Monday, August 30, 2010


I grew up in Virginia where backyard gardens were common. Canning food was common and women saved their mayo jars for canning tomatoes. Of course one broke once in a while in the boiling water, but after all the jar was "free". Last week our Colorado Springs "Gazette" had an article about the resurgence in interest in canning.  Do you have things you want to do but it has to be on your "stuff to do in the future list"?  There are so many wonderful food blogs now and I'm not talking Martha Stewart level here.  Just ordinary people who are passionate about cooking, canning and gardening and a host of other interests. After I was married  my Mom started gardening, got a cow, goats and both of my younger step sisters had a horse.  When I had lived at home we did have a small garden but she greatly expanded it.   One summer she canned over 1000 jars of food! I guess it was all something she had always wanted to do...people do different things at different times in life.  Is this your time to learn to can?

The newspaper article I read last week, talked about city people who are trying their hands at preserving food - an example would be the blog Saving The Season where Kevin West has been bitten by the canning fever. My son and daughter in law in Columbia, Missouri now have their own chickens for eggs. Many areas have legalized chickens "in town" - just NO ROOSTERS for obvious reasons.

In my store I have private label foods - this means I don't make them - but they bare our store name.   Then there are many small businesses with commercial kitchens  who process foods on a small business scale.  Of course, we have an interest in Colorado based food products and recently added some cantaloupe products from Rocky Ford, Colorado.  We do have our own tea mix recipes which we have processed for us in Fort Collins. You probably know that stores can only sell foods processed in commercial kitchens but farmers markets can sell things made in home kitchens.

You may be familiar with blogs like Kimberly's Cup where a young mother has a special love to learn and make and do all things homespun, healthy and make a wonderful home for her family.

I enjoyed learning to can in the 70's and hope to get back to it one day!

It seems like every community has a farmers market now where locals gather to sell their backyard and small garden produce.  This is a wonderful source for canning can save jars from year to year, find them at yard sales and reuse some jars from foods you have purchased.  Grocery stores usually have a section where jelly jars are sold with lids, etc.  Check out the canning blogs such as Food In Jars and Tigress in A Jam and Anarchy In A Jar and Canning Across America to learn more!

See my other posts listed under Canning and Putting up Food! 


*Ulrike* said...

I'll have to check those blogs out. Unfortunately my garden as well as several others around this area did virtually nothing, and I do mean nothing. So sad. However, I did get apples from a friend in N.C., and was able to can all of those with various apple recipes.

Marlena said...

I have canned and frozen for years. I especially like to do pickles and jams and jellies. They make wonderful giftd and you can come up with some interesting stuff. One of my grandsons loves mango jam and will eat it by the jarful. I always feel so connected to my mother, grandmothers and all those women who have gone before me to "put food by". I've also done some food drying and we built a dryer, but it was not a great success.

Ro said...

Timely post Bernideen! I'm all set up to can salsa today and tomato sauce tomorrow, all with produce from my own garden. It's going to be a busy time but I know how very much we will appreciate the canned goods during the long cold months of winter when the only tomato that can be found is a pale pink hothouse variety that tastes like mushy cardboard. :)

racheld said...

Putting up food---referring to canning and drying and salting and setting down in lard---how thankful we are to ENJOY canning, to do it for the pleasure of seeing those beautiful jars and bottles lined up shining with the colors of fruit and vegetables.

I DO feel connected to all the generations, for I was a very strong link in that chain, living on a big farm and "putting up" four or five hundred jars of various garden produce and fruit from our trees---peaches and plums and pears and cherries. It seemed that we just HAD to do all that canning, and I never could understand how folks could feed their family straight out of the grocery store.

Very little canning for me, any more, as we live far from the farm, in a small town inside a big city, but I cling to the old chinois, the big aluminum and spatterware pots, the big spoons and the decades-old battered big-mouth funnel for filling the jars.

Freezing was another matter, but my blog gets at least two folks a day who find it by Googling "Putting up corn."

I STILL feel the connection to those hot canning days.