Life and thoughts from a small-scale organic farm . . . and its farmers

This is a blog that explores ideas around the growing of food and community at Glen Valley Organic Farm.

Monday, August 16, 2010

First canning of the season

Last night we did our first canning for the season (apart from some earlier jams). I picked up a case of peaches from The Fruit Guy at the White Rock Farmers Market yesterday (his booth was right next too ours). The peaches had to be used the day of the sale, so we got the canning equipment out and fired up (i.e. turned on) the stove.

We have a large assortment of jars, many of which are from my own grandparents. The jars above came from my Ukrainian-roots grandmother in Saskatchewan, so they've seen everything from dill pickles and sauerkraut to borscht, apples and root beer over the decades.

You'll notice the glass lids, which use a rubber ring for sealing. these haven't been manufactured since the 1950s. Jar companies say these aren't safe for canning because they don't have a moron-proof "snap" lid to indicate that they're sealed (and since you don't have to buy new lids every year to support their companies, they must be unsafe). Instead, you actually have to remove the zinc lids to check if the lid is sealed. And the lids seal so tight that you need a knife or screwdriver to open them up. It's obvious whether or not they're sealed.

We noted that yesterday had to have been the hottest day of the year thus far -- it seems like we only do canning on the hottest days. But no wonder; that's when the produce ripens!

Now we're gearing up for more fruit canning, tomato sauces, salsas and lots of apple sauce. If we're adventuresome enough, we might even try salmon this year. It means many long, hot nights in the kitchen and many great meals through the winter.

So I'm curious . . . do you can? And if so, what do you can? Share your comments below.

1 comment:

  1. I am a hopeful future organic farmer with almost no farming experience just a dream - currently living in Iowa. Most of my canning is jams and jellies - most from wild fruit (wild plumb and wild grape are my favorites). I also do lots of apple sauce and apple butter. Once I canned a bunch of Asian carp (they're here - gotta live with 'em - might as well use 'em. Canned carp is great - It doesn't taste much different than canned salmon.