Can Your Home-Grown Vegetables and Fruit
If you've harvested your fruits and vegetables, but can't eat them all, don't let them go to
waste. When they're at their peak flavor and ripeness, can them. Canning is a great way to
store your garden produce. You can even can produce from your farmer's market. Canned produce
will keep up to a year if done properly. Also, canning is a fun family project.
How Canning Works
Canning is really just heat processing. It involves placing food in sealable jars, which you
then heat for a while, and cool later. Heating up the jars kills the microorganisms that cause
spoilage. When the jars cool, air pressure seals the containers tight. This keeps out other
Your Canning Materials
Canning uses mason jars, not tin cans. If you're canning foods with high acidity, such as
tomatoes, you'll use a boiling water canner. For low-acid foods, such as green beans, use a
You don't have to stick to plain fruits and vegetables when you can. Add spices, herbs, and
other items to make salsa, side courses, and soups. The idea is to be as creative as you want
with the produce you have.
Get Your Kids Involved
There are several steps to preparing foods before you begin canning them. They're a great
excuse to invite your kids to work on a fun project. The whole family will enjoy spending time
together canning the food, and then eating it in the months to come.