Ideas for excess harvests

As we reap the rewards of our summer garden efforts, sometimes we end up with an abundance of certain crops that have grown well!

If you've got plenty of harvests and not sure what to do with them all, check out these ideas shared by our Facebook community. 

Ideas from our facebook community

  • If I have excess I usually take it to the foodbank. They are usually very grateful to take it and it’s nice to think you can get it to people who really need it. - Karen
  • Preserving and putting it in the freezer, and giving to family and friends. - Maricel 
  • I have given lots away and also frozen enough to hopefully get us through the year (especially zucchini, cayenne, cucumber and capsicum).  I just cut them up small and put them in a ziplock. Not good for salads or anything pretty - I’m mainly planning on pickling them. - Jessa
  • I have been making jam, relish and bottling pears. Also have rhubarb, pumpkins, beans, beetroot and tomatoes. I share with my family and neighbours. Jo-Anne
  • I have been giving away my excess courgettes to neighbours and strangers (as well as freezing it grated for cakes, fritters etc); I always turn my excess tomatoes in homemade spaghetti; this year I have had a bumper crop of gherkins so have been experimenting with various recipes to pickle them. I have literally 20 jars of them! Apocalypse/Apickalypse prepping! - Toni

  • Deliver to neighbours - many don’t have a vege garden so we love to share everything fresh we can grow. - Nikki
  • We’ve had a bumper tomato season. I’ve made plenty of pasta sauces and relish plus I sold some to my work mates with the money going to our chosen charity….this time Tonga. - Sonya
  • Goes to the Koha Shed or excess gets put on Facebook Marketplace for free pickup. - Chris
  • We live in Murchison, a small rural town in the South Island. Often people drop extra produce on a bench by the local post boxes ( or just out the front of their house if in town ) with a sign saying help yourself. As far as I'm aware, it always gets rid of excess to grateful happy homes that way. - Julia
  • Dry harvests in a dehydrator when I can. Freeze some and preserve others. - Sapphire 
  • Making heaps of delicious tomato sauce. Put tomato halves in a large roasting pan with onion, garlic, basil, oregano, sage, capsicum and if you like a little heat, remove the seeds and add some chilies. Cover generously with olive oil, salt & pepper and roast until the edges are almost burnt. Remove and blend in batches until smooth. Delicious plus you can freeze it. - Angela
  • Preserve, grate and freeze, bake and freeze, and eat fresh! - Kristyn 
  • Out on the street - we live on the same street as a school. - LeeshaRee

  • I have a free shelf outside my house for those who want/need fresh veggies. - Brenda
  • We have a community garden where people leave extra veggies, eggs, jars for everyone in the community. You can take veges etc and leave something as well. - Susan 
  • Buckets at the end of the driveway with free signs. - Stacey 
  • Our street has a free stall where the neighbours bring any excess produce , cuttings , plants flowers and seeds. We have also started a small library for people to share books. - Helen
  • I dehydrate what I can, fruit especially and make dried fruit or fruit leather. -Kelly-Anne
  • Take to the local food stand give to family, neighbours and to the church foodbank. Veges not for eating (carrot and radish tops) go to the local daycare for the rabbits and goats. - Joy
  • Magic Beans was originally a Facebook group based in the Hawkes Bay where you could swap your excess. It's now an app and has gone NZ wide so feel free to join up! - Ceirwyn 
  • Gorge it! - Meg
  • Todays efforts! First year growing gherkins, and blackcurrants and plums I’ve had stashed in the freezer- my neighbours usually get a jar each too. - Kyley


Go from garden to table and put your recipes to delicious use with our selection of harvest recipes  > 


As mentioned above, many communities now have have small stalls where people can leave excess produce and swap it for something they don’t have. Check out Crop Swap Aotearoa here 

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