I recently shared the Tools You Need for Canning & Preserving. Now I’m going to share with you how you should get ready for the job!
- Purchase Your Tools There are some basic tools that you will need for canning and preserving, and you don’t want to hold off on purchasing them. Get them ahead of time, wash them, and have them ready for the harvest!
- Gather Your Recipes You can find several recipes online. Be sure to check out my Pinterest Board for Preserving Food. You might want a basic canning cookbook like Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving, until you really get the hang of it. Decide what you’re going to make and make a list of the fruits and vegetables you’ll need for your recipes. Plan at least 1-2 days for each type of fruit or veggie. If you are going to get serious about preserving the harvest, you will need to set aside some blocks of time on your summer schedule.
- Plan it On Your Calendar Once you’ve figured out what you’re going to make, get it on your calendar. You can find out when veggies and fruits are going to be ready in your area on Local Harvest.
- Go Picking When the Fruit & Veggies are Ready Sometimes your planning won’t mean a thing, if berries ripen early or you suddenly have a bumper crop of zucchini. You’ve got to get your foods picked and preserved when they are ripe. You don’t want to wait until it’s too late–you might have mushy or moldy fruit. If you want to save time and avoid picking, you can go to the farmers’ market and buy produce that has already been picked. You will spend a little more for picked produce, but sometimes the time saved is worth it.
- Prepare Your Space Set your kitchen up so that your canning tools are easily accessible. Work on keeping your kitchen counters cleared, your sink clean, and your dishwasher empty. Save a space in your fridge for a flat of berries.