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Jun 1, 2010
This year, PLAN TO CAN
Theresa Loe  Associate Producer | Growing A Greener World

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!

Reader Comments (17)
I am SO excited to learn more about canning. I tried it about 20 years ago and haven't tried it since. I got a little carried away with planting tomato plants this year, so the timing is perfect!
Thursday, June 3, 2010 | Rebecca Sweet
It's great to see all the new interest in growing and preserving food. In my newspaper this morning there was an article on making and freezing asparagus sauce in a jar - how cool is that?

Thursday, June 3, 2010 | Susan Morrison
I am really glad you are going to teach us how to can. I have been so intimidated to try it because I hear it is difficult.

I just made my first batch of no-cook freezer jam, and now I want to learn more especially with all the tomatoes and cucumbers I have planted. So, like Rebecca, the timing for me is perfect!

Thursday, June 3, 2010 | Judi Gerber
LOVE this! Husband extraordinaire is planning on canning a ton this year. To date, we've both only water bath canned food and that was years ago. So this'll be an exciting season. Thank you for this, Theresa!
Thursday, June 3, 2010 | Chris McLaughlin
I just started canning last year and love it. I'd like to can more low acid foods like green beans, but I'm nervous about using a pressure canner. I'd love to see a post on that topic!
Thursday, June 3, 2010 | Willi
Woo-hoo! I CAN't wait for this CAN-do program!
Thursday, June 3, 2010 | gardenmentor
I am very excited that my garden is flourishing! This could not come at a better time because I don't want anything to go to waste. I can't wait to see what new and improved ideas there are! I have all my equipment ready to go!
Thursday, June 3, 2010 | Renee Mustard
Great Rebecca and Susan! I'm so glad you are all going to be canning this year!

It really, truly is NOT difficult to can! It is just that we hear all the old stories from long ago that scare us. But using a modern recipe, with the latest USDA guidelines, you are safe as toast! And then the most difficult part of the whole process is deciding what to can first!

Fantastic news. Please keep us updated on what your "husband extraordinaire" is canning. We all love to exchange ideas and recipes!

Welcome to the canning club! It is addicting isn't it?

Don't be nervous about a pressure canner. The trick is to buy a NEW one made after all the 1980 safety features were implemented. And I also recommend only pressure canning with the latest recipes that follow USDA safety guidelines. Sometimes old recipes passed down from a great-great gramma are not the safest methods for a pressure canner. Other than that, you are good to go!
Thursday, June 3, 2010 | Theresa Loe
I actually planted extra San Marzano tomatoes in ORDER to can! This is SO timely - I've noticed a huge increase in the planting of food crops around my neighborhood, and we HAVE to do something with all the bumper crops that are going to be coming in! This is the first year that I'm going to be "putting up" my vegetables - I'm so excited!
I'm also going to be doing dilly beans and a pepper mix - wish me LUCK! Thanks for this post!
Thursday, June 3, 2010 | Ivette Soler
Good luck Ivette! Keep us updated!

Renee and Garden Mentor ~ I'm happy to hear that you and so many others are ready to can this season. We are going to have so much fun!
Thursday, June 3, 2010 | Theresa Loe
Hi Theresa: This is the perfect timing for a series like this one. Everyone is eager to learn how to preserve all those wonderful fresh foods for colder seasons. Ivette, I grew 'San Marzano' last year, and I'm happy to report that they really are worth their famous reputation. I'm also trying 'Borghese,' which is also great for drying. Can't wait to learn more about this topic, Theresa. You really are the ideal person to supply this information. All best, Teresa
Thursday, June 3, 2010 | Seasonal Wisdom
Theresa, I tried to comment earlier but think it went? Who knows! So, my apologies if this is a duplicate comment.
I fondly remember my Grandmother canning and this post has given me the idea to ask around my family to see if anyone has her canning recipes. If I get some of her recipes, will they be valid today? "Can" I use old canning recipes safely? Thank you for this incentive to find old family recipes and to can. Looking forward to more posts from you.
Thursday, June 3, 2010 | karen england
I was just saying to a customer today at the nursery that there are certain tomatoes that are perfect for canning and preserving. NOW I can offer them a resource for more info too! Thanks Theresa, great timing. :-)
Friday, June 4, 2010 | Christina Salwitz
I too am excited to learn about canning and preserving this year. And thank goodness for Master Food Preserver / Associate Producer, Theresa Loe. The best part for me is that I'm bringing her out to my house in 2 weeks to tape several preserving food segments in my kitchen. This gives me lots of access to ask those extra questions and practice with the expert in the room. Thanks for posting this great blog entry!
Friday, June 4, 2010 | Joe Lamp'l
I can't wait to can! Planted 6 different paste tomatoes just to canning this year. Thanks for your efforts in bringing back the canning revolution! Can't wait to see your segment on Growing A Greener World.
Tuesday, June 8, 2010 | Jayme Jenkins
Wonderful article on preserving and canning... I can't wait to see what I get done this year behind on my new garden space but hope to catch up this week. I look forward to your shares Annie
Saturday, May 28, 2011 | Annie Haven | Authentic Haven Brand
I'm glad I found this site on Facebook. I've tried pickling cuks and cabbage in the past but nothing as fancy as canning... it sounded so scary and complicated I haven't tried it yet but I'm excited to learn! I love radishes, so if you can post any good idea with them it'd be great! :)
Saturday, May 28, 2011 | VegCat
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