The fresh vegetables are piling up and the apples need to be picked quickly before they fall to the ground. What to do with all this bounty?

Bountiful veggies (Photo: Green Action Centre)

Home canning and freezing are catching on again, as more people discover the delicious joys of gardening. Freezer jams, canned tomatoes, zucchini salsa. Heck, you can even throw a whole tomato into the freezer and toss it into your soup or pasta sauce in the depths of winter to add a flavourful taste of summer.

I remember my grandmother always had row upon row of jarred vegetables and fruit on her pantry shelves. But this practice skipped a generation (sorry, mom!). Now I’m finding my own way into canning, with most of the information coming from websites. One favourite source is Pick Your Own, which is not very pretty but has solid instructions with some photos. The familiar Bernardin, maker of mason jars, lids and whatnot, has good information as well.

Mostly I stick to high-acid foods like tomatoes, jams and pickles to avoid having to use a pressure canner. (What with that whole botulism concern.) My co-worker Jessie found an excellent freezer jam recipe in Canadian Living magazine. After her jam wouldn’t set because she’d cut back significantly on the amount of sugar, she found a freezer jam article at that notes you can get a special pectin that works with less sugar.

What are you canning this year? We’d love to hear your tips and favourite recipes in the comments!

To keep your thoughts of the harvest going, check our our blog on the seasonal pull to prepare food for winter storage along with a handy link on root cellaring.