Though it is true that you must keep the garden picked once harvests start coming in, it does not necessarily follow that you must eat immediately everything you pick. Garden produce harvested at its peak is good preserved in one way or another. You can put things by very casually, but if you take canning and preserving seriously, choose seeds of cultivars recommended as good keepers or for preserving.
Preparing Produce for Keeping
Any food will certainly deteriorate if it is kept longer than its natural life, and that may be anytime from an hour or two to many months. Foods are subject to attack by their own enzymes as well as by microorganisms. Every method of food storage has been designed to minimize spoilage or to avoid it entirely.
Probably the oldest means of preserving food is by drying it, and this is still a popular and effective method. Freezing and canning are also popular, and other methods, such as fermenting cabbage to make sauerkraut or preserving fruit in brandy, are still used for special effects.
When you plan to preserve vegetables, it is important to harvest the best, most unblemished produce and process it as quickly as possible. Whatever method of preservation you choose, clean the vegetables meticulously, cool them immediately, then proceed with the preservation method you select.