Canning season is just around the corner. You don’t want to be elbow deep in food preserving and have to run to the store for spices or vinegar. Getting prepared ahead of time will save you time and stress. Let’s talk about 3 ways to get ready for canning season.
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1. Make a list of foods you are preserving for the year
Whether you are growing the vegetables and fruits yourself, or buying them from a local market, write a list of what you want to preserve.
Next, write down when the produce will be harvested, or when they are available to buy in your area. Get into contact with local farms or markets to see if they offer produce in bulk. Write the date, when you will be preserving, beside each item. You will need to block this time off on your calendar so you will have time free to preserve your food.
Once you know what produce you want, decide what quantity you need for your family. This allows you to plan for how many jars and lids you will use. Also, look through your recipes and write down the amount of spices, sweeteners, and vinegars you should have on hand. I buy all my spices in bulk from Azure Standard. They have high quality non-gmo products and having them on hand is such a blessing.
2. Check Your Equipment
The big workers for canning are your pressure canner and water bath canner. Now is the time to get them out and check the seals, and vents. Make sure there are no blockages and everything is working smoothly. It is nice to have an extra sealing ring or overpressure plug on hand just in case. I had the sealing ring quit working on me right in the middle of canning green beans last year. Thank goodness I had an extra one on hand and was able to change it and continue canning.
There are many types of canners. Please follow all of the guidelines from the manufacturer that makes your canners. If you have a pressure gauge on your canner you can call your county extension office and they can check it for you. Make sure you have your funnels, jar lifter, headspace tool, and lid lifter.
Next thoroughly look at your jars and lids. Check the jars for cracks or chips in the glass. Again, do you have enough for what you will be preserving? Do you have the right size of lid and enough of each size? Decide how you will label your jars. Will you simply use a permanent marker, or maybe sticker labels? Have a few of your choices on hand.
3. Have A Back Up Plan
Because of how our world is going right now, you might not be able to find the supplies you need, like canning lids. Look into other ways of preserving such as freezing or dehydrating. If you are freezing your food, I highly recommend a Food Saver and bags. I have had great results using these, even with our meat from our farm.
What ways do you get ready for canning season? I would love to hear about it down in the comments.
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