“If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.”
~ J.R.R. Tolkien
Today I had a wonderful day at a local sustainable farm (Arocha): I attended the last of a series of workshops on what they call “Backyard farming” and today’s one was on preserving food with hands-on on canning and fermentation.
I have done canning before and canned as crazy this year, but wanted to see another perspective as I’m planning a few food preservation workshops myself. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience of being among (mostly) immigrants from China and their children and a few elders: children and elders were involved in all the steps (as it needs to be) and we have a lot of fun.
As I promised I would also post about “practical” Permaculture, and food preservation is definitely an integral part of it, here I go with no more preambles:
Food Safety first:
When you are preparing food for your family or to share with others, there are some basic steps you need to follow to avoid intoxications:
Tip: For canning: use trusted books’ recipes as some “old” recipes may not be completely food safe…
Saving money with canning:
Canning (and many other ways of food preservation) save money and prevent food waste as food is stored safely for times when it may not be available due to season production or food shortages.
When you buy food all year long, you are usually paying more for certain foods when they come to you from far away or greenhouses.
Out of season food is not only more expensive: it may be full of artificial preservatives and tends to taste bland or different because it doesn’t grow locally or naturally.
The best way to save money on food is to:
Types of canning:
There are two types of canning: boiling and pressure canning. Boiling is using for foods high on acid, while pressure canning is used for the rest.
The main reason for this is botulism: this bacteria doesn’t do well in acidic foods but may develop in low acid ones. The boiling process doesn’t reach the necessary temperature for this to be killed, therefore pressure canning is needed.
Safe foods for boiling canning are:
Foods for the pressure canning:
Canning: what you need:
As canning tends to happen only a couple of times a year (around mid/end summer and fall harvests), you don’t need to buy all the equipment: you can share it with family, friends or neighbours. If you do can a lot (as I do) you may want to invest in some equipment:
Canning: the process (boiling only, stay tuned for pressure canning)
Canning do’s and don’ts:
Store jars uses:
Store jars (the ones that come with sauces, pickles, etc you buy in stores) are not safe for canning, but may be good for other uses such as:
Note: the above works for mason (canning) jars as well.
Storage of canned foods: http://nchfp.uga.edu/how/store/store_home_canned.html
How to mini-guides (for food preservation): http://nchfp.uga.edu/index.html
Food storage times: http://nchfp.uga.edu/how/store/UGA_foodstorage_2011.pdf
Category: Adult education, Adult Learning, Canning, Community, Food Resilience, Inclusion, Mainstream Permaculture, Simplicity, Social JusticeTags: Adult education, food preservation, Food Security, home economics, Preserving Food