New Survey Finds How Gardeners Minimize Food Waste

If you've ever been offered a basket of freshly grown tomatoes from a gardening friend or neighbor, you were likely helping them out with their bumper crop of extra produce by kindly accepting! Research by ORC International on behalf of the Ball® Canning brand found that 71% of gardeners share more than half of the food grown in their gardens.

In an effort to reduce food waste this season, forty percent (40%) of gardeners plan to preserve half or more of the food they grow and 44% freeze it for later use. Looking to join in on the trend? Here are some tips for making the most of your own summer bounty:

When making plans to preserve fruits and veggies this summer, consult the The All New Ball® Book of Canning and Preserving. Featuring 200 of the best canned, jammed, pickled and preserved recipes, you're bound to find something that entices your appetite, like a delicious Roasted Tomato Guajillo Salsa for extra tomatoes. The tomato recipes are useful for many as 32% of gardeners say that it is not only their favorite seasonal crop, but also the one that leaves them with the highest amount of excess produce!

Bread and Butter Pickles

This recipe for sweet and crunchy bread and butter pickles are a traditional favorite and perfect for any summer gift. Use the Ball® recipe calculator chart to customize this recipe to make anywhere from 2 to 13 jars to share with friends and family!

Gardeners are anything but wasteful as they take extra steps to preserve yearly crops. In fact, 77% have canned, frozen or dehydrated foods. Why? 46% of gardeners want to eat foods at their season peak freshness year-round and 54% like to know exactly what is in their food. The Ball® Interactive Canning Map resource can come in handy as it points out what foods are in peak season in your region.

While most gardeners don't stray far from the tried and true mainstream crops, exotic crops like habanero and ghost peppers are also slowly making their way into America's home gardens. Feeling so daring? Try this recipe for a flavorful Island Jerk Rub on your favorite grilled summer foods.

Looking to learn more about why homegrown reigns supreme? Check out the Planting, Preserving + Preparing Interactive Infographic.  

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