Home Canning: Putting Food By the Old-Fashioned Way

We looked to our readers to find out why home canning is experiencing a modern revival. Their answer: Canning produces flavorful, high-quality food that saves money, builds self-reliance and creates lifelong memories.


| June/July 2012



Canning Supplies On Counter

Capture summer in a jar? You can, if you take up home canning!


PHOTO: TIM NAUMAN/WWW.TIMNAUMAN.COM

We’ve compiled everything you need to start canning, including a list of recommended how-to and recipe books, places to find your supplies, a list of our favorite canning products from Etsy, and even an app or two. Find it all in our Home Canning Guide. 

It’s Saturday morning and you’ve just popped out your back door, your bare feet making an impression in warm dirt. You inhale the familiar scent of tomato foliage as you reach for the fattest, reddest tomato on your vines. It’s so ripe, it almost falls into your hand. This tomato was intended for the omelet pan that waits inside, but you have to have it here, now. You clutch it like a baseball and bite into it like an apple.

You can’t buy a tomato like this in any store. With a taste this rich and multidimensional, it can only be homegrown. Don’t you wish you could bottle up that taste and enjoy it all year long? There is in fact a way to capture that kind of flavor and pride: You can, if you can.

Even if you don’t have your own garden, you’ll enjoy safer, better-tasting food if you buy in bulk from a local producer and can it yourself. You can can almost anything — mint jelly, potato soup, barbecue sauce. With the proper equipment, the sky’s the limit. Laying by some or all of the food your household will require over the course of four seasons does require foresight and skill, but putting food by is also an art; a comfort that helps us feel secure.

Extending the shelf life of our foods dates back to early Mediterranean civilizations who dried figs in the sun and the ancient Egyptians who doused fresh herbs with olive oil. Home canning came along in France in the early 19th century, when Nicolas Appert invented a way to safely store food by vacuum-sealing it in jars. Whether to dry, freeze, ferment or can is a fundamental food preservation question, and canning is often the best answer.

jontyp
6/26/2014 6:28:55 AM

That's interesting post. While driving to http://placesnearbypune.blogspot.com/, I saw few people were doing home canning.






dairy goat

MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR

Aug. 5-6, 2017
Albany, Ore.

Discover a dazzling array of workshops and lectures designed to get you further down the path to independence and self-reliance.

LEARN MORE