If you are like me, then right now you are busy planting your vegetables, fruits and herbs in the garden. Before long, that produce will flourish and provide us with bushels of food. That’s a good thing, right? But sometimes that abundant harvest can truly be too much and we get more than we bargained for.
So, what are we to do when our garden gives us too much? Get ready now and “Plan to Can”. Trust me on this – your neighbors might take some extra produce off your hands, but they will not want ALL of your extra zucchini. So start thinking now about preserving all of that glorious harvest – in a jar!
Why a jar? Once upon a time, canning and preserving was done out of necessity. But today, canning your garden’s produce has a multitude of benefits. By canning you will …
P … Preserve the flavor and nutrition of just-harvested, garden-ripened produce.
L … Love the money that you save in the process.
A … Avoid waste by saving a bumper crop of produce that otherwise might have been squandered or thrown away.
N … Nourish your family with foods that suit your particular likes and dislikes.
T … Teach and inspire your children to eat the vegetables that grew in your own garden.
O … Offer your garden to others by passing on a jar. Homemade gifts are always the best!
C … Create healthy, preservative-free products. Control the amount of salt and/or sugar that goes into your food.
A … Allow for personal expression with creative and unusual recipes.
N … Negate your carbon footprint because your food travels a few “yards," rather than hundreds or thousands of miles, to get to your table.
Don’t worry if you have never canned before. Canning is easy, and the necessary tools (a canning pot, jars, and two-part lids) are available everywhere. As we enter the spring and summer months, my job here on the Burpee Home Garden blog will be to take the intimidation out of the preservation process.
I am the Associate Producer as well as the Canning/Preserving expert on the new gardening series Growing a Greener World. So I can demystify the whole process for you. I will share tips, recipes and good old-fashioned preservation know-how. It will be fun, easy and delicious. I promise! Come along for the ride, and “Plan to Can” this season!