Putting forth the effort into a garden and reaping the rewards through canning.
Dear Readers –
This month is all about DIY gardening and canning. This is my second year of experimenting with a small garden. Last year, I was able to reap the leftovers of my neighbors’ gardens, but I missed my lesson on canning. However, this year, I’m prepared with canning jars, lids, and two ladies who volunteered to help me!
I hope you are looking forward to simple garden ideas, growing and harvesting your own garden as well as how to preserve your toils of the earth. We’ll also be including a couple other DIY recipes to save you money throughout the year – not just summer – things I have tried and actually work.
Home canning is experiencing a resurgence as an increasing amount of people want to know what’s in their food and want to be good stewards of the environment, but they are on a budget. If you are interested, there is an initial investment (to buy jars, lids, canner, etc) and time too, then home canning just might be for you.
Everything in home canning is reusable, except the food and the lids. This helps the environment since there is less waste for landfills. The practical benefit is that after the initial investment, you’ll save more by spending less on canning supplies in the future.
What Canning Supplies Do I Need?
Jars: The jars you can get at little or no cost. I found my canning jars from my mother-in-law who rarely uses them. There may be someone close to you that would love to give you the canning jars from their basement, maybe even give you some tips. Try buying jars at thrift stores, garage sales, and flea markets for even less than retail.
Bands and Lids: In retail stores, the bands and lids are about $12 for a twelve pack (depending on the jar size). The lids themselves are around $6 for twelve.
Canner: The biggest investment is the canner, which is around $20 – $100 depending if you want a boiling water bath canner or a pressure canner. If you just want to can high acid foods like tomatoes, jams, and jellies, then a boiling water bath canner is for you. However, I would suggest the pressure canner because you can preserve both high and low acid foods as it doubles as a boiling water bath canner. I know this is expensive; however, they are made to last several lifetimes and you can always buy it on layaway.
Miscellaneous: You will also need the Ball Blue Book or Putting Food By ($6 – $14) and a basic canning utensil kit ($8 – $12). All of the mentioned canning paraphernalia will last quite a few years if you take care of them properly.
I’ll be writing more how-to’s of home canning as well as other homesteading articles! What are your experiences with canning food?