This time of year, NEO is bursting with a variety of local produce! The bounty feels pretty endless, well at least until that first frosty day hits you like a ton of bricks and reality sets in. Sorry, I didn’t mean to jar you with that thought but that reality is on the horizon for us all. If only there was a way that we could freeze time and eat all of this great local produce year-round. Oh wait… we CAN! See what I did there?
Let’s talk for a minute about canning and preserving all of those delicious veggies! How? What would you make? Why would you do that when you could just buy pasta sauce or frozen veggies from the grocery? These are great questions, thank you for asking!
- Always work with the freshest produce you can find. Your friendly neighborhood farmers’ market can hook you up and don’t forget to ask your farmer for their suggestions!
- Find a recipe and gather supplies. Visit Ball’s website for a list of over 500 tested canning recipes plus step-by-step guides that will walk you through it and tell you what you need. What about freezing, drying, curing, storing or fermenting? The National Center for Home Food Preservation will show you the way and is loaded with a ton of great info! What if you don’t want to buy the supplies or are too intimidated to try this on your own? Let’s Grow Akron is an AMAZING local source that hosts Community Canning programs every Saturday until the end of October. Programs are led by Jan Green, a certified Better Processor and canning equipment and assistance will be provided! Canners with a range of experience will also be around to help and share recipes. Community Canning is free but space is limited and registration is required! Call (330)745-9700 to reserve your spot today!
What Will I Make?
- See all three websites above for tons of recipes.
- Check out the following books from your local library
- From Freezer to Table: 75+ Simple, Whole Foods Recipes for Gathering, Cooking, and Sharing: A Cookbook/ Polly Conner & Rachel Tiemeyer
- Can It & Ferment It: More Than 75 Satisfying Small-Batch Canning and Fermentation Recipes for the Whole Year by Stephanie Thurow
- The Farm Girl’s Guide to Preserving the Harvest : How to can, freeze, dehydrate, and ferment your garden’s goodness / Ann Accetta-Scott
- A quick internet search will produce a ton of recipes of your liking. Here are just a few that I found that look worth checking out:
Why Make It When You Can Buy It?
- You control the ingredients and know exactly what’s going in it!
- Learn a new skill
- Become self-sufficient
- Reduce your impact on the environment by eliminating the packaging and shipping
- Keep your dollars local! By purchasing from a local farmer you’re supporting your local economy.
- It just plain tastes better!