By Tricia Drevets
A great way to preserve the bounty of your summer and fall gardens is by canning your produce. A successful canning season takes some preparation, though, and now is the time to get ready.
If you make the time now to follow a few simple steps, it will pay off with more good food stored on your shelves for your family’s winter meals.
First, decide what you want to preserve. If you have canned before, take a look at your pantry. What is left from last year and what is long gone? Make a list of your family’s favorites and consider canning more of them this year. By the same token, if something was not a hit – that is, there is still plenty of it left on the shelf — you may want to cross it off this year’s list.
What you preserve will also be determined by the quantity of certain plants in your garden and/or the availability of certain fruits and vegetables in your area. If your family loves your homemade applesauce and you ran out too soon, it might be time to investigate some u-pick orchards for more apples, for instance. Try PickYourOwn.org for new locations in your area. Call the farms or orchards for peak harvest times and make plans to be there early so as not to miss the best selection. Some growing seasons are short.