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Canning: The Simple Harvest

Updated on April 2, 2013
Quick Canning Made Easy
Quick Canning Made Easy | Source

Most backyard gardeners have to limit what they grow to vegetable and fruits that will fit adequately in their allotted space. A small vegetable garden can produce a large amount of food, but in reality, most of the crops will not ripen at the same time; this can leave a canner in quite a dilemma.

Canning is an excellent way to preserve the harvest which your hands have grown. If you have limited space in the freezer, it is a terrific option for keeping food fresh and ready to use. Plus, you have complete control over how the food was grown and processed. Using glass canning jars provides a safe, BPA-free environment for food; the jars, with care will last a lifetime. But, let’s be honest, there is a lot of equipment that goes along with canning. Pulling out all of it just for a handful of vegetables can be a daunting task.

A small batch of tomatoes from the garden.
A small batch of tomatoes from the garden. | Source

Processing Small Batches

Of course there is always the possibility of freezing which will eliminate the necessity for the canning equipment, but, it will take up valuable space that you may need for other items that must be frozen. An easy way to small batch can is to keep one to three jars, with lids and rings, some place that can be easily accessible. Also, keep the smaller canning items, such as the bubble remover, funnel, jar lifter, and lid wand, in a kitchen drawer for immediate use.

You do not want to pull out the large water bath canner for one or two jars; it uses a lot of water and you never want to waste such a precious commodity. Simply select a pot that will hold the number of jars you are processing and that allows for two inches of water covering the lids. You can put a dish towel on the bottom of the pot for safe boiling. If you are processing meat or low-acid food, you must take out the pressure canner. There is no other safe method for such items.

When processing such items as tomatoes or pickles, one bottle of condensed spices is better than ten different containers of each herb needed. Ball Canning Company has a fantastic selection of one bottle canning mixes; they are a time and space saver, well worth the purchase. You will need to adjust the amount of spices to fit your reduced batch.

It is possible to "can as you grow." Small batch canning once or twice a week will keep your produce preserved.
It is possible to "can as you grow." Small batch canning once or twice a week will keep your produce preserved. | Source

Small Batch Canning

About the Author

Catherine Dean is a freelance writer, gardener, quilter, and blogger. Her professional background includes nonprofit program development, grant writing, and volunteer management. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Mass Communications from Georgia College & State University.

Her blog, Sowing A Simple Harvest, chronicles a modern couple trying to live a simplistic, sustainable life. To explore Catherine's professional credentials, visit her website. She can also be followed on Google+.


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