Skip to content
opens in a new window


Jul 25, 2011
Harvest is here; it’s canning time
Susan Whetzel  Burpee Home Gardens Guest Blogger | Recipe Developer

I’m pretty confident in saying this…Burpee Home Gardens is psychic.

If they aren’t, well then, they’re some kind of geniuses, using their minds for the greater good, but of the vegetable growing variety. Perhaps we should get those brains trained on things like Homeland Security or the stock market and oil spills. We could use more mind power like theirs.

Why the sudden foaming at the mouth for Burpee Home Gardens?

Check this out…

We have never, ever had a tomato this time of year. Not once. And yet this year, after getting our shipment from Burpee Home Gardens and planting within a couple of days, we have THIS phenomenon.

Fourth of July Tomatoes, READY exactly on the Fourth of July.

I can’t make this kind of thing up, folks.

Jon has been just about to keel over in excitement at having tomatoes this early. Not only have the Fourth of July Tomatoes started coming on, but a few of the Cherry Reds have a couple of little guys just about ready for picking. Seven will most likely eat every single one of those as they are ripening – that child is a tomato freak. He eats them right off the vine – big ones, little ones, he eats tomatoes just like one would eat an apple.

I’m hoping we’ll have enough to can this year, as we want to make tomato sauce. So, if you have some great technique or recipe, PLEASE let me know. I am very new to canning, but feel it’s my Southern duty to become adept at it. I also have this book, The Joy of Jams, Jellies, and Other Sweet Preserves: 200 Classic and Contemporary Recipes Showcasing the Fabulous Flavors of Fresh Fruits (Harvard Common Press) that I think will help me with things like jams and jellies – and I do hope so, as I have a TON of grapes hanging in the arbor. Fingers crossed we did everything right this year to keep them happy and healthy!

I also have a question for you…I bought up a BUNCH of old, blue Ball Mason jars. I’ve always had a bunch that I use as decoration, but I came across an auction where I was able to pick up quite a few, and Jon also found a place and brought some home to me. Since they are so old, are they still safe for canning? Obviously, I know I need to buy rings and lids, but I’m just concerned to know if they are safe. Help?

Here’s a gander around our garden…and while we COULD use some rain, it’s looking really great anyway!

Reader Comments (1)
Hi Susan,

I totally thought I had posted a comment here months ago and I see I didn't. Oops!

I wanted to answer your question about the canning jars.

If they are the old blue ones that do NOT take the standard lids with rings, then the answer is no, they are not safe for canning. They would be the kind of jar that take the old metal or glass lids and they are so old that they might break when subjected to the hot/cold temperatures and the lids would not seal in what would be considered a safe seal today. However, they are GREAT for storage on the pantry shelf and can be used to store anything from flour, beans and sugar to buttons, cotton balls and marbles!

If they are not as old and can take a new standard lid and ring, the answer is "maybe" they would work in canning. The jar may break due to age and that would be the biggest concern. Also you would need to check the rim to see if there are any nicks or chips. If not, it should make a good seal with new lids and rings. So really your only concern is if the jar would shatter when subjected to a waterbath. (I would not pressure can with it).

I hope that helps. And way to go on finding those old jars! They are getting harder and harder to find these days!

Friday, September 16, 2011 | Theresa Loe
Post a New Comment



Click to confirm:

NOTE: Comments are moderated