Safe Canning Tips in Flood or Drought

By Shirley Camp, MS, LD, RDN, retired University of Illinois Extension master canner and educator

WATERDRIPGardens too wet or too dry?  It seems as though across the country this year we have a variety of conditions in our home gardens.  When we are growing produce to feed our families, both fresh consumption and preserving for later, how do we know which produce is safe and which we should compost?

When gardens have been flooded whether or not the produce is safe to consume depends on a number of conditions.  Most importantly, the cleanliness of the floodwater is to be considered; has the floodwater been contaminated by sewage, river or creek water, run-off from farms, or industrial pollutants?  If the answer to any of these is yes, for safety the produce should be discarded if it has been touched by floodwater.

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4 canning tips for great jams and jellies

Four-Canning-Tips-for-Great-Jams-and-JelliesStrawberries, blackberries, raspberries, blueberries and other berries are wonderful foods for making jams, jellies and preserves.  Of course half of the fun of doing this was always going to the “patch” to pick the fruit and enjoying some sneak bites as we filled the buckets.

But here are four tips that go beyond the patch … Continue reading

General jelly-making tips

Red JellyTo make jellies and jams that are of good quality, use the right amounts of four basic ingredients:  sugar, pectin, acid, and fruit.

You may choose to make either fresh or frozen fruit or juice.  If you are using frozen fruit, it should be frozen without sugar.  Sometimes commercially frozen or canned juices are lower in natural pectin content and the resulting jellied products may be a little softer in texture.  If you pick your own fruit or make your own fruit juice, you will have a better product if ¼ of the fruit is slightly under-ripe and ¾ of the fruit is fully ripe. Continue reading

Four canning tips for great jams and jellies

Four-Canning-Tips-for-Great-Jams-and-JelliesStrawberries, blackberries, raspberries, blueberries and other berries are wonderful foods for making jams, jellies and preserves.  Of course half of the fun of doing this was always going to the “patch” to pick the fruit and enjoying some sneak bites as we filled the buckets.

But here are four tips that go beyond the patch … Continue reading