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Yesterday marked the official start of Summer. The garden has been planted and is continuing to grow. Now that the schedule has slowed just a bit we can start to think about the next thing to prepare for: Canning Season! The last thing you want to do is run out of jars or lids right in the middle of canning…Thankfully, that hasn’t happened to us so far! But it never hurts to be prepared!
The first thing you’re going to need is something to place your harvest into. We prefer using laundry baskets and 5-gallon buckets. These food-grade 5-gallon buckets are also great for bulk food storage. We often store grains, beans, and animal food in them and we’ve even used them for egg glassing! With the large harvests it’s helpful to have something to put those baskets or buckets into and haul them to the house. This utility wagon is one or our family’s favorites. It’s also great for hauling tools or wood from the house to the shed or vice versa.
Once everything makes it to the house it’s time to clean it up and get ready to can it! First up, is washing all the dirt off. We have a potato scrub bush very similar to this one, but not nearly as cute. This one’s got a face and little shoes! 😍
And now’s the fun part. Depending on what you’ve harvested depends on which supplies you’ll need next. Having a couple of stock pots, ladles, labels, sharpies, and an extra pair of hands is always helpful too!
And of course, canning jars are a necessity!
We practically have them coming out of our ears. I think we have too many, then when we start canning and I panic thinking we don’t have enough. We always have more than we need, but I have come to the conclusion that it’s impossible to have too many canning jars. Unless we’re gifting the canned goods we actually prefer using the reusable canning lids. They may be more expensive up front but they will quickly pay for themselves!
Again, a lot of food preservation is based on what you’ll eat and the best way for you and your family to store that particular item. With those answers in mind different, often bigger and bulkier equipment is needed. We love using a Jam and Jelly Maker for preserving our fruits. Yes, you can make it by hand but we could never get the consistency quite right and this has eliminated a LOT of time and frustration.
We recently bought and started using a FoodSaver as well. This also has made life easier. It’s sometimes easier to freeze the food than it is to can it and when it came to last year’s corn harvest using the FoodSaver definitely helped to keep the kitchen a LOT cooler! And not roasting yourself during canning season is most definitely a blessing!
The book of Ecclesiastes reminds us that there is a season for everything. “To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven…A time to plant and a time to pluck what is planted.” (Ecclesiastes 3:1, 2b). In this in between of Summer, the seeds have been planted but the harvest is not yet ready, let’s use it wisely. Enjoying the moments we get to spend with family, the joy of the upcoming Independence Day holiday and even the heat and humidity. While also being mindful of what lays ahead and being prepared to use the upcoming harvest to the best of our ability as well as taking advantage of the Prime Day sales for these or other items you might need!
Until next time,
P.S. Check out my “Can It!” apparel It’s the perfect addition to a long day of canning and preserving that harvest! It’s available in various styles and colors HERE!