6. Preserve the harvest. Harvest time is also preservation time. My favorite method of preservation is lacto-fermentation. It’s simple, inexpensive, doesn’t use any heat or electricity, and enhances the flavors and nutrition of your harvest. However, some crops do better with freezing, canning, or dehydrating.
7. Don’t waste. After a small farm harvest, I once saw a pile of cut beet leaves withering in the early fall sun, discarded from their beetroot bases. What a waste! Beet leaves can be prepared or preserved exactly the same as chard and taste similar. The same goes for kohlrabi leaves which are similar to kale.
8. Eat your weeds. Many of the “weeds” that afflict gardeners are actually tasty, nutritious greens. Here in California, wild mustard and wild radish, both robust growers and members of the brassica family, love to move in on disturbed soil—call them volunteer crops. In the Northeast, lambsquarter is a particularly tasty “unwelcome” guest. If you want to increase your fall harvest, see if you can eat your weeds.
9. Remember to rotate your crops. Make a note of which crops were in which rows, and rotate crops at the next planting season to boost the quality of your soil and the resistance of your garden to pests. For instance, beans are nitrogen fixers so it’s a good idea to follow them with a non-nitrogen fixing crop.
10. After the harvest, apply a green mulch. Harvest time is the time to think about soil improvement for the next growing season. Sow cover crops like vetch, clover, or rye (or others). This will preserve your topsoil from wind and rain while fixing nitrogen and adding organic matter at the same time, preserving and enriching your soil for the next round of crops.