Use That Summer Produce Before It Spoils

Whether your #summer #garden has reached peak yields or you went overboard at the farmers market, you may find yourself with a lot of fresh #produce this season. Don’t let it go to #waste. There are easy ways to use up your favorite #vegetables, fruits and herbs before they turn to mush. Turn excess zucchini into lasagna or zucchini bread. Add vegetables to stews. Freeze extra berries and fruits for smoothies or cobblers. Make extra greens and herbs into a savory pesto to toss with pasta or use in marinades. And toss anything that goes bad into a #compost bin. “You’ll be saving your budget and the earth all at once,” says Better Homes & Gardens. #SummerGarden

When the Garden Yields More Than You Can Consume

#Gardens can be unpredictable. Some seasons, you’ll only get a taste of your favorite foodstuffs because of low yields, poor weather conditions or the local critters; others, you’ll be awash in so many #fruits and #vegetables you won’t know what to do with them all. This is a good problem to have! Don’t let your hard work go to waste — you can preserve the bounty for future feasts by canning, freezing or dehydrating, says Gingham Gardens, or stage a sidewalk-sale farmer’s market to sell surplus vegetables. Or you can give away those delicious foodstuffs to family, friends or a #food pantry. Who doesn’t appreciate a fresh tomato? #SummerGarden

Try Canning to Preserve Summer’s Bounty

Experiencing a glut of #summer #produce and unable to consume it all at your backyard #cookouts? Try your hand at #canning to (quite literally) preserve access to summer’s bounty for weeks and months. Start with the freshest fruits and vegetables and follow a recipe that meets USDA safety guidelines for preserving foods. You’ll need a selection of basic canning equipment including jars and a large pot or pressure canning device, as well as some quality time in the #kitchen. The payoff? You get better-than-bought flavor from your #summer #garden throughout the years. “The truth is, anyone who can boil a pot of water can make a pickle or a jar of jam.” Food Network says.

Bring Summer’s Bounty to the Table

It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the amounts of delicious fruits and vegetables a successful #garden can produce or the variety and bounty of the local farmers market. Many #summer #vegetables can go directly on the grill, says Delish, including zucchini, eggplant, green beans, onions and corn. Many popular crops don’t even require heat to create a fresh and healthy meal: Tomatoes, cucumbers and lettuce, for example, can be dressed lightly to create a simple salad. Or just rinse that tomato, slice it, and eat it with a little salt and pepper. Store-bought just doesn’t taste the same! #SummerGarden

Make an Impact on National Give Something Away Day

National Give Something Away Day — celebrated each year on July 15 — was created as a reminder for people to give back. How you choose to give can take multiple forms, but selfless acts are their own reward.

Many people have much more than what’s necessary to survive, but know that there are people in need nearby. National Give Something Away Day encourages us to take stock of the #things and comforts around us and share them with others.

What you give and to whom is entirely up to you. You might give a friend an old #tchotchke they’ve long admired or a bouquet of flowers. You might buy the person behind you in line a coffee or a sandwich. No gift is too small.

You can also choose #donate the gift of time to a local charity or organization by #volunteering. Perhaps there’s a food pantry or outreach organization that could use your help and specialized knowledge.

One fantastic way to celebrate National Give Something Away Day is to #clean out your #closets and other #storage areas to weed out the #stuff you no longer need. If whatever you find is in wearable or working condition, chances are that somebody else can use it.

Start with a single #closet or room. Sort through all of the #clothing, #books, #decorations and other #household items to see what has a place, setting aside anything that doesn’t fit or only creates #clutter. You’ll probably see the piles build up fast!

Put that #junk into #bags and #boxes and contact to schedule a #free #donation #pickup. Not only will you be giving something away and reclaiming #space, you’ll be #helping to fund programs that benefit the nation’s #veterans.

You can observe National Give Something Away Day on any day of the year, of course. But its reminder to give is one that yields benefits for everyone involved. #NationalGiveSomethingAwayDay