Our huge garden is producing green beans faster than we can pick them.
Two weekends ago, a friend and I canned 56 jars of cherry jam. Next on my to-do list are canning beets and dill pickles, followed by homemade applesauce in September.
I’ll also set aside a Saturday sometime next month for the annual pesto-making extravaganza with my friend Ann Dekorsi. I’ll haul a huge garbage bag filled with fresh basil plants to her house.
After hosing them down and plucking the leafs from the branches, we’ll make a quick trip to Sam’s Club for the ingredients, then head back to the kitchen where we’ll put everything into a blender to create the most fabulous Italian sauces a foodie has ever tasted.
Pesto is one of my favorite delicacies. I eat it on pasta, crackers and as a substitute for tomato sauce on pizza.
In September, I’ll head to Columbus, Ohio for the annual salsa-canning day with my two sisters. We typically can about 80 jars of salsa.
My pantry will be filled with homemade delicacies to give as Christmas gifts, complete with pretty tags, labels and other decorative touches.
I’ll bet many of you have your own rituals and traditions to celebrate the harvest.
These stories provide three vital components necessary for TV: people, color and motion. Newspaper and magazine food columnists are hot for these stories, too, because they’re so much fun. And you can offer your favorite recipes as sidebars.
Here are tips on how you can publicize your harvest:
—Sponsor a “Funniest Veggie” contest and award prizes to the person who submits the veggie that’s the most deformed. (Call the TV stations.)
—Sponsor a cooking contest at your company. Ask employees to make their favorite dish using something from their harvest, and feature everybody’s dishes during a special lunch. Let the media know. And be sure to invite your clients to the feast.
—Many gardeners donate the unused portion of their harvest to local food pantries. How about sponsoring a “share the harvest” day at your company? Ask employees to bring in their extra veggies. Stack them all on the conference table and call the local newspaper to take a photo.
—If you’re entering your veggies or canned goods in the county or state fair this year, contact the media. They often feature these stories right around fair time.
—If your church, card club or social group socializes by canning or “putting up” the harvest, let the media know. My local newspaper did a story last week about a group of little old ladies who make cherry pickles every year, assembly-line style, for their annual autumn bazaar.
When I did an interview with Jaime Oikle of RestaurantReport.com on the topic of “Publicity Tips for Restaurants, Chefs & Foodies,” I told him that food stories are an easy sell.
Why? Because everybody eats. And lots of people, like me, are foodies, and love reading about food trends and foods that tie into the holidays and the four seasons.