Food Preservation Through Water Bath and Pressure Canning

| 11/5/2015 10:03:00 AM

Tags: canning, food preservation, water bath canning, pressure canning, Sean Mitzel, Monica Mitzel, Idaho,

Preserve the Harvest!

In a time where everything you could possibly want comes pre-packaged, pre-canned, filled with preservatives and is processed to last, why should we learn to can? Why should we use our valuable time and resources to learn a skill that has almost become obsolete? I think I can answer these questions in three simple words: to be prepared.

We will all admit that there are many things we cannot control, but one thing we can control is how prepared we are for any type of emergency (think long term power outage or natural disaster), and preparation on any good farm or homestead always includes food preservation, I believe learning to can, or “put up,” should be at the top of every list.

Now, having taught a basic canning course I have found that the greatest obstacle to wanting to learn this valuable skill was the fear many people had of killing their family. Botulism is a frightening word and any loving parent/spouse does not want to be the reason for their loved ones demise.

But thankfully, this need not be a reason to avoid the canning adventure, and honestly, canning today looks very different than it did 50 or 60 years ago; the advancement in food safety guidelines, convenient tools, and the wide array of recipes available in books and online has allowed for easier and safer canning practices.

A word of warning, however: Canning may become addictive, and I bear no responsibility for the lack of cupboard space that could potentially follow a new canner, nor any missing items due to a canning obsession. Having said that, I am just going to highlight a few important items you will want to keep in mind when beginning to “put up” the harvest.

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