Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Get Ready to Can

Canning is something many of us do for the sheer enjoyment. Well, maybe not the enjoyment of the process, but we certainly for the end result. The freshness of the food, the quality of the ingredients we use and the time honored processes are something we all cherish.

Many people today are getting into food preservation for a variety of reasons. Some want to eat healthier diets. Others want to cut down of grocery expenses. And some are preparing for emergencies that might leave them without access to food and other supplies. Whatever reason compels you to contemplate canning your own foods, spring is a good time to start planning.

Many of you are also planning or even starting gardens now as you order seeds and buy plants, consider how much they will produce and whether or not you are growing enough to can. You can decide to preserve just the excess or to grow enough so that you can goods to last through winter and spring.

If you do not grow your own, you can still get good deals at local farmer’s markets and produce stands. Some grocery stores have good deals from time to time. Getting to know the sellers can help you get good deals too. 

Once you figure out what types of fruits and vegetables you want to grow, you can start planning the supplies you’ll need. Jars, lids, caps, canning pots and a good pair of tongs are the basics. If you are just getting started, get just one pot and a case of jars to try your hand with. If you are really enthusiastic, buy all the jars you find because you can always use them. 

Yard sales are a great place to buy jars inexpensively. You will have to buy new lids for them but that is something you have to do with each use because most lids are not reusable.

My own collection of jars consists of about 200 quart jars, 100 pints and 50 or so jelly jars. I also have half a dozen half-gallon jars that I like to use for whole dill pickles. I have yet to use them all for a single season but one of these days I will!

Having your supplies ready to go will be an inspiration. When you begin to harvest from your garden or when you see the first road side stands, you won’t have to hesitate because you already have everything you need to start preserving the freshness of summer.


Rebecca Livermore said...

I really wish I could get into gardening and canning. Both seem like such useful skills.

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