Freeze, can, pickle, dry? Ways to preserve summer produce

This August 2018 photo shows peaches in New York. In the last warm weeks of summer, it's hard to imagine that all of today's tomatoes and corn and peaches will be but memories in just a couple of months. With a bit of forethought, and a bit of time, we can safeguard some of this magnificent produce and draw upon it all winter long. When you preserve food, you are using techniques to stop its natural decomposition, killing or preventing the growth of microbes. (Cheyenne Cohen/Katie Workman via AP)

In the last warm weeks of summer, it's hard to imagine that today's tomatoes, corn, peaches and other late-summer bounty will soon be just memories.

But wait, they don't have to be. With a bit of forethought, and a bit of time, we can safeguard some of this magnificent produce and draw upon it all winter long.

When you preserve food, you are using techniques to stop its natural decomposition, killing or preventing the growth of microbes. It's important to follow experts' directions closely for safety and food quality.

Four basic ways to preserve late-summer fruits and vegetables:

FREEZING

The simplest and most accessible way to preserve all kinds of produce quickly. The two most critical things about freezing produce are to freeze it as quickly as possible, and to do so in freeze-grade bags and containers.