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:
- University of Georgia Canning Fact Sheets and a Self-Study Course: From basics like how to use a pressure or boiling-water canner to recipe-oriented topics like pumpkin butter or making vinegars, pdf’s features on canning, freezing, drying and pickling. Also: register for Georgia’s self-study online course that you can do at your own pace.
- Penn State University “Let’s Preserve” Fact Sheets: Topics covered clearly in pdf format range from preserving individual fruits and vegetables to quick pickles and even sauerkraut. Purdue has an extensive “Let’s Preserve” pdf series, too.
- University of California-Davis Agriculture and Natural Resources fact sheets include basics like preserving fruits and vegetables, but also some distinctive topics like how to pickle olives, or preserve oranges and garlic.
- From North Dakota State University, a thorough look at canning and freezing tomatoes, and making salsa (pdf).
- From the University of Illinois Extension, a roundup of links to some of their favorite resources from extension services around the nation.
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!