As most of you know I live on a farm and I garden and food preservation kind of goes with the territory. I can’t lie keeping a garden and weeding and watering everything especially in this drought has been hard and long but the rewards I reap have been great. The mental & physical health that’s cultivated with the accomplishment of growing and preserving food is AMAZING!!! Nothing makes me feel better than digging in the dirt and & nothing beats fresh fruits and vegetables from the farm. I love walking outside and picking from a tree wiping it off on my shirt and taking a big bite or walking through the garden and picking a little cherry tomato and just eating it… They really are the simple pleasures of life here & while it is hard work it’s well worth it in the end.
However, after all your hard work, what do you do with the left overs?? You don’t want all your hard work to go to waste. Well, there’s plenty of ways to preserve your food, just like you buy groceries that are preserved at the store you can make them at home without things like msg and other preservatives that I find myself more and more allergic to as my body gets older.
Let’s start with Fruit & Berries… Fruit and berried to me can be best preserved frozen however you can make things with them that can be canned. For example: Black Raspberry Jelly, Apple Butter, Peach Pie Filling… just to name a few.
Corn & Veggies… With veggies it’s about the same frozen or canning & some pressure cooking. For example corn can be frozen or canned – I prefer cut off the cob and frozen & sometimes I leave it on the cob and freeze it for a special treat for the kids in winter. Green Beans have to be pressure cooked… I have no idea why, they just do. Tomatoes can be peeled and frozen, or then can be stewed or crushed and canned. I made spaghetti sauce this year & canned it, however if I had added meat to the sauce I would have had to pressure cook it or freeze it rather than just boil water can it. You can also made pickles with your cucumbers, or pickled veggies. You can make salsa or soups… there is A LOT you can do with your veggies and corn.
Herbs you can dry and save and the list goes on and on with what you can grow and preserve by drying/canning/freezing or pressure cooking.
There are several methods to this and I will share my ‘Go To’ Book that’s been handed down for generations in my family: Ball Blue Canning Book . Mine has a different cover than on this link but it’s the same book mine are just years older. I will also add a link directly to the Ball Website where you can get most of these recipes and tips online: Fresh Preserving
I will also note that in winter home-made canned goods make AWESOME presents for ANY occasion because nothing says love like home-made.