canning-book giveaway, and top canning sources

canning giveaway books
LET THE ONSLAUGHT BEGIN—of garden-fresh vegetables, I mean. The trick when it does: keeping up with every last one, getting it onto the table or into the freezer, canning jars or dehydrator in time. I’m offering three chances to win my favorite references on canning, preserving, freezing—all the ways to put up the harvest for delicious future reference: “Stocking Up III,” “Putting Foods By,” and the USDA guide to home canning. Meantime, though, a reference guide to my favorite online sources for food-preservation information anytime.

Win one of three, three-book sets that I’ve purchased to share as prizes—no, not my old food-splattered copies, above, but new ones–the latest edition of each book, promise! All you have to do to enter the random drawing is comment below. All the details are at the end of this post.

First, as promised, the resources for canners and would-be canners so you can get started right away stashing those peaches, plums, cukes, tomatoes and more:


The USDA Complete Guide to Home Canning: The tried-and-true resource, revised in 2009. A must destination for all would-be and experienced canners. (You can buy a print copy from the Purdue University online store.)

The Extension Services

Most state Cooperative Extension Services have extensive online resources; your county office may also have classes available.  Follow that link to locate the nearest office, or scan this list of 27 state links to find an appropriate one as a start. Some examples of the range of materials you’ll find:

Other Sites and Tools

PickYourOwn.org: Learn what’s in season when and where, and locate u-pick farms with their state-by-state tool, then get easy recipes for putting them up.

Weights and measures: Confused by converting weights and measures? Kitchen Math has a simple online calculator. Fill in any value, hit calculate, and all its equivalencies will instantly be computed.

What is pickling spice? I looked it up not long ago; some facts and recipes.

Using Ball jars? Getting Started Guide from the maker of Ball jars.

Using Weck Jars? They work a little differently; the tops don’t screw on, but rather have clips to attach them. Read up on how they work before using them.

Food in Jars website: A favorite resource for those interesting in putting food up. Blogger Marisa McClellan also teaches workshops, near her Philadelphia home and elsewhere. They have a great Facebook group.

Under Edibles–Recipes & Cooking in my site navigation, you can always browse my ideas for everything I put up one way or another.

How to Enter

TO WIN ONE OF THREE SETS OF THREE BOOKS, simply comment below by telling us what’s coming on strong in your garden or at your local farmstand, and any plans to put up any “extra.”

Feeling shy? Simply say, “Count me in” or the equivalent, and you’ll be entered. Entries close at midnight Monday, August 1, with winners to be emailed the next day about claiming their prizes. Good luck!


  1. kath says:

    We have my parents staying with us while my mother undergoes cancer treatments, so my garden is much smaller this year, but today I just picked 3 lbs. of green beans, so tomorrow I will blanch and freeze them. Waiting impatiently for the tomatoes to ripen…

  2. Cathy McKee says:

    Please count me in. I love the site and the information you share,purchased your book months ago and enjoyed thoroughly.

  3. Rose Wallace says:

    I wasn’t able to put my garden in this year due to surgery. But normally it would be tomatoes, zucchini and beans. I can’t wait for next year!!

  4. Sally says:

    I would love to have these books! Last year we did really well with everything except peaches. Neither the ones we froze or canned were good.

  5. Suzanne says:

    Probably the most prolific crop to date has been the greens – speckled and buttercrunch lettuces, arugula, bok choy, kale.

  6. Sandy says:

    This is heirloom tomato year. I chose Old German, Mr. Stripey, San Marzano, Tigerella and Speckled Roman varieties. The canning types will be used for tomato sauce, marinara, chutney and ketchup. Yum! Not bad for a city garden! (I am thankful that my voracious groundhog doesn’t like tomato leaves!)

  7. Susie Collins says:

    Hi Margaret,
    Wish I lived closed so I could come to some of your lectures. Do you ever make it to northern Michigan?
    I’m freezing broccoli, cauliflower, and green beens. The corn is almost ripe. We are also patiently waiting for the melons. Thank you!

  8. DeeBee77 says:

    Drying out the cippolini onions, and the new york early giants. They are wonderful!
    Gathering lots of Little Leaf pickling cukes-cute! Can’t wait for the okra! My husband loves the slimy beasts. Tiffen Menonites are big and green.
    Thanks for your website!

  9. Donna Quatro says:

    Since I retired last year and now have the time, I decided to make my own tomato juice (V-8) style this year. I’m growing almost all the ingredients I’ll need!! I’m really excited about this project. My tomatoes are starting to ripen and the peppers are almost there, too!

  10. Mary Lou says:

    Waste not, want not, thank goodness for all the various ways to preserve our harvests!! I could definitely use some new receipes for pickling my bountiful harvest of cucumbers and putting up tomatoes, applesauce and all the delectables to savor in the “off months”. I am so-0-0-0-0-0 disappointed because I was not granted my work weekend off of 8/20 and here I have a delicious replica cupcake I was going to bring you of the frog boys!! He will just have to go into the freezer until……

  11. Ben says:

    Count me in. We’re growing pickling cucumbers, enough basil to can gallons of pesto, sauce tomatoes, zucchini, slicing cucumbers, broccoli by the bushel (which I’ve blanched and put up some of the summer crop, but we have another 40 plants in for the fall).

  12. Dawn says:

    Oh, thank you thank you for posting these resources. This is our first garden and we went HUGE. We’ve learned so many great things, but now we’re running into abundance. My Husband just tried his hand at blanching and freezing, soon we’ll try pickling, but then we will hopefully be brave and try canning when all the San Marzanos turn ripe!

    Thanks for all the great things you post on your blog for newbies to learn fun. Plus, I just love seeing what is happening in other peoples gardens! =)

    Happy Gardening!


    1. Margaret says:

      Hi, Dawn. Glad to help. So much good info out there, especially from our state extensions and such. Nice to hear from you.

  13. Mia says:

    I just told a friend that I would like to try canning some tomatoes this year. If I win a book, I’ll send you a jar!

  14. Margaret says:

    ENTRIES ARE NOW CLOSED. Winners have been chosen by random drawing using the tool an random {dot} org, and will be notified by email.

    The wackiest thing: All three random choices had names starting with MARY. What are the odds of that?

    You are welcome to continue to join in the conversation, however — comments remain open, even though no more prizes are at stake.

    Thanks to all for so many great ideas. Delicious and inspiring!

  15. Jackie says:

    Just got a copy last year of “Putting Food By” from my mother-in-law… it has come in very handy in getting me through winter and stashing away my jewel-toned veggie treasures.

  16. elle says:

    Our fig tree is in early bloom with huge figs. I am letting the birds feast on these but in sept when the real sweet figs appear those birds better beware.
    I am looking forward to preserving some too..your book should be vey helpful.thanks.

    1. Margaret says:

      Nice to see you, Lynn, and to hear you are getting all stocked up. I wonder what we do when we run out of room in the freezer…. :)

  17. Sharon says:

    Just put up a couple of jars of tomatoes for the freezer; about to blanch and freeze some wonderful Mirai corn. Fall arrived this morning, so I’m doubly glad to have a little summer to enjoy when the snow flies.

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