CAN WHAT YOU CAN

Food was a national concern in the United States during Second World War years.”Make Food Fight for Freedom by Eating Wisely” was the title of a booklet prepared by the War Ad Council around 1944. Citizens were encouraged to cooperate with rationing efforts and to grow Victory Gardens . The bounty produced from a plot of land was too valuable to waste. Not to grow a garden or care for fruiting shrubs and trees was considered unpatriotic. To fail to preserve its bounty was downright un-American. One 1946, Department of Agriculture poster carried the message, “Am I Proud — I’m fighting famine . . . by canning food at home.” – Courtesy FruitfromWashington.com

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To preserve the bounty of your Freedom Garden this year — after you eaten all that you can, can what you can to extend the harvest.

In our kitchen cupboards here on the urban homestead you’ll find an assortment of colorful jars from fruit jams/butters made with homegrown fruits (fig, orange, peach, apple, elderberry, guava), sliced homegrown peaches, salsa made with homegrown tomatoes and onions, basic tomato sauce made with homegrown tomatoes and herbs, marinated homegrown peppers, homegrown grapes leaves in brine and more.

Every year, as the harvest from the garden increases so does our canning efforts. This year I hope to even do a better job at preserving the harvest using new recipes which I hope to share with our readers.

There’s something empowering (especially for us women!) when canned goods surpass store bought canned goods 10 to 1 (well in our case here at the urban homestead) – you know you are the path to self sufficiency. It’s also a link to the past. A past where folks didn’t rely on frozen foods or store bought items to feed their families. Home food preservation is a necessary skill for for these modern times and offers us a solution to the ensuing food crisis.

Canning is a safe and easy way to preserve the bounty of your garden. We use a simple water bath method to seal our canned goods.

:: Resources ::

Here some some helpful resources I’ve gleaned from “Grandma Google” that have helped me in my canning adventures.

Home Food Preservation
National Center for Food Preservation
Fresh Preserving
All About Canning

:: Books ::

The Big Book of Preserving the Harvest
Keeping the Harvest
How to Store Your Garden Produce

more home preservation titles

:: Home Canning Kit ::

Complete BALL Home Canning Kit

No Comments

  1. Devin Quince says:

    This is our first year canning other than we have canned jams, etc. We are really excited and enjoy all the help your site provides.
    Namaste,
    The Quinces

  2. Anne Pifer says:

    Thank-you so much for all of the information you post on your site! You are such an inspiration, blessing, and an incredible example! This is a great post! Jars full of home canned food are one of the most beautiful sights in the world! Do you preserve food via drying it in your solar dryer as well? Also, how do you use your chickens for pest control without their damaging (destroying) your plants by scratching in the dirt? Thank-you again for all that you are doing, and for sharing it with us! Anne 🙂

  3. P~ says:

    Great post Anais.
    We are really looking forward to not only maximizing our production this year, but preserving that harvest for the winter. I really like the pickling information site. Very useful.
    P~

  4. Laurie says:

    Yes, I totally agree! Not only is home canned more delcious, but now commercially canned foods have increased in price seemingly 50%! This year I will focus even more than usual on foods to store, and will grow dry beans, wheat, cabbage and root crops. My family also will can tomatoes, green beans, corn, salsa, fruit, jelly, and jam. We make nice wines too…which is sort of canning, yes? We like kimchee too – a tasty way to preserve vegies.

  5. Olivia says:

    “Especially for us women” – why?

  6. N. & J. says:

    We decided to plant a vegetable garden for the first time this year and we are starting slow so I doubt we will have much of our own to can but we do plan on canning some of the produce etc that we get from the farmer’s market as a way to start getting away from storebought canned food.

    N.

    http://badhuman.wordpress.com

  7. Anais says:

    Thanks for the comments, everyone. Glad you found this entry helpful!

    I love canning and to answer Olivia’s query when I wrote “especially for us women.” I was referring to us women her on the urban homestead! It’s our job to preserve the harvest and we take that job seriously! Not only do we find pleasure in “sticking it to the man’ but the joy one gets to know that you taking food matters in your own hands is priceless. Our food is fighting!

    It’s empowering to preserve the harvest – knowing that you are taking steps and contributing with your own hard work towards a more sustainable food system.

    Grow for victory, grow for freedom!

    Anais

  8. Anais says:

    Laurie

    You are right! Any/all food preservation methods apply – pickling, fermenting, etc.

    We, too, make homemade, homegrown wines too!

    Thanks for pointing that out.

    Viva la HOMEGROWN REVOLUTION!

    Anais

  9. Sandy says:

    Anais:
    I am a newbie to the Urban Homestead and you all have inspired me so much to join a community garden and to buy local produce.

    I have a question about canning. I recently read that for acidic foods (tomatoes, fruits) you can just use large stock pot to boil everything, but for low acidic foods (veggies) it is recommended using a pressure canner. I was wondering what your thoughts on that is?

    Thanks for inspiring us all..

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