic microorganisms and natural toxins related to home food preservation (canning, bottling, drying, jams, salsas, pickling, sauces, etc.). Look up any pathogen (botulism, salmonella, Staph, etc.) and find out what it does and how to prevent it.
- NEW! Label Templates! Click here for labels your can download, edit and customize in Microsoft Word and print on standard Avery label paper for your own jars!
- Want to sell your own jam and home canned goods? Read this first!