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Harvest and Care

Pick vegetables when they are ripe. Leaving 'fruit' on the vine or plant to allow it to become larger may result in it becoming tough or drain strength from the plant resulting in less future yield. Examine peas and beans carefully by removing the pod as a test before wholesale harvest. The fruit inside the pod may not have matured sufficiently. Waiting too long and allowing the pod to discolor will result in 'hard' kernels not suitable for 'fresh' consumption. Timing is important with harvest or picking.

Use care in removing fruit from the mother plant. Yanking it off may damage the plant or pull it from the earth. Cutting large stems on squash is advisable. Stepping on vines or runners is a no-no. A compact garden is blessing in one way but offers a challenge when moving around. Always instruct a novice before harvest. Some gardeners will not allow inexperienced persons to harvest anything because they fear that the plants will be damaged.

Some experimentation is useful but actual harvest means that some care should be taken to cook or otherwise preserve the produce. Harvested vegetables left lying around will begin to decompose and serve as a host for insects and plant disease.

Most harvested vegetables today can be easily preserved by freezing whereas canning was the proffered practice of our grandparents. Much literature is available from the Cooperative Extension Service on the preparation and preservation of food.

You may wish to review some of the websites on the Links for 'how to' page or even go to www.google.com and search for ways to preserve food.

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