Did you plant a ‘victory’ garden this year? Wasn’t it (a lot of fun) and a lot of work but once the prep chore was done, the rest was easy beans; just watering and weeding - maybe you went all in and added chickens  to your backyard, luckily the “ladies” took care of the weeds in the garden for you! You can preserve even without growing a garden - hit up a farmers market. Apples to zucchini, let’s get those mason jars filled!

“Putting Up” Fruits and Veggies … think jars!

Canning and preserving — or "putting up" — vegetables is one of those traditional domestic skills that seems to have gone by the wayside. Today there are lots of ways of preserving food. Freezing, dehydrating, canning, but canning is still one of the best.

What to do with all the fruit? Jam and jelly! Green Briar Jam Kitchen is a "living museum". Ms. Ida Putnam began the Jam Kitchen in 1903 and visitors go to Green Briar in historic Sandwich. If you are looking for a place that has all the equipment you’ll need instead of buying, this kitchen operates and runs jam-making classes teaching the "old fashioned way" in the turn-of-the-century kitchen. BYOB=Bring your own berries to class!

Home canning is a means of supplying a well rounded diet from your backyard from the bountiful harvest you’ll produce with your garden. Canning isn’t difficult, but it is precise and important to do it right. Everything you need to know about canning and food preservation is available online. Start there if this is new to you, or perhaps even easier - how about oven dried strawberries, which are simple and don’t require any canning. 

Options unlimited when it comes to “putting up” your fruits and vegetables. For instance, some like to make the soup then can it; some folks Have fruit trees? Making jelly & jams is a must, how else can you eat your PB&J. Preserve, can and store … you sowed, now enjoy & reap the benefits of your labor longer - canning keeps them fresh and ready to eat for many months. Different vegetables require a different process - cold pack, hot pack, water bath, pressure cooker - the right process for the right veggie=tasty eats!

Backyards have become the new “grocery store”. You ‘can’ have a well-stocked pantry of convenient and nutritious "fast foods," by preserving your garden bounty. You know exactly the soil it came from; how it was treated; how it was processed - it was done by you and all from your garden! At the end of the growing season and when the snow starts to fall, all you need to do is head to the pantry, grab a “jar of spring and summer” and have the freshest ingredients to work with still! Saves money, shopping time and you know it's fresh - it came from your house!

"Tis a wonderful thing to sweeten the world which is in a jam and needs preserving."
-Thornton W. Burgess, 1939, to Ida Putnam.

Digi-Kn?w: Buy once, regrow: Romaine lettuces, scallions, cabbage, bok choy, celery, potatoes, and sweet potatoes will regrow. Place stem in water, let root, then back in soil.