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Reader Tips: Harvesting and putting up food

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Carrie wrote:

I just thought I’d write and remind your readers to look into picking their own berries. I just paid $0.80/pound for 75 pounds of strawberries. At the store, they would have cost $1.80/pound for frozen berries, so I just saved $75!

You can pick the fresh berries, use what you are able to use in the first few weeks and then freeze the rest to use in fruit smoothies, fruit salads, muffins, and more!  I put up about 500 pounds of fruit each
summer! (We have a family of 9 so it’s not really that much!). When the fruit is expensive all winter, we still can enjoy
an abundance of it!

If you don’t know where to find a local place to pick berries, check out LocalHarvest.org. (Thanks, Lori!)

And, if you are interested in learning more about canning, freezing, drying, and root-cellaring fruits, vegetables and herbs, be sure to check out the new Carnival of Home Preserving. Maybe someday I’ll actually learn how to can–it’s on my long list of things I want to learn how to do!

Do you harvest fruit and veggies and "put them up" in some way or shape for the Winter? If so, tell us what works for you. How would someone like me who knows nothing about canning get started doing this? I’d love to hear your ideas and advice!

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50 Comments

  • Lea says:

    HI!

    I pick my own or buy from the local farmer’s market and then ‘dry freeze’ berries – layer in a single layer on a cookie sheet, freeze, and then bag. Wash and pat dry first. I also usually cut up strawberries. I blanch and freeze veggies – carrots, peas, beans, broccoli, cauliflour, and beats. (Just follow the directions in an general cookbook – I use the Better Homes and Gardens one.) Blanching doesn’t take as much time or talent as canning, which is good for me! My mom did this with our huge garden when I was a kid and some day when I have a large enough yard to have a huge garden, I’ll do this with my own produce. Besides – picking your own makes great memories for the kids!

    Thanks for your wonderful site!
    Lea

  • Lea says:

    HI!

    I pick my own or buy from the local farmer’s market and then ‘dry freeze’ berries – layer in a single layer on a cookie sheet, freeze, and then bag. Wash and pat dry first. I also usually cut up strawberries. I blanch and freeze veggies – carrots, peas, beans, broccoli, cauliflour, and beats. (Just follow the directions in an general cookbook – I use the Better Homes and Gardens one.) Blanching doesn’t take as much time or talent as canning, which is good for me! My mom did this with our huge garden when I was a kid and some day when I have a large enough yard to have a huge garden, I’ll do this with my own produce. Besides – picking your own makes great memories for the kids!

    Thanks for your wonderful site!
    Lea

  • Trixie says:

    Hello,

    I do quite a bit of canning and perserving.It helps stretch the grocery budget! One common misperception is that food preservation is all about canning. It is not. Dehydrating and Freezing are perfectly legitimate forms of preserving food.

    My all time favorite resource for food preservation is the Ball Blue Book. It is great for beginers and old timers!

    Last summer I wrote an article about food preservation that includes links to several helpful sites.

    Just copy and paste the address in your address bar.

    http://farmhomelife.blogspot.com/2007/07/home-canning_06.html

    Take Care,

    Trixie

  • Heather says:

    A local farm sells sweetcorn for half price when you buy it in big quanities. Last year me and some friends bought 40 dozen and spent the day cooking,cutting it off of the cob, and putting it in freezer bags for the winter. It tasted so good in January. Not only did we have fun doing it but we saved money all winter on corn. We cant wait to do it again.

  • Beth says:

    We do! We went with a group to pick strawberries and there is a small family farm not far from us. She has a huge row of blueberry bushes. She charges $4 a GALLON for blueberries! We have been twice and are going again!

  • Donielle says:

    Crystal, canning is super easy! I’m just learning how this summer, and it’s way easier than I made it out to be. Just be on the lookout for jars at garage sales and such. That’s really the biggest expense the first year. I got a book “The Busy Persons Guide to Preserving Food” by Janet Chadwick for my B-day and love it!
    So far this year I’ve already canned strawberry jam and froze some whole berries and today I just got back from picking 21 pounds of blueberries! I’m hoping to preserve enough fruits of the summer to get us through the winter and really cut down our grocery bill!

  • jw says:

    We hit local farms and pick whatever we also have a large garden. Strawberries are a dollar a lb to pick your own. We ate them all. In hindsite I think i’ll pick more next year make jam and freeze some. We get cucumbers cheap and grow too many of our own so we make pickles. I got 40-50 tomatoes last year from a farm and paid 4 dollars I had plenty of sauce put away.

