Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Bean There Done That

No, I didn't misspell a word. I was just trying to think of a catchy title for my post on canning.  I was so very pleased last summer; for the first time ever I learned how to can.  Well, I had made freezer jam and I had exposure to canning as a child, since my mother did a little of it.  But with the encouragement of my 17 year old, homeschool graduate daughter, I learned how to can the vegetables that we grew in our garden.  The reason my daughter was such an encouragement to me was because she was so enthusiastic to learn how to can too.  So we endeavored to learn about how to properly can vegetables.  With the help of some wonderful videos, books and a lot of research on the internet we taught ourselves how to do this process.  My mother had given me a pressure canner and a large canning pot so we were raring to go.  Our first hot water bath canning was strawberry jam. This turned out to be pretty easy and I was thrilled with our success.  Then we went on to green beans, tomatoes, peppers, zucchini,  pickles and applesauce!  The biggest fear I had to overcome was using the pressure canner.  It was a little intimidating since I had never used one before.  The steam and the spinning weight on the top were a constant concern to me.  I envisioned an explosion and steaming hot water and vegetables all over my kitchen, but thankfully my worst fears never came to be.  This year we are hoping for more canning adventures. (No explosions please.) We planted a larger garden because our canned supply from last summer only lasted about six months and I'd love to see us get through a few more months.

Even more valuable than being able to feed my family was that I learned how to can right along side my daughter.  We both learned valuable lessons that will be passed on for many years and maybe to many more generations.  It showed me that we should always learn new things.  How can we grow if we do not have a teachable spirit?  You're never too old to learn something new and what better way to learn than side by side with your children?  I hope you and your children will enjoy learning something new together this summer.  I'll let you know how our beans "can" out.  Happy homeschooling!

Proverbs 12:11a  Whoever works his land will have plenty of bread;

Proverbs 12:14 From the fruit of his mouth a man is satisfied with good, and the work of a man's hand comes back to him.


  1. Congrats on your canning success!!! This is absolutely something I am interested in and would love to learn how to do. My grandmother canned veggies from her farm, but the lessons weren't handed down.

    I don't think that we will have much to can though from our own harvest, because as you know, we have a "pot garden"! :o) But, I think I'd like to put a few cans of tomatoes away for stews and soups in the winter.

    I'm glad you posted this; it gives me a bit of encouragement to at least get to the library to find out "how." :o)

  2. Stacie, last year I didn't have enough cukes in my own garden to make as many pickles as I wanted, so I went to our local farmer's market and bought some beautiful cukes from them and made lots of pickles. If you have a farmer's market near you maybe that is a way to get fresh produce to can! Give it a try, it's worth it. Have fun.