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Preserving the Harvest

post #1 of 688
Thread Starter 
I have been really getting into canning, dehydrating, freezing, etc. over the past couple of years and it would be great to have a place to chat with other people that are into the same. I don't think there is a subforum on mdc for preservation techniques. Does anyone have any suggestions?
post #2 of 688
I share your interests, but as this is my first season with any real harvest to speak of, I'm also new to the game. I Upicked pounds and pounds of blueberries and have them frozen. I'd like to make jam with some. I made a big pot of home made spaghetti sauce last night from my home grown tomatoes, yum! Good luck!
post #3 of 688
I would love to know how to can, but I'm nervous about food poisoning.

If I could figure out how to do it I would make jams and sauces. How nice it would be to have strawberry jam in January.
post #4 of 688
Making and preserving jam is so easy. I started with freezer jam for the past few years and moved to jarred this year, both my freezers are too full to add any more I just make 12 pints of strawberry jam. I will probably can peaches and pears if I can get them local and/or cheap at Costco. Any extra from our garden will get preserved too.
post #5 of 688
I would love a preservation subforum! It is my hobby/project more and more each year.
post #6 of 688
I would love to learn more about different recipes and techniques. I freeze and dehydrate but would love to start canning but it scares me so I don't.
post #7 of 688
Well, tomorrow we go strawberry picking. The berries will be jammed and frozen.

The only thing that scares me is the pressure canning. I was with my grandmother when a pressure cooker blew.

I picked up my own water bath canner this year, and was pleasantly surprised to find ALL of my canning stuff was made in the USA.

So far this year
I have chopped and frozen 30 lbs of rhubarb.

The plan for the year is
Strawberries... jam and frozen (u pick, no spray)
Blueberries.... frozen and pie filling canning (u pick, Organic)
Raspberries....jam, frozen and pie filling canning (u pick)
Cherries..... canned in simple syrup and in pie filling (u pick.. season is sketchy this year, this year we might have to pass.)
Peaches... canned, frozen (u pick, no spray)
Corn...freeze off the cob (when the 20 ears for $5. at local farms)
Green beans...freeze and do a small batch of spicy dilled canned. (local farms and my own garden)
Broc... freeze my own garden's bounty.
Tomatoes... can with garlic, basil from my own garden's bounty.
Apples... dried, canned sauce (in the shorty jars for kid lunches and in Quarts) Some apple/blueberry or Apple raspberry, apple strawberry canned as well.
post #8 of 688
Quote:
Originally Posted by boobybunny View Post

The only thing that scares me is the pressure canning. I was with my grandmother when a pressure cooker blew.

I'm scared of pressure cookers. My dad blew one up making applesauce...there was sauce on the ceiling of that house years after we moved out (my parents were not in any sense of the words, clean or neat), and my MIL was cooking something in a pressure cooker and it exploded, leaving her with awful burns and scars all over her face, chest, arms, stomach and legs. I just don't know if I'm brave enough to try them out. I have 2, but I only use the pot part for cooking big meals
post #9 of 688
lmonter is the queen of canning, she will have loads of resources for you all with questions I bet!

I think that having a subforum for preserving is a great idea. I find posts about canning and other preserving/putting up food all over. The nutrition and good eating forums seem to get a lot of these types of posts, as well as frugality and finances and country living.

I only can high acid foods and foods high in sugar content such as jellies, jams, preserves, fruit syrups and tomatoes. It is easy to do, and very safe. Just be sure you follow a trustworthy recipe to the "t"

As for the pressure canner... yeah they scare me too! When I was a kid a pressure cooker exploded in our kitchen while my mother was making pea soup. What a terrific mess and noise! People keep telling me that the new canners/cookers are very safe and will nto expolde if you do it all right, but I am afraid I will make a mistake. Plus, canned greenbeans (what we would most likely can) do not appeal to me
post #10 of 688
I am *so* not the queen of canning. I'm just a little gung-ho about it.

I was terrified of canning at first, but the need to make my grandma's secret recipe relish because I'd run out of hers (and she died 6.5 years ago) overpowered my fear. And I didn't use the pressure canner the first year we had it because it scared me with all those dire exploding warnings all over it.

But I got over it, and we've canned bunches of stuff. And my only explosions so far have been a pint of apricots and a quart of cherries (in the water bath canner). It's heartbreaking when that happens, I will admit that. I'm also really anal about inspecting the jars I'm going to can with, especially for the pressure canner.