    When starting with canning start with tomato sauce or something acidic like pickles if you enjoy the process and relize the savings then move on to a pressure canner etc.. Or just blanch and freeze if you have the freezer room. We do a little of both.

  • Stacy says:

    I used to love going to u-pick places when we lived in Michigan, but unfortunately as much as we’ve looked for them here in Phoenix, there just aren’t any.

  • Jen says:

    Sorry this is off topic for this post but I am just wondering where the work from home post for this week is? Did I miss it? Or was last week the end of that series? Just curious thanks!!

  • Laine says:

    I think the best way is to just read about it. The Better Homes and Gardens cookbook has been a great resource. I learned from that book and everything I’ve ever made has turned out awesome! It’s definitely alot simpler than it seems.

    We do a fair amount of preserving around our house. In the fall we always go apple picking in the mountains. I get several bushels of different kinds of apples for around $20. We have such a great time, our children look forward to it all year! From the apples I make and can apple butter and stewed apples. (I did applesauce too when mine were babies.) Then I make apple dumplings and freeze those. They are a great dessert to keep in the freezer and throw in the oven when you have unexpected company. Also, you can make apple pie filling that freezes SO well. It’s just the apple slices with the spices and sugar on it and you just put it in a freezer bag. And then when you want an apple pie you just dethaw it a little and put it in the crust. It’s so easy and tastes great. You would never know the difference between freshly cut apples and the frozen apple pie filling. The stewed apples are very handy and are great on top of pancakes or in baked oatmeal.

    We also go strawberry picking every year, usually several times. I make strawberry jam and use cranberry juice instead of sugar. It’s healthier and tastes better! I also just wash them, let them dry and then place them on a cookie sheet to freeze. Then just store them in a freezer bag. They are great for smoothies, berry pie, etc. We do this with blackberries and peaches also.

    This year we have a small garden and last week we harvested 14 large cucumbers in two days from our two plants! Usually I give them away, but nobody needed anymore. So, I made pickles! It was my first time making pickles and I made kosher dill spears. Yummy!

  • Kristine says:

    Growing up, my parents froze most of our fresh produce. Only things like tomatoes and applesauce were canned.

    I remember operating the vacuum sealer to seal all the bags to keep the food fresh through the winter.

    I think vacuum sealing is the way to go to prevent freezer burn and spoilage! We got one as a gift from my parents a few years ago, and use it a lot.

    I never get enough paste tomatoes at once to make canning worthwhile. So, I roast them in the oven with garlic and olive oil and throw them in my food processor to blend. Then I put about 2 cups of sauce into a bag and vacuum seal it then freeze.

    We have a second freezer in our basement, so we’re not limited to just the one attached to our fridge.

    If you’re going to can, I HIGHLY recommend the Blue Ball book. There are also canning guides put out by local extension offices too.

  • Jenny says:

    I can tomatoes and freeze most everything else: squash, corn, fruits etc. Getting started I didn’t want to spend money investing in a canning pot or the racks etc. so my sister-in-law and I found a different way. get your tall stock pot (tallest pot you have) put a cloth kitchen towel in the bottom and fill with water. It can be tricky to the first time but the cloth does the same the the racks do — keeping the jars from banging on the bottom and breaking. You can also put rags in between the jars if they are banging to much. When you are done pull them out and stick them in the wash. The no cost method of getting started!!

  • Esther says:

    My Nana & Mom always canned, froze or dehydrated fruits and veggies from their gardens and orchards. A few years ago, I started too. It is so easy and really helps with the budget. It is wonderful to pull a bag of frozen summer blackberries out and make a cobbler in January! I also learned how to make jams from the fruits we pick. This really helps save on money and I feel good about feeding my family.
    I love your site and find it to be a wonderful source of inspiration! Thank you.

  • Dawn says:

    although not for freezing, those green bags we all see on the infommercial that are supposed to keep your fruits and veggies fresh longer actually work. They are a good buy.

  • Amanda says:

    I just found this website a couple of days ago:

    http://www.pickyourown.org

  • A.D. says:

    I have done a lot of canning (mostly) and some freezing over the years. I began 29 years ago, the first summer after we were married. My husband was anxious for me to get started doing it after a friend gave us bushels and bushels of fresh fruits from their trees: apricots, plums, cherries, and peaches. We bought a canning kettle and lots of jars, and I went to it. We had enough fruits and jams for several years as I recall. We learned that first year that we are not big jam eaters, but we love the jars of plain whole or sliced fruits. Since then, we have picked blueberries, peaches, tomatoes and apples at u-pick places, I have bought fruits and veggies by the bushel at farmer’s markets, and we have grown our own. I still use my same kettle and jar lifter after all these years! The investment was well worth it.

