I think the simplest and least energy intensive method of preserving would have to be lactic fermentation. As this method lets bacteria do all the work, it doesn't require any heat or pressure, or the addition of excessive salt or sugar. The lactic acid bacteria naturally increase the acidity of the brine. The lack of temperature or pressure processing also ensures that vitamins and enzymes are retained in the veges. Apart from getting used to the taste, this would have to be the ideal method for preserving veges. I have used it so far for pickles and cabbage.
|Fermented pickling cucumbers|
In the case of drying, food spoilage is prevented by reducing the water content of the veges. This is an energy intensive method, which I wouldn't use for high water content fruit and veges. I think its a good way to preserve herbs and greens with low water content, that don't take too long to dry. So far I've used this method to dry herbs and silverbeet (and other veges). Drying uses low temperatures(60-70 degC), so most of the enzymes and vitamins survive. One day I'd love to build a solar drier as well.
|Sliced beans for freezing|
|Cherry tomatoes ready for freezing whole (not the green ones!)|
|Roasting pumpkin in the BBQ for pumpkin soup|
How do you preserve your harvest?