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smgardener 01-16-2008 05:30 PM

How do you can the food you've grown?
So you grow the food, and now you're hunkering down for the winter. How do you preserve the veggies throughout the winter. I saw this nice photo from the library of congress collection on flickr and it made me think of this question.


Unidentified stacks of home-canned food

[between 1941 and 1945]

1 transparency : color.

Title from FSA or OWI agency caption.
Transfer from U.S. Office of War Information, 1944.

World War, 1939-1945
Home food processing
United States

fygar 01-17-2008 06:41 AM

Wow, all of that food still looks edible! I wasn't too creative last summer, as our yeild was about enough to feed two through the summer. It was also my first experience canning on my own. I canned most of my cucumbers as pickles, but that's about where canning stopped. I froze some spinach, green beans, pesto, etc. and put my potatoes and squash in a cold dry room in the basement. Everything still tastes allright so far!

ejagno 01-18-2008 04:36 PM

Canned foods do hold their color and texture beautifully in jars. Each food item is different and must be handled in a specific manner for safe canning. You may want to pick up a few great books such as Preserving the Harvest or if you can find it "The Ball Blue Book". Both explain in detail how to preserve or can everything from potatoes to strawberries as well as some great canning recipes such as spaghetti sauces and preserves.

SugaredViolet 01-18-2008 11:05 PM

:o I have the ball red books, but I didn't know there was a blue set! I'll have to look into that!

(edited) lol whoops. Different ball company. Though it's interesting that they both are "The Ball Red Book" and "The Ball Blue Book"
The Ball Red books are a set of two books, one on crop production and the other on greenhouse operations. They're kind of standard "go to" books in the industry. Although now I'm definitely interested in canning! I've got so many veggie seeds coming in for this spring, I bet learning about it will come in handy!

ejagno 03-12-2008 09:03 PM

One thing that I wanted to add to this thread was the fact that you should really consider canning your veggies in a manner of "heat and eat". In other words, if you are going to go through all of the labor and time to can your wonderful harvest then make sure to prepare it the way your family eats it.

For instance, I can my green beans. My family does not care for bland plain grean beans so I sautee' my vegetable blend of chopped onions/bellpepper/celery/garlic, cajun seasoning, and pepper bacon. I mix this with my fresh green beans and fill jars to 1" below rim and process. Now remember to process at the time required for the bacon since it takes the longest. Tip-canned foods require much less seasoning than that of food which is prepared and consumed quickly because it is absorbed and gets stronger after being canned over time.

Of course I always save one or two handfuls of fresh beans, carrots, potatoes, and anything else to add to my "Vegetable Soup" mixture that I keep in the freezer. When I have enough I prepare my soup with not only the veggies but chunks of stew meat and cubed brisket, seasonings and such. I put back enough for dinner and can the rest.

My boys love reaching in the pantry and grabbing a quart of soup, gumbo or spaghetti meat sauce for a quick and fullfilling meal after school.

imp 06-19-2008 11:03 PM

Also remember to store your canned goods in a cool or stable temp., and either cover them or have some doors so the light stays off the items. I have seen some canned goods wrapped in newspapers to make sure the veg's kept their pretty colors.

friskimage 05-16-2009 01:24 PM

Here are a few links for you. -|- Your complete source for all home canning and home food preservation needs.
Canning Supplies, Canning Equipment and Pickling Supplies from Canning
How to Can, Freeze, Dry and Preserve Any Fruit or Vegetable at Home

tenna222 09-27-2009 10:54 PM

Oh, we’ve all probably done it at one time or another—we’ve planted one too many zucchini plants, and before you know it, you have zucchinis popping up everywhere in your garden. Even though it can be one of those crazy, prolific vegetables, the zucchini can be a great addition to your garden when you plan ahead.

The zucchini is a type of summer squash that is versatile in many different summertime recipes, such as bread, cake, muffins, soup, pancakes, and relish. It is also delightful fresh: either stir-fried or lightly breaded and fried. However, there does come a time when we get tired of eating it every day. That’s when we turn to preparing recipes and freezing them for enjoyment a few months down the road.

When it comes to freezing zucchini, there are two basic ways. The first is preparing the dish and then freezing, such as loaves of bread. The second is to shred and freeze. Freezing the shredded zucchini is your best bet to saving freezer space by stacking the bags and getting the best flavor out of your zucchini. The easiest way to do this is to shred the zucchini and measure out by cupful. Then, fill freezer bags with the amount of cups and mark accordingly. Then, whenever you want to bake zucchini bread or make pancakes a couple months from now, you will have the freshest tasting dish.

If the zucchinis do get too overwhelming, you can take them to a local food pantry or pass them out to family, neighbors, or coworkers.

webappln 10-21-2009 02:51 AM

The benefits of "going local"
Of course, you support your local farms and the economy when you choose to eat local foods. But there are other benefits.

It helps the environment.

* Minimizing "food miles" (the distance food travels before reaching store shelves) reduces the fuel it takes to get your food across the state or country.
* Food processors use a large amount of paper and plastic packaging to keep food fresh longer. This packaging becomes waste that is hard to reuse or recycle.
* Small farms tend to use fewer chemicals than large factory farms.

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