    I also like to freeze berries. I use the method I call IQF, or individually quick frozen. Another commenter explained it: wash fruit, dry off, lay in single layer on cookie sheet, freeze. Then bag the loose berries in zipper bags and store up to a year. BTW, I use the same method for pork chops, steaks, chicken pieces, sliced eggplant, cake slices,and lots of other things.

    I also like the apple pie filling idea mentioned above. I never thought of doing that.

  • Dana says:

    I’ve gone to the u-pick farms for several years and LOVE IT! The ones I frequent are fruit farms such as strawberries, blueberries and blackberries. I also
    visit local farmer markets. Sites that have helped me over the years with canning, freezing and finding farms are:

    http://p094.ezboard.com/bthecanningboard
    http://www.pickyourown.org/
    http://www.freshpreserving.com/

  • Michele says:

    Here is a site that I always use to find Pick Your Own type farms. It’s called: pickyourown.org. It includes farms in many states, and they keep it pretty up to date. It’s not inclusive but I did find some farms on there that were not on other sites.

    We did pick your own strawberries and blueberries this summer and apples and raspberries last fall. We love it. It’s a great family activity!

  • Michele says:

    Here is a site that I always use to find Pick Your Own type farms. It’s called: pickyourown.org. It includes farms in many states, and they keep it pretty up to date. It’s not inclusive but I did find some farms on there that were not on other sites.

    We did pick your own strawberries and blueberries this summer and apples and raspberries last fall. We love it. It’s a great family activity!

  • Amy says:

    We just helped harvest and freeze 200+ DOZEN ears of sweet corn last week. You can read about it on my blog.

    http://amysfinerthings.wordpress.com

  • Jill says:

    I taught myself how to can from cookbooks and the Ball Blue Book. It isn’t as hard as people think. It is labor intensive and hot and sticky sometimes, but it is SO worth it! Being able to enjoy cheap fruits and veggies all winter is a joy!

    I do green beans (both regular and pickled green beans), corn (frozen), tomatoes (canned), tons of berries and freezer jam, applesauce, canned pears, canned peaches, bread and butter pickles, apple butter, berry syrup and usually every year I come up with some new idea – some are a hit, some not so much.

    It is a lot of work while I’m doing it (every year I SWEAR I will never can again!) But in September when I look at those rows of jars, and freezer full of good cheap food, I think “That wasn’t so bad,” and I do it all over again!

    Jill

  • I grew up doing canning, but one thing is you need to make sure if you are buying your produce, make sure it is actually cheaper for you to can your own, then to buy it already canned.
    I mostly can or freeze either produce I got really cheaply, grew myself or was given from other’s abundance. Last year I was given lots of raspberries, so we have lots of raspberries. They were wimple. Lay out on a tray. When frozen, put into bags. I made lots of apricot and plum jam as that was the fruit I got for free. With jam you have to buy sugar and pectin, so the fruit should be free to make it worth it almost. My husband though eats alot of jam so even buying fruit it would be cheaper. We had enough for all winter and still have some to last until i get more fruit. Applesauce, peaches and tomatoes are simple to can. I have also frozen tomatoes, that is really simple too. i also can beets and sometimes pie filling like apple or peach. I canned alot of sweet cherries last year.

  • Mar says:

    Here’s another vote for the Ball Blue Book. It covers various methods of food preservation, including canning and freezing, has recipes for small families, etc. I’ll can peaches, apple sauce, and tomatoes this year after I buy big baskets from the local farmer’s market. I’ll also blanch and freeze some frequently used vegetables, especially green beans and corn, and I’ll shred and freeze zucchini for bread and muffins. I’ll also be freezing more blueberries for cake, muffins, and pancakes.

    A tradition we try to keep every year is to pull out some blueberries (or other fruit) and make a pie or cobbler on the first snow day of the winter. It’s also nice to serve your summer bounty on Thanksgiving. Who says the traditional meal can’t or shouldn’t include peaches, applesauce, blueberry muffins, etc.? After all, isn’t the harvest one of the things for which we’re thankful?

  • Trinity says:

    I found a few markets around hereI will be checking into.

