If you have a garden, you are probably already laughing. Saying “organized garden harvest” is kind of like saying “orderly retreat.” If someone claims it, they are probably rewriting history. But every year, I tweak my approach and make progress with my methods. Not only am I learning new techniques that help me, but new ideas to integrate. And there is the aspect of constantly evolving family circumstances. If the children aren’t growing, they are leaving home.
The principles of making the most of your garden harvest are really basic prioritizing principles. It may be helpful for you to take a couple of days and chart an Un Schedule, to see how much time things really take. This approach can also simply function to keep you on track. If you are going to document how you spend your time, you tend to think more clearly about what you feel good about writing down. It doesn’t help to cheat, because you are also the evaluator. 🙂
It could also be helpful to sit down and gather your thoughts. What about making a list of all the produce available and all the likely methods for each item? This might spark organization options, like how certain steps in processing might overlap in ways you hadn’t thought of. For instance, I sometimes freeze green beans and broccoli on the same day. The broccoli can get it’s salt soak while I blanch the beans. Then, I can use the same water to blanch the broccoli. But I would NOT want to do this the other way around!
One day, I figured out how to make pickles, get some queued vacuum sealing done, and freeze broccoli. The most efficient system will be flexible and creative. You rarely have exactly the same vegetable ready in the same amounts. Look for ways to fill slots of time, but without trying to cram so much in that you make sad mistakes. It is good if some of the activities for filling time are not actually time dependent themselves.
And remember that it often takes a solid day between serious preserving days to clean up and regroup. Allotting time for that may seem like a waste, but the bit of rest combined with that can make the following day much more productive than just forging ahead in a shambles of a kitchen. Now, go harvest that garden.