Once the domain of grandmothers, canning as a means of preserving the harvest has been making a huge comeback. If you enjoy eating in season, this is the way to enjoy the bounty of the harvest all year long. Just imagine popping open a fresh jar of garden vegetable tomato sauce to pour over your favorite comfort food on a blustery winter evening or sharing some tasty, homemade mango salsa at your Super Bowl party. If you can boil water, you can stock your pantry with fresh goodies for every season — and Seward Co-op has everything you need from jars to pickling seasoning to pectin!
There are two methods for canning: water bath and pressure canning. If you are new to canning, we recommend beginning with water bath canning. Whether food should be processed in a pressure canner or water canner depends on the acidity of the food. The goal of safe canning is to prevent the growth of botulinum bacteria. In water bath canning, foods with a pH value higher than 4.6 are acidic enough to prevent the growth of these bacteria. However, low-acid foods are not and need to be acidified with lemon juice, citric acid or vinegar. All foods with a pH value lower than 4.6 need to be processed using a pressure canner to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria. For the best and safest results, follow the trusted recipes from notable sources precisely.
How to $ave
Did you know we offer discounts on case quantities ordered in advance–10 percent off for owners and 5 percent off for non-owners. Another tip for saving money on bulk purchases is to stock up on sale items. Some of the best deals are on Fridays during #FarmFreshFridays when three to five produce items are on sale for 25 percent off. Follow us on social media for #FarmFreshFridays deals.
- If you’re new to food preservation, here is a great primer.
- Canning takes up a lot of space, clear a space in your kitchen and organize tools before beginning.
- Sterilize your jars by washing lids and jars in hot soapy water then boil them in a water bath for 10 minutes.
- Wash fresh foods and peel root crops, stem crops and tomatoes before canning.
- Add acid to food according to the recipe whenever necessary.
- When filling the jar, leave enough space in the jar for food to expand.
- Use acceptable jars and self-sealing lids.
- Make sure the water in the canning mechanism is one to two inches over the top of filled jars
- Use correct processing method for the correct period of time provided in the USDA’s Complete Guide to Home Canning.
- Be sure to label jars with the date and contents.