  • Dawn says:

    I know I am a minority for my generation but I have been canning for years and it is sooo easy. I saw an earlier comment about the Ball Canning Blue Book- this is the “bible” of canning and in paperback form is cheap- I taught myself. We have a large garden and at present I am canning pickles (the easiest thing to can!) There is a sense of accomplishment for mastering the old art of food preservation!

  • Lesley says:

    I started canning this year and I am totally hooked!! :0) Me and the kids picked about 60 pounds of strawberries and we put up 2 doz. or so jars of strawberry jam. We also froze some for smoothies.

    We will blue berry picking next week. I am planning on making some bb jam and freezing some for later. :0)

  • Angi says:

    The first spring that my dh and I were married we found a large dewberry (wild blackberries) field near our home. I called my granny and asked her for her dewberry jam recipe. She said “Go buy a box of SureJel and follow the directions.” I just knew it was more complicated than that! But, it wasn’t! We’ve canned ever since.

    We usually can peaches from a pick your own farm (50 cents a pound) we make jam and slices. We have a pear tree and can minted and cinnamon pears and pear sauce. We pick dewberries and make jam and cobbler filling. Our neighbors have a fig tree so we dehydrate figs and make a strawberry fig jam using strawberry jello. We also pick wild mustang grapes and make grape jelly and sometimes grape juice.

    From our garden we freeze squash and zucchini (cut it up and put it on a cookie sheet, when frozen put in a zip lock bag) we use this for soups in the winter. We don’t blanch them. We also freeze tomatoes, cut the stem out and freeze. When the tomatoes thaw out the skin will come right off (no need to blanch them). Sometimes we use the frozen tomatoes and just add them to whatever we are cooking. When we get alot of frozen tomatoes we will make spaghetti sauce and can it. We also have okra right now, so I will cut and bread the okra and freeze it already breaded, again I don’t blanch this either.

    All of this is easy, just time consuming. However, as my children are getting older they can help alot more. When we picked peaches, we picked 90 pounds and completely processed them in 1 day. The next day we were able to help a friend with her peaches. What a blessing it was to have children who were glad to serve and knew how to do the job.

    Only by His Grace,
    Angi

  • Noah says:

    You really should try canning at least jam, Crystal. It’s way easier then yo uwould ever think! I managed to can 18 half pints of low-sugar strawberry jam in about 2 hours using a simple water bath. I just got raspberries today, so I’ll be doing raspberry jam tonight! I always buy the low-sugar pectin so that I can do jam with less sugar (and calories!). This site has great info on canning: http://www.pickyourown.org/allaboutcanning.htm

    I’m hoping to convince my husband to let me invest in a pressure canner and outdoor burner next year so I can can vegetables and other things. A lot of our famrs around here have canning shares you can purchase for really cheap!

  • Patti says:

    Please go to your local county extension office for correct up-to-date information about food preservation. Many factors can change the way you do this, including new varities and weather, and these offices and web sites will have the latest information. One good site to use is: http//hgic.clemson.edu (go to Food Safety and Nutrition) but any extension service site will be able to guide you to have the safest, freshest food possible.

  • Mar says:

    A couple more things:

    KEEP IT CLEAN AND SANITARY! Do not use fruit that is bruised or starting to go bad, make sure you follow the instructions for washing jars, lids, utensils, etc. It would be a shame to can and then have someone get sick from your efforts!

    Jams, jellies, and other produce can be used to make lovely gift baskets for teachers, pastors, and anyone else that you give small gifts to at Christmas.

  • Carmen says:

    I’m not sure if anyone posted this but I buy the canning jel from Kroger and it’s recipe is one that you don’t have to process your jam jars in a canner after you cook your jam and then put them in the sterile jars. I put them on a towel upside down for 5 minutes and then turn them right side up and let them rest overnight. It’s so easy! We’ve canned strawberry jam and peach jam and jelly (for the jelly you use the peach skin and pits to make the jelly from…real easy!) so far. We’ll be picking blueberries this week! We’ll be freezing them! We’ll pick Raspberries in a few weeks and make jam with those. We’ll be giving jam for Christmas gifts.

    Love your blog!

    Hugs,
    Carmen

  • Mary says:

    I either can mine or freeze it for winter usage, which I do depends on the type of fruit or veggie I am dealing with some require canning and some require freezing. My mom taught me to can when I was really young (I think I was 8 or 9) so I use the knowledge she passed to me along with some other things I have picked up along the way from websites, blogs, books, etc. I find it is also relaxing to me and I can use it for lessons for our homeschool too (for both ds and dd, for ds because the odds of his future wife actually knowing how to can and preserve are pretty slim and for dd because she will be better able to care for her family if she knows how to do these things!)

