"One day, Little Sal went with her mother to Blueberry Hill to pick blueberries.
Little Sal brought along her small tin pail and her mother brought her large tin pail to put berries in. 'We will take our berries home and can them,' said her mother.
'Then we will have food for the winter.'
On the other side of Blueberry Hill, Little Bear came with his mother to eat blueberries.
'Little Bear,' she said, 'eat lots of berries and grow big and fat.
We must store up food for the long, cold winter.'"
Robert McCloskey, Blueberries for Sal

Canning Jars crop 2 500

How to Can

How do you have fresh fruits and vegetables while eating from your food storage?

On a regular basis, if you are rotating through your food storage, and still buying food, you can easily add salads, fresh fruits and vegetables to your diet. You can still have a master meal list for your family and include fresh things, like salad with spaghetti, or peaches with lunch, or bananas with breakfast.

Now, what if you have a reason that you are living on just your food storage? Then, you will certainly want to have fruits and vegetables on hand! You can have canned, frozen, freeze-dried, and dried. We have lots of canned fruits, plus dried raisins, apricots, and cranberries. You can also have canned and frozen juices on hand, bought when they go on sale.

Another option is to have a garden. Here in Las Vegas, you can grow things all year round. You can have fruit trees and gardens, even if you only have a small spot. Many people here have zero-lot line yards, and wonder where to put a garden. I would encourage you to learn how to espalier fruit trees (grow them flat on a wall; this was done in castles to help provide food during times of siege). Also, you can grow lettuce and tomatoes, as well as many other things, in pots.

Canning Suppliers

Canning Pantry This company shipped my canner to me very quickly in the middle of canning season. I was impressed.

Pleasant Hill Grain

Lehman's

Mending Shed

Canners

New to canning? Wondering what you need?

Here's what I'm using:

 

Steam Canner 

I use this to can peaches and pears. You can just use a

water bath canner

for those if you want as well.

A water bath canner is good for canning jams and jellies, applesauce, and fruits.

Instead of buying a water bath canner, you can use a large stockpot with a canning rack in the bottom. I use this pressure canning rack Pressure Canning Rack in the bottom of a huge stockpot for all of my water bath canning.

Presto 23-Quart Pressure Cooker/Canner

In order to safely can some items, such as vegetables and meats, you need to can using a pressure canner. This canner can also be used to cook things, so if you want to cook beans really quickly, or cook a tough, inexpensive cut of meat quickly, you can also use this for that. A 23-quart canner is big enough to fit 7 quart jars.

Canning Tools

Jar Lifter 

This keeps your hands from getting burned while lifting hot jars.

Canning Funnel 

You might not think this matters much, but it really helps to keep the top of the jars clean while you're canning, so that you can get a good seal. You'll still wipe the tops of the jars before putting lids on, but this will help. It also helps you to be a bit quicker when you're putting things into the jar (like boiling hot syrup!)

Back to Basics 174 Magnetic Lid Lifter

This makes it easy to get your lids out of the pan of hot water. You can also use a pair of tongs, which I used to use, but I found that having the lid lifter was SO much easier.

Back to Basics 220 Food Strainer & Sauce Maker 

This is wonderful for making applesauce! It is SO much faster than processing tiny little amounts in the blender! It's fantastic for grape juice, too. It has different sized screens that you can order to make different things. The tomato strainer that it comes with (for making tomato sauce) works for applesauce as well. You'll need to order the grape spiral and screen if you want to do grape juice.

Canning Recipes and Tutorials
Want to know how to can your own food?
The University of Georgia Cooperative Extension offers a free online canning class
The Ball Blue Book Recipes are online, as well as canning instructions:
You can also buy the book:

Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving

Here is the USDA booklet's recipes online:
and here is the book of the same:

Complete Guide to Home Canning and Preserving

Scroll down the page just a little to find it. They say you have to have grapefruit with each fruit to can it. This is not neccesary, and in fact will make all of your other fruit taste like grapefruit in the jar. I used their instructions (minus the grapefruit addition) and canned clementines.
The same site has a great list with tutorials:
Canning Recipes sidebar

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