And again, I'm uber-careful with the pressure canner. More than half the time we have it going outside on a propane fired camp stove/burner so we don't heat up the house (after kids are inside for the day though). We also let things really cool off before even bothering to crack open the lid, and I have a tendency to slightly over-process by 5-10 minutes or so. So far we're all still alive.
post #11 of 688
Thread Starter 
How great to find other people learning about canning and drying. I made a suggestion for a subforum...
http://www.mothering.com/discussions...d.php?t=919180

This week we are going to a u-pick strawberry patch, and then my MIL and I are going to experiment with Pamona's Universal Pectin. I use my strawberry jam to flavor homemade yogurt, and I wanted something low in sugar or sugar free. So, we will try this pectin. Anyone ever try it?
post #12 of 688
Quote:
Originally Posted by Love_My_Babies View Post
This week we are going to a u-pick strawberry patch, and then my MIL and I are going to experiment with Pomona's Universal Pectin. I use my strawberry jam to flavor homemade yogurt, and I wanted something low in sugar or sugar free. So, we will try this pectin. Anyone ever try it?
Yup. You do need to play with the pectin/calcium ratio a little bit sometimes to make sure you get a good jell each batch, but it works well. And I dig that you don't need near as much sugar/honey/whatever.

It does tend to mold quicker in the fridge than higher sugar jams (a la Sure-Jell) and some of my batches have come out slightly runnier than others, but really, nobody in our house cares.
post #13 of 688
My day was fairly productive.

26 pints of strawberry jam.
1 gallon ziplocked of frozen. ( frozen on cookie sheets and then dumped into the bag to avoid solid bricks of strawberry)

I spent 31.00 on strawberries.
12.00 on new jars
20.00 pectin
sugar???? not much


63.00 for 26 pints or 2.42 a pint, plus the frozen and all the berries the kiddos could eat today.

2.42 a pint for no spray, I know exactly what is in it jam.
post #14 of 688
Now that I have my own house, garden, and big kitchen, I would love to start canning. I've never done it myself, but I helped my mother as a kid. I need to read up before starting, so this forum is the perfect place! Thanks!
post #15 of 688
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lmonter View Post
And I dig that you don't need near as much sugar/honey/whatever.
I know! I am willing to deal with the drawbacks if that means I am not using 7 cups of sugar for each batch!! Actually, I would prefer it a little runny so that it can be mixed with the yogurt pretty easily. We go through about a gallon of yogurt a week, so the jam won't stay around for long!
post #16 of 688
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by boobybunny View Post
2.42 a pint for no spray, I know exactly what is in it jam.

That is awesome! I am so looking forward to my excusions this week!
post #17 of 688
Quote:
Originally Posted by boobybunny View Post
Well, tomorrow we go strawberry picking. The berries will be jammed and frozen.

The only thing that scares me is the pressure canning. I was with my grandmother when a pressure cooker blew.

I picked up my own water bath canner this year, and was pleasantly surprised to find ALL of my canning stuff was made in the USA.

So far this year
I have chopped and frozen 30 lbs of rhubarb.

The plan for the year is
Strawberries... jam and frozen (u pick, no spray)
Blueberries.... frozen and pie filling canning (u pick, Organic)
Raspberries....jam, frozen and pie filling canning (u pick)
Cherries..... canned in simple syrup and in pie filling (u pick.. season is sketchy this year, this year we might have to pass.)
Peaches... canned, frozen (u pick, no spray)
Corn...freeze off the cob (when the 20 ears for $5. at local farms)
Green beans...freeze and do a small batch of spicy dilled canned. (local farms and my own garden)
Broc... freeze my own garden's bounty.
Tomatoes... can with garlic, basil from my own garden's bounty.
Apples... dried, canned sauce (in the shorty jars for kid lunches and in Quarts) Some apple/blueberry or Apple raspberry, apple strawberry canned as well.
ahhhh, i didnt know you can freeze jams!!!
post #18 of 688
Quote:
Originally Posted by boobybunny View Post
My day was fairly productive.

26 pints of strawberry jam.
1 gallon ziplocked of frozen. ( frozen on cookie sheets and then dumped into the bag to avoid solid bricks of strawberry)

I spent 31.00 on strawberries.
12.00 on new jars
20.00 pectin
sugar???? not much


63.00 for 26 pints or 2.42 a pint, plus the frozen and all the berries the kiddos could eat today.

2.42 a pint for no spray, I know exactly what is in it jam.
oh thanks for the break down
post #19 of 688
How does this recipe sound?

http://www.grouprecipes.com/10833/st...eezer-jam.html

We are going picking on saturday and I'm really looking forward to making jelly. I think I'm going to have to freeze since I'm stil scared of canning.
post #20 of 688
I'm canning for two reasons this year.

1. Food for the winter for my family. Homemade, yummy, local etc.

2. Christmas gifts!



It's not really serious harvest season yet here, so I'm doing a lot with herbs for gifts at the moment.

So far, I have made
Rhubarb sauce-4 pints
Strawberry rhubarb jam-4 pints
Rose Petal Jam- 12 1/2 pints
Spearmint Jelly- 12 1/2 pints
Lavender Jelly -9 pints
Corn Relish- 9 pints
Garlic, Rosemary Chardonnay Jelly-9 pints
I've also begun infusing 1/2 gallon each of Rosemary, Lavender, Sage and Oregano Vinegars.
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