Can fresh produce to preserve summer

June 8, 2009 9:54:15 AM PDT
If you're growing your own fruits and vegetables this year, or you take advantage of the abundant deals on fresh produce at local farm stands, you might want to consider canning as a way to make that produce last all year.

After an initial investment in canning supplies, Canning your own produce can really pay off. Just don't try to pinch pennies by using non-approved containers, like mayonnaise jars. They don't seal properly and could lead to badly preserved foods that can make you sick.

Nancy Stevens of the Penn State Cooperative Extension Service for Montgomery County says, "There are two types of canning. The easiest is a boiling water bath and you can only can acid foods in a boiling water bath."

Acid foods include tomatoes, fruits, pickled items, jams and jellies.

Stevens says, "If you get into your vegetables, they're considered low-acid and they have to go into a pressure canner, which is a little bit more complicated."

In addition to preserving summer freshness and bargains, freshly canned goods -- especially jams and jellies -- also make great gifts.

For more information about canning and to find out if your local extension service may offer classes on how to can, check out these links.

Montgomery County Extension f
Pennsylvania Extension offices
New Jersey Extension Service offices
Delaware Extension offices

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