“I am beginning to learn that it is the sweet, simple things of life which are the real ones after all.” –Laura Ingalls Wilder

Canning season has begun in earnest here on the urban homestead.   Slowly the empty kitchen shelves are being filled with blessings from the urban homestead. On days like this with garden and home work all mixed together one feels as if one stepped back in time when life and work were one.  This is the season when one reaps the rewards of a homegrown life.   Sure it’s a lot of work but it’s a work full of purpose and value.

What are you putting up this year, care to share?


  1. Terry says:

    I had a lot of cucumbers, so I put up 16 jars of pickles. I didn’t really want that many pickles because we don’t really eat a lot of them! I also did some apricot jam from apricots I bought, they aren’t really local here, but I do love it. Some grape jelly too. I have some green beans I put in the freezer, they really haven’t done real well yet this year. I have dried a few herbs, and since I have a lot of cherry tomatoes, I have some out sundrying right now. First time trying that, we will see how that goes.

  2. Mavis says:

    What am I canning? Everything I’m growing….beans, peas, pickles,salsa,waiting for more tomatoes so I can begin putting up pasta sauce, zucchini relish,pickles, jars of jam after jam…’s non stop around here….and I’m loving it…well except last night when I accidentally rubbed my eyes and face with jalapeno juice….that…..was not fun.

  3. Charles La Motta says:

    The photos look great. Just saw a canning demo yesterday; haven’t done any canning myself yet. Anyone ever have any problems with canning not working properly? I’m a little apprehensive with what I’ve heard about the dangers of botulism.

  4. says:

    I got 6 jars out of my almost 19 lbs of tomatoes. They are heirloom, and not the roma style, so I got a few jars less than I was hoping. BUt plenty more tomatoes on the way! My wife is leaving for 2 months to europe to visit family, so I am going to have my work cut out for me!!! Yikes! I have a second batch of raspberries, blackberries and blueberries coming in as well… not enough to make jams of each so I will try a mixed berry jam. I’ll be lucky to get a small jars worth. Might be a nice addition to a holiday family breakfast.

    Money is tight this year so family and friends will be getting jars of stuff for the holidays 🙂 I like this so much better than a gift card or trinket. There is so much hard work and love that goes into canning… I think this will become a tradition here at

  5. Lily says:

    I got 9 cups of *dried* tomatoes just from a cherry tomato plant that got a little out of control. 8 pints of smoky, hot salsa, canned. 4 quarts marinara sauce, frozen (need a pressure canner so I can put up my lower acid foods).

    After drying all those tomatoes on a rinky dink dehydrator I finally invested in a quality one that can handle a goodly quantity of produce *and* incubate yogurt. I’m planning on experimenting with dehydrating in addition to canning since, when done correctly, it lasts even longer than canned goods and retains more nutrients.

  6. SuperMomNoCape says:

    I’m canning whatever I can find in quantity and a reasonable price at the farmers’ market and anything from our CSA that I get enough of to can or freeze. So far this has included tomatoes, beans, corn, sauerkraut and peaches. Also blueberries from a u-pick and pears from someone who had more than they could pick and use themselves (more pears are ripening in boxes and will also be canned). I’ve put up dill pickles, corn relish and mustard beans. Oh and I’ve made strawberry jam and sliced and frozen some.

    I have more tomatoes coming in our garden which I’m planning on turning into salsa. And I’m hoping to have a fall garden with enough swiss chard to freeze.

    We purchased a pressure canner this spring and that has greatly expanded the kind of things we’ll be able to can. Once the weather cools off this fall I’ll be doing even more canning. I plan to put up soups, stews and sauces plus a variety of meats.

    I’m loving knowing that the only three ingredients in our canned veggies are veggies, water and a bit of salt. In our fruit there’s only fruit, water and sugar.

    And to Charles La Motta… buy yourself a good canning book and just follow the directions. There are many people who swear by the Ball Blue Book of Preserving. I use the canning section of my Better Homes and Gardens cook book.

    Never can low acid foods such as vegetables or meat with anything but a pressure canner. I know some old time recipes say that you can use a water bath canner for these… but that is no longer considered safe.

    Occasionally I will have a jar that doesn’t seal. When one doesn’t, I put that jar in the fridge and use it with the next few days. Before and after opening a jar, I inspect it. If I’m ever in doubt, I throw it out. But I can honestly say I’ve rarely ever had to throw out food that has sealed properly and remained sealed. And even then, there may not have been anything wrong with the food, it was more a precaution than anything else.

