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Harvesting & Preserving By the Moon

By Janice Sharkey

There’s no question that home gardening has exploded in popularity in recent years. With rising food prices and a rising need to reconnect with nature, growing your own food can be an ideal two-for-one hobby. It’s wonderful to watch once purely ornamental gardens being transformed into berried hedgerows and vegetable patches that can provide for the kitchen table all year round. You might think eating from your garden all year is practically impossible, but think again. The key to success is in preserving the fruits of your labor. Along with this conversion to growing our own fruit and vegetables must come skills in storing and preserving that food. Not only are we saving money in being more self-sufficient, we are also reducing our carbon footprint. As changes within our climate wreak havoc with world food production, we can lessen that effect by being more self-sufficient, even within our small backyard. Collectively, we can have an impact. One way to help us achieve this self-sufficiency is to time our harvesting with the Moon’s cycle.

Since ancient times, methods for storing and preserving fruits from garden, field, and forest have been used. Techniques such as fermentation, salting, smoking, boiling, roasting, drying, and freezing have been used to store goods in dry, often dark places until the food is needed. Now, by being aware of the lunar calendar when harvesting and conserving, we are able to reap excellent results.

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