Ohiofarmgirl's Adventures in The Good Land is largely a fish out of water tale about how I eventually found my footing on a small farm in an Amish town. We are a mostly organic, somewhat self sufficient, sustainable farm in Ohio. There's action and adventure and I'll always tell you the truth about farming.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Getting Started in Canning

One of my pals got a new pressure canner yesterday - I was so excited. The wonderful world of canning is a thrilling place to be. But... where do you start?

Are you dreaming of canning green beans? Now is a great time to get ready for canning!

Of course..... with the right tools!

I was terrified of my pressure canner when I first got it. I was sure I would blow up the house or kill us all. But nope. Now I have two canners and I discovered it's a fun and rewarding project. Provided that you follow the proper directions you will be just fine.

I think there are some people who are still pretty cavalier about "non-approved" methods... and truth be told, I have a lot of European friends who use methods that would send our FDA/USDA friends into fits. But then again, with all the current FDA approved products that are trying to kill you - like salad - you might as well take a run at canning. 

My strong recommendation is that you follow the guidelines to the letter and not go off on your own. Don't take short cuts even if Grammy used to do it that way.  The hard truth is that we live near-ish a community where several folks were grievously sickened - and at least one person died - when someone brought potato salad made from home-canned taters to a church pot luck. So my second strong recommendation is use your home canned products for your own use.

Whatever you do - get the right book which is the Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving. Get it, read it, follow it to the letter. Do not trust recipes from the intertube without verifying the same directions from this book or your local extension office

What is a good project to get started with? Beans. Home canning beans is such a terrific project - it's relatively easy and you can really see the benefits. Sure you can grab a can of beans for about a dollar from the store. Or you can get a two pound bag of dried beans, can them at home, and have all your bean needs met for months.

Once you get into canning be sure to keep your pressure canner in check by getting it checked out. It's fun and easy.

It's super easy to order new parts so be sure to keep everything in tip top shape.

If you are nervous then ask around to see if some one will be willing to let you help them... or they might help you get started. Or check and see if your local extension office provides classes - I bet they do.

Happy Wednesday everyone - are you ready to get canning?

Editor's note 1: What's the word with another lame post full of links? I'm still pretty discombobulated. I have not fully been recombobulated from my wonky hip week of hell. I'm working on it. Until then this is all I've got. Mostly I've been sitting around complaining and eating everything that can't run from me.

Editor's note 2: Check it out - I have some affiliate links here.  Anything you buy from Amazon from these links gets me a tiny percentage of the sale. It doesn't cost you one cent more but it helps me with the "cost" of this blog. If you like this blog, or if I've helped you at all in your farming efforts, just make a purchase from Amazon from one of the links, my store, or the black Amazon search box on the right side of this page. It can be anything - one of my recommendations, books, movies, or whatever. Every little bit helps. Thanks!


Vera said...

I wouldn't be without my canner, but was never scared of using it because when I was in my twenties (nearly fifty years ago ....yikes!!!!) I had an old fashioned pressure cooker that was in use most days so I got used to the hissy steamy habits that pressure cookers have. My canner is an All American beast and also has the hissy steamy habits that I am well acquainted with!

Ohiofarmgirl said...

i was sure, Vera, that i was going to burn down the house. who knew it could be so much fun!?!

PJ said...

my Grandma had a pressure canner sort of blow out steam when she tried to take the top off a bit too early. She got a pretty bad burn from that mistake. Don't be afraid of it but be careful is my advice. Also do follow all the directions to the letter. I like to can and every year I try to put up a few new things. Hope you get to feeling better soon. Spring is on the way and that's no time to be laid up in the house.

Ohiofarmgirl said...

Thanks, PJ! That's scary about your Grandma. eep!

deb harvey said...

thanks. got a pressure canner and want to can meat on sale. 2 ladies i have written to have been encouraging and this post is helpfully reassuring. i'll just have to dive in and warn people out of the kitchen 'just in case' when the steam gets up.

Ohiofarmgirl said...

you can do it Deborah! really - it's totally fun and once you get the hang of it then you'll be so happy and surprised at how great it is. yay! let me know how it goes?

lizzybaxter said...

Okay, I am publicly confessing that last season I bought a new canner, and it's still in the box. I got busy. I was scared. It was out of my comfort zone. There were too many fires to put out all at once. So now it's in a closet. Sigh.

I am putting in my garden next week, and I am determined to use my pressure canner.

Thanks for the encouragement.

Ohiofarmgirl said...

you can do it, Carol!! no really! yes you can! yay!
*gives hugs*

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