Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Thinking Ahead- Canning Part 2- Produce

So now that you have thought about what equipment you need for canning, it's time to start thinking about what actual "stuff" you want to can, or maybe I should say what you are capable of canning based on availability.

Think about what you grew last year:
Was it enough for your family?
Was there excess you could have canned?
Were there things you grew that your family didn't like, or didn't grow well?

Then think about if there are things you would like to change from last year's garden?
Do you want to plant more of something hoping for an excess?
Do you want to plant something you haven't planted before?

The thing about gardening is that it is always best fresh. I mean c'mon, who doesn't revel when they take a big bite of a just ripened tomato, still warm from the heat of the sun, juices running down their chin......... but I digress.Anyways, it's best to eat things fresh from your garden, but if you have EXTRA then you can it!

You need to start planning your garden with that in mind. Can you plant an extra row of tomatoes that you can put up? Can you put in one more blackberry or blueberry bush? Adding just one or two additional things yearly and in a few years you'll have yourself more than you can handle.

Another thing to remember is that if no one eats it, it's a waste of your time, effort and money. This isn't true in survival mode of course, if something were to happen and all you had to eat was canned ( insert least favorite canned food of all time) then you would just learn to eat it. I learned my lesson the year that my daddy and I put up about 50 quarts of pear preserves when our pear tree went wild one year. We could see the pears going to waste, and you can only eat so many and make so many pear cakes, so we made preserves. They weren't much good to start with, add that to the fact that with all the other beautiful jams and jellies I made, we just didn't eat them. I have given them away, tried to think of other uses for them and finally am down to about 2 quarts.

So my point is that canning can be a lot of work and if you aren't going to eat it, then you may want to rethink it.

Some of my favorite things to can:
Strawberry Jam
Hot Pepper Relish
Muscadine Jelly
Blueberry Jam
Pepper Jelly
Vegetable Soup

I wanted to leave you with a link from my canning party I had last summer. I plan on many more. Check it out here ( put up 200 ears of corn and 60+  jars) Enjoy and can on!

What are you all looking forward to canning this year? Anything you will NEVER can again?

Linked up to Monday Barn Hop, Simple Living Wednesday


  1. I haven't yet ventured into the canning world, but I hope to soon! How wonderful to be able to provide for your family so immediately. Love that.

  2. Visiting from RefundCents and yes I am expanding my garden this year to can more produce.

    1. Thanks for stopping by Laura. I can't wait to hear about all the goodies you grow this year.

  3. If you happen to grow too much of something and can't eat it all or don't have the time to put it up (canned or frozen) then you could donate it to a food bank. There are many out there who would love to have fresh produce. Deborah

  4. Great advice Deborah. I have helped in gleaning projects before also which is an amazing thing to do. I'll have to write about that soon. Thanks for stopping by!

  5. I know this is an older post, but how long are your canned items good? I haven't canned since I was growing up with my grandparents and plan to try to get back into it this year.

    1. Thanks for stopping by!

      I normally use them by the next season, a few things I keep for several years ( like one year I had a ton of pear syrup and it took us probably 3-4 years to eat it all). If the items are canned properly, with a proper seal and all, they should last a good while.

  6. I love canning. It's such a great way to have healthy food all year. Thanks so much for sharing with Wednesday's Adorned From Above Blog Hop. We can't wait to see what you have for us this week. The party starts at 8:00PM tonight.
    Debi and Charly