The beginning of October marks the winding down of our farmers market, which is the perfect time for storing vegetables. The East Nashville Farmers Market is filled with a diverse array of fall produce just waiting to be taken home for canning, freezing, drying, pickling, and more. Storing vegetables is not only a great way for you and your family to save money on your monthly grocery bill, but is the best way to enjoy locally-grown produce all winter long.
One summer favorite that is still available are tomatoes—heirloom, slicers, and cherries, too. Cherry tomatoes are unbelievably easy to store. Simply wash, dry thoroughly, and pop into a zip-top freezer bag. Your tomatoes can be used in soups, stews, simmered into sauces and blended into salad dressings. Discover interesting tomato varieties at the Delvin Farm and Green Door Gourmet booths.
Another summer favorite—a particularly prolific one—is okra. This African seed pod is perfect for preserving due to its sturdy structure and versatility. It can be blanched then frozen or canned to make okra pickles. It is truly a Southern favorite when it comes to storing vegetables and is delicious when added to soups and gumbos or steamed on top of peas or beans.
Finally, sweet winter squash is so abundant at market right now, grabbing different varieties to zip into purees is a must. Butternut, acorn, and delicata squashes are perfect addition for soups and sauces. Simply slice and remove seeds, roast or steam the flash, remove the skin, and give it a spin in a food processor. Winter squash is perfect for storing vegetables and the puree can be put into freezer bags and used all winter. Grab some freshly-harvested squashes these last final weeks at the East Nashville Farmers Market.