Home food preservation

Horticulture Hints

Remember back in the day, when most home basements were stocked with food storage shelves lined up with jars of home canned produce? Or when home freezers were chocked full of sweet corn and other vegetables waiting to be served on a winter day?

Since the days of Victory Gardens of the 1940’s, over the years, home canning and freezing has practically become a lost art. With the advent of commercially canned goods that could be purchased at a low cost, home gardens diminished in size in favor of purchasing processed food.

Now days, knowing where your food comes from; whether or not chemicals have been applied to garden produce; and food processing additives used have become a safety concern. What better way to protect your family than by growing and preserving food yourself.

No garden? No problem, your local farmers market vendors have a supply of fresh, locally grown food available to use for home canning and freezing. Nothing is more satisfying (or better tasting) then to serve up food you have preserved yourself. Your local extension office can also provide testing of canner lids with pressure dials to ensure that proper temperatures and times are reached when home canning.

And why not save a jar of your best looking vegetables, pickles, salsa or jams to exhibit at your local county fair? As canned goods are not opened during judging, you can take your exhibits back home to enjoy.

Did you know? Be sure to use only recently researched methods for food preservation, as your grandma’s canning recipes may be out of date and dangerous to use. Scientific, researched based up-to date recipes for canning, pickling, and freezing may be found at: https://www.extension.iastate.edu/humansciences/preserve-taste-summer.

Find safety tips and safe recipes to use online at: http://nchfp.uga.edu/publications/publications_uga.html from the National Center for Food Preservation.

You can also learn with a hands-on workshop by registering at: www.extension.iastate.edu/humansciences/preserve-taste-summer

Questions? Contact Yvonne McCormick at yvonne@iastate.edu or your local Extension Office for information or advice.