  • Jerri says:

    I have always just frozen what I can out of my garden. I’ve been scared of pressure cookers, what with all the horror stories from the older generation. I am just this week trying my hand at water-bath canning. I have some cucumbers soaking right now that I’m making into sweet pickles and next I’m going to try Picalilli. I guess I’m just getting my feet wet. I’d like to can more than freeze because of my lack of freezer space. Also, we live in the country and when ice storms or other bad weather comes it can knock the electric out for a day or a week or more in some cases. That presents a problem when it is all frozen. HTH

    Jerri

  • Cathy says:

    We also buy local fruits and veggies when in season and preserve them. One favorite is strawberry freezer jam. I’ve also canned peaches, flash-frozen and vacuum-sealed blackberries and sliced peaches, made fruit leather, and made and canned various jams. Last year we also did green beans, tomato sauce, applesauce, and apple and pear butters. It’s quite addicting to can! (or freeze!)

  • Patty says:

    It’s funny you asking about canning; I love to can and have done so for years. Today we picked the last of our peaches and canned 10 quarts tonight. Canning is so fun and so simple.

    Your local county extension office will have a lot of helpful information on how to can and it is free.

    The supplies needed in the beginning can be an expense but so well worth it because you will use the items over and over again each year. A Hot Water Bath pot and a Pressure Canner are both needed as well as pint and quart size jars. Wal-Mart usually carries all that is needed.

    I would suggest finding some local person who would let you come over to help them; the quickest way to learn is hands on!

  • Debbie says:

    Yet another vote for the Ball Blue Book-covers various methods of food preservation, and is the “bible” of home food preservation.

    Funny that you should write about this topic today, as I was just thinking I would like to get back to this. I used to grow and preserve all kinds of things, but got away from it since having kids. Now they are old enough to help out, and enjoy the “pick your own” places. Just today my daughter and I picked blueberries for $1.50/lb, which is less than half the rate of store bought in this area.

    Fruits are fairly easy to start with. I love to can applesauce, but you can easily freeze that too. Tomatoes–sauce, juice, ketchup, salsa, or just plain old tomatoes are easy. Anything pickled-zucchini relish taste great and is usually fairly cheap to make.

    The biggest disadvantage to canning is the prep work-not only the produce but also getting the jars ready. And the heat! It just seems wrong to be introducing all that steam in to your house in August! But it’s so rewarding to see all those colorful jars of canned goods sitting on your pantry shelf, or pulling a bag of applesauce out of the freezer that you made yourself.

  • Laura says:

    The Ball Blue Book is a fabulous resource, as is the County Extension office.

    We ‘landscape’ with fruit trees and some edible ‘flowers’ (flowering kale, carrots, strawberries, blueberries). I freeze, can and dehydrate peaches, plums, apricots, cherries, pears, apples, nectarines, LOTS of apples (we have a small orchard, about 40 apple trees plus the other stuff). Everything is grown without pesticides and herbicides, we fertilize with composted manure from neighbors with horses or llamas, and the fruit is just lovely!

    My daughter’s favorite snacks are dehydrated peaches, apples and – zucchini!

  • Jenn says:

    I started canning from our garden this year… I will also say that I found the Ball Blue Book of Canning to be an incredible resource! SUPER easy. We have our garden and shop at the farmer’s market… we have also done pick your own produce. I also like the quick freeze then vaccuum seal method for keeping fresh produce FRESH.

    Did you know that you can freeze EGGS?? You break them open, gently mix them (no air bubbles) then freeze them with 1/2″ of headspace. Apparently… 3 Tbsp. equals one egg. I’m so excited to try this… my cousin has given us TONS of farm fresh eggs!

  • Carlie says:

    I did a canning post just this week 🙂 Strawberry Jello Fig Preserves. We love to listen for the jar popping.

  • Jeanne says:

    Great timing – we’re headed to The Berry Patch this weekend! I’m looking forward to freezing lots of blueberries and having muffins all winter long!

