Misshapen carrots are just as tasty!

Misshapen carrots are just as tasty!

With all the recent focus on food (ugly or otherwise) and kitchen waste, it seems timely to revisit this home canning and preserving blog. Whether you have your own garden, buy from a farmer’s market, belong to a CSA (community supported agriculture), or just want to save some veggies in your fridge, here are some links to help you get started or dig a little deeper.

Note that another good source for canning (or freezing, dehydrating, root cellaring, and more) is the National Center for Home Food Preservation.

This summer has been a good year for tomatoes, so Winnipeg-based home economist Getty Stewart has some guidance if you want to can whole / halved tomatoes or crushed / diced tomatoes.

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LGLW- food market veggiesThe 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?

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 as

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 Allrecipes.com that notes you can get a special pectin that works with less sugar.

Here’s a little kitchen wisdom from a Dig In! Manitoba participant, including her guidance on freezing green beans. Enjoy Jackie’s ponderings on the seasonal pull to prepare food for winter storage along with a handy link on root cellaring.