As some of our spring planting becomes ready to harvest, you’ll need to find a way to store all those fresh veggies until you’re ready to use them. Some things are best fresh out of the garden, but you can only eat so many of the same veggie before you don’t want to see it again for a while. Read on for basic information on preserving vegetables by canning.
Canning has been used as a means of food preservation since about the Civil War era. The canning process works in two ways: first, using hot water or pressure to cook the food and kill bacteria, and second, by vacuum sealing the lid to remove air that would cause food to spoil.
The main reason to start canning is to save money by not wasting food. Canning your own harvests also provides you with shelf-stable foods that aren’t laden with preservatives. For that reason, you may find that your home-canned goods taste better than those from the store shelves!
The most important part of the canning process is sterility. We’ll discuss later the process of how to can, but in the meantime, what you’ll need to begin are jars, seals, a ladle, a large pot and tongs. You may also need a funnel depending on what you’re canning. Remember, that in addition to whatever you’d like to preserve from your own garden, canning is perfectly acceptable for any of the vegetables you buy at the farmer’s market.