  • Penny Raine says:

    We are blessed to have several types of fruit growing on our farm, some wild, some not. We have mulberries, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, plums, peaches, apples, persimmons, and more I am forgetting. LOTS of our neighbors have tons of fruit that nobody harvests, don’t be afraid to ask if you can pick if you see someone not getting theirs. The best wy to preserve is freezing, it saves the most amount of nutrition. But when that isn’t possible canning works great. You can often find free jars (only use real canning jars) from elderly women, or at garage sales or from freecycle. Make sure you buy new lids though. Grandmas that have children or grandchidren that aren’t smart enough to value their wisdom absolutely LOVE to teach younger women how to can! Adopt an older neighbor! I think my favorite book on the subject is from Rodale titled “Stocking up III” .
    blessings, Penny Raine
    http://www.pennyraine.com/blog

  • Fuschia says:

    Thank you so much for this post…and thank you to all the commenters! I have recently planted my first garden…Woo Hoo! I’ve been hesitant to plant enough to “put up” because I just plain don’t know how. All these kind comments hav given me an ounce of confidence to give it a try.

  • Marsha says:

    My whole blog is about canning and other types of food preserving. Well, not the *whole* blog but it is my narrative hook, if you will. Yesterday I posted about canning peaches and am planning on doing a post about blackberries this weekend. One thing I try to do is give ideas about how to use what I’ve canned, because I find that lots of people dive off the canning deep end and then don’t know what to do with 50 pints of jam or 100 quarts of pickles. I also stress that one should only can what one likes – if you don’t like mushrooms you probably won’t like mushroom pickles no matter how easy and cost effective they are to make.

  • Phoebe says:

    This is the first year that we have had a garden and have canned. It’s amazing! I fully agree with others comments about the Ball Blue Book. It walks you through all the steps…I literally taught myself how to can using that book. I have already made spaghetti sauce, kosher dill pickles, bread and butter pickles, blackberry jam, carrots, and green beans. I actually just did a post on all my goods yesterday. It’s a blast…and now I know exactly where our food is coming from!!

    http://gettingfreedom.blogspot.com/2008/07/blessings.html

  • Kristen says:

    I’ve been told that the energy cost of running an extra freezer for frozen foods (from good deals like this) can even out or outweigh the savings. What do you think? I’ve gone back and forth on looking for a good used freezer because of this question.

    Also, I’d love to have people comment on healthy ways to do this – low salt/sodium, low sugar, etc.

    Thank you Crystal!

  • Mar says:

    Kristen, there is some cost involved in running a freezer, but I like having the frozen fruit from the summer grown by farmers that I know available and ready for me to use. I like knowing it was picked when ripe and canned or frozen while still fresh and that I’m eating locally.

    I already have my freezer or I might feel differently. I use it for stocking up on lots of items, especially when on sale, and I can’t remember the last time we ran out of bread because I always have several loaves in the freezer. It’s definitely worth it to me.

  • We do a lot of u-pick berries in the summer, which makes them so much cheaper than buying them from the farms or the stores pre-picked. We are aiming for 200 lbs of fruit either frozen or canned this summer, for our little family of 4, so you can see that we really like it. I just can’t justify buying it later in the year when it’s out of season.

    We have found freezers either on the side of the road or from families who want to give them away for free. Whenever we pick, I spend the next day or two washing and freezing the berries (I do it on trays first, so they don’t clump together in the bags). I also buy things like a large box of peaches to slice and freeze as well.

    With any extra berries (beyond what we have room to freeze), as well as a case of apples and pears, I do canning. This year I am making syrups, preserves (where the fruit is just whole or sliced in syrup, which I use honey for), and jams, as well as applesauce.

    The books I rely on for canning on a couple of old ones: “Putting Food By” and “Putting it up With Honey”. I also discovered this blog this year:http://thesimplewomanscannery.blogspot.com/

    Another thing that I do sometimes is if I find apples (organic) or bananas on discount, I dehydrate them into apple rings and banana chips. My kids adore them as snacks, and they are so easy and healthy (and cheap!).

  • PurpleHeather says:

    Going camping in Wisconsin this weekend, and this post reminded me that we can go berry picking! Found a farm just a couple miles from the campsite where we can pick fresh raspberries. Can’t wait! Thanks so much for the great reminder.

  • Sarah says:

    Personally, I prefer freezing for most things. I can applesauce and jam, which are both pretty easy, but I freeze everything else. It keep me from heating up my kitchen since we don’t have air conditioning. I don’t know that it’s a ton cheaper (as several commenters pointed out), but it’s definitely the cheapest way to have local produce all year. Besides, it tastes way better than frozen or canned foods from the store.

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