  7. Candace says:

    This is the first year I’ve made a great effort to preserve food, and I think I’ve made great progress. I’ve canned mostly what I’ve grown and received from neighbors and the wild; bread & butter pickles, pickled jalapenos, blackberry preserves, blackberry sauce, fig preserves, fig pickles (1st time making those and they are delicious), fig marmalade, pepper jelly, sauce piquant, salsa. I’ve frozen tons of wild blackberries (my husband and I spent several Sundays picking blackberries much to his dismay), pureed figs in ice cube trays for smoothies, and green beans. I’ve dehydrated tomatoes, jalapenos, zucchini, mint and stuffed jalapenos. I’ve also made a few batches of veggie burgers that I’ve frozen. I’ve tried to let nothing go to waste and that’s hard to do sometimes since I work outside the home. Thanks for the inspiration to keep at it!

  8. Julie says:

    can’t can using pressure cooker as I have an electric glasstop stove (came with the house). My next house (whenever) I will get a gas stove so I can use the pressure cooker. This year my garden hasn’t produced as much as I would have liked. Here in Kentucky we have had an abundant amount of rain! But I have gone to farmers markets and “pick yourself” farms and been able to make jams/jellies, and freeze fruit. Did eat the last corn on the cob from last year tonight. Have a farmer friend that I get lots of sweet corn every year. This year his crop is not doing so well either.

  9. Margy Porter says:

    I’ve been reading your blog for years, inspired and relieved to finally have companions in the urban homesteading journey.
    I’m responding to your post about preserving food- it’s one of my favorite things! Oregon is a paradise for food preservation… so far this year I’ve made strawberry, marionberry, raspberry, blueberry, gooseberry, red currant and jostaberry jam. I’ve canned whole tomatoes and tomato sauce, soon I’ll be making red salsa and green enchilada sauce. I’ve made dilly beans and dill pickles. For the first time, I started some spicy lacto-fermented pickles in a 4-gallon bucket. Aside from canning, I’ve frozen corn, beans, and berries and I’ve dehydrated LOTS of fruit leather (I have three children who love this for lunches.) Applesauce, dried apples, applesauce-berry fruit leather, apple cider, apple pie filling, etc… are coming very soon. AND pesto!

    A small group of friends approached me last spring to form a canning group. Some of the women had never canned before, and wanted guidance to get started. We formed a yahoo discussion group to share ideas and information and to schedule our work parties. We make bulk local produce purchases and work together to make food for our families. We are surrounded in our work by babies, toddlers, and preschoolers- which we all feel great about. These children will grow up knowing that food is real, and doesn’t come from grocers. My older children have an active schedule of their own, but help out when they can, and they often comment on how much better our home food is than what they have to eat when they travel (for swim meets and summer camps.)

    Thanks for all the work and inspiration,
    Margy Porter

  10. Cindie K. says:

    I keep hearing your phrase “a time when life and work were one” over and over in my mind. During my grandparents’ lifetimes, not so many years ago, life and work were indeed one. They lived primarily from their gardens and small livestock and worked all day long to provide for their families. There seems to have been a certain peace to that lifestyle that is so lost today. We did not put in a garden this year and I feel the loss of the experience and the fresh food. It means we cannot provide for ourselves over the fall and winter, and that both saddens and frightens me. The less dependence we have on our established food system in this country, the better, I believe, as so many unplanned for events can disrupt it. I do cherish my daily read of your blog, as it is food for my soul. Keep up the good work!

  11. Janice says:

    I’ve put up canned peaches and asian pears, and some spaghetti sauce. I’ve also cured some garlic in wine and sake. We’ve frozen tons of figs so I can make some jams when it’s all picked. Froze lots of green beans and peaches as well. This year our tomato plants aren’t doing too well so not much preserving going one there.

  12. Larry says:

    Can citrus be canned?, I get alot of fruit during the winter months but wont last on the trees for very long once they ripen. Thanks Larry

  13. Michelle says:

    Everything looks so delicious! So far this year I’ve only made jam. Pretty much can’t survive the winter on THAT! But it IS good! I plan on trying my hand at pickles again and definitely more dilly beans. I shredded and froze tons of zucchini. And I plan on canning some peaches. I want to try tomato sauce but I’m really intimidated by it for some reason!

    And..since I can’t figure out how to add to the tally…I’ll just tell you…my sweet chickens finally starting laying eggs on Sunday! 2 then and 3 today! Woohoo!

  14. Robert says:

    Mmmm your preserves look pretty good, especially the tomato sauce. I can’t wait to get enuf produce to actually put them in pots =)
    Great articles keep up the good work.

  15. caroline b says:

    Our garden is in it’s first year with us and as we only moved in at the end of June our own food production has been limited. But we did get a couple of jars of pickled beetroot and some spinach from our own garden. I have been getting free veg from my parents in law’s garden so have frozen about 5 litres of courgette and tarragon soup, 6 kilos of plums and 4 litres of tomato sauce. I have also made peach schnapps, some pesto, and have 6 jars of roasted peppers in olive oil. I love that squirrely feeling!

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