I love to can. I love it!
I love all those purty jars lined up on my shelf, knowing my family has food lovingly put up for them. I love that I KNOW what is in those jars…where it came from, how it was grown, cleaned, cooked and/or packed.
I’ve been hearing a bit of ‘buzz’ lately on the validity of canning. Is it really worth it? What about all the time it takes? What about all the equipment? Is it safe? Or the “Eh, I’ll just buy it in the store–that’s why God made stores!” lol!
Canning is really simple. It is completley safe, if a few easy rules are followed in your canning process. Time? Well it will take some of your time, that is for sure–but it is time WELL SPENT. Equipment? Well, you can get jars at just about any garage sale (just be sure the jars aren’t cracked, and have no chips in them) you can usually find rings at any garage sale you find the jars at! Lids I tend to buy each year to stock up or as needed– I’d advise never to reuse your lids and always buy NEW, as the lids are what form your safety seal on your jars, and keep your food safe! I’ve seen Water Bath canners for 50cents at a garage sale! (Water Bath Canners tend to do your fruits, jams, etc) Pressure Canners are going to run more, more than likely. (Pressure Canners tend to do your Chilis, Stews, Soups, Veggies, etc) Ask around–do you know someone who has some of these items just sitting in their basement unused? They may be all to happy find them a new home! Barter for them! Get creative!
A must have is a “Ball Blue Book”…..a what? lol A “Ball Blue Book” is the Bible of home canning! It will give exact recipes, canning times and pressures…this is all variable (recipe and even elevation depending) , and a SAFETY MUST. They run about $4.00 at any place that sells canning supplies. Get one!
To all the naysayers who tell me I’m wasting my time, and why bother? And the proverbial line, ‘that’s why we have stores nowadays, Lisa!’ I say this: Do you KNOW, really know what is in that can you’re buying? Can’t answer me can ya? No we don’t. This leads me to answer the “Is it worth it” question. To answer this, you have to decide on the quality you want and the price.
First let’s address QUALITY.
What is the pear you just fed the baby realllllly swimming in? Your own pure filtered water? Highly UNlikely.
Was that pear sprayed with pesticides, herbicides, fungicides and a host of other ‘cides’ that we don’t even want to know about, highly LIKELY.
I live in a state that is huge, HUGE, HUGE on apple, pear & fruit growing, in general. Let me share something with you…when I drive by the MILES of orchards…and I don’t see Ol’ Farmer Brown on his tractor…I see men in full bodied white suits, heads covered and venhilator masks…that tells me somethin’! That is not something I want to feed my family! I don’t even want to be DRIVING through there!!!!
Find a family farm, or orchard that you can trust that doesn’t use all of those chemicals. Maybe a relative has a few apple trees they don’t even pick anymore! Ask them if you can take them off their hands! Join an Organic Co-Op! Out West we have Azure Standard–what a blessing these folks are! They deliver all over the Western US (check their website, I know they are expanding their routes all the time!) they deliver the best quality organic fruits and veggies (along with organic flours, and grocery items) at super reasonable rates! We can also grow our own, too! While orchards can take time to develop–it’s pretty simple to grow your own veggies! Wether it’s a small container garden on the patio, one raised bed garden plot or an acre of land, I think it’s worth the effort.
Now let’s address the question of Pricing.
I know that I can get 100 pounds of organic pears fo $75.00 for me that works out to apprx 50 QTS = $1.50 per QT. Now, let’s compare that to a Big Box Store that my husband just went to last week, priced a ’case’ of 8 / 14.5 oz cans for $10.79 which = $1.34 per can.
Now that is just pure math. I won’t go back into the quality rant…but you get no more than 5 pear halves in one of these cans, and they are small, hard and gross. Sure, you can do the coupon thing, find them even cheaper or buy generic brands–but let’s go back to ‘quality’ shall we?
I want to care for my family the best way possible, taking the time to make sure they have good quality food to eat and being a good steward of the money God’s provided tells me “It’s WORTH IT”
Lisa is blessed to be a Wife to Marc, a Mama to 4 blessings, and a Keeper at Home! They live a God centered, family centered, homesteading lifestyle of learning in the mountains of the Northwest. They operate their family run business Homestead Originals where they specialize in handcrafted candles, soap, and gifts for the Homestead. She is also the author of the Homestead Simplicity E-book series that focuses on Encouragement for the Homekeeper, Simple Family Living, Natural Cleaners, and Making Everything from Scratch! Come on by and visit Lisa’s Blog for great ideas, tips, freebies and contests too! To contact Lisa, email Lisa@HomesteadOriginals.com
Posted: Wednesday, March 18th, 2009 @ 5:32 pm
Categories: Frugal Homestead, Homestead Garden, Homestead Kitchen, Homestead Simplicity!.
Subscribe to the comments feed if you like. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.