Friday, September 14, 2012

Preserving Garden Produce

Hot Peppers from my garden!

Many people believe they are doing the right thing when they put up all their produce in the freezer every year. Mention canning, and I can see their eyes rolling into the back of their heads! "Too much work," they say. Well, of course it is work. Of course, on the other hand, so is having to replace all the food that was lost in their freezers due to power outages or freezer malfunctions. Or due to someone not noticing a plug that had come out of the wall socket until it was too late. I have seen all these scenarios mentioned on my homesteading forum in the past. If it can happen to a homesteader, it can happen to you.

Cubed pumpkin from the garden!

Turning your home grown or locally grown produce into food for the winter is as easy as a matter of processing the food by cleaning and cutting. That is by far, the hardest step in the process. Once you have done that, it is a simple process. If you have children or a willing husband, that makes that step much easier. It goes much faster when you are talking while you are working! If you can get together with a friend or relative who also has food to can, it will be fun to do your canning together. Or take turns going to each other's house to help with their canning. So much easier that way!

Green beans ready for the canner!

During harvest season, I have a rule: to work on plain produce. No meat and no soups, stews, casseroles, etc. Just get the fresh produce canned as quickly as I can, since it is usually on going from the garden and I am trying to keep up with it. I have stopped making jams and jellies due to the amount of sugar in those products. We do not eat sugar anymore, and I can not see any sense in wasting time making them. I can some berry juices and other fruits without sugar. Then we add whatever sweetener we want when we drink or eat it.

The finished product always warms my heart!

There is nothing I love more than seeing my pantry shelves full of my own home canned food products! This year I have gotten way behind on this due to some personal stuff going on in my life. I can promise you, I won't be behind for long! I will catch up and start adding to my supplies before long.

Ball Wide Mouth Lids

Copyright © 2012 Kathleen G. Lupole
All Photographs Copyright © 2012  Kathleen G. Lupole
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