I grew up in Virginia where backyard gardens were common. Canning food was common and women saved their mayo jars for canning tomatoes. Of course one broke once in a while in the boiling water, but after all the jar was "free". Last week our Colorado Springs "Gazette" had an article about the resurgence in interest in canning. Do you have things you want to do but it has to be on your "stuff to do in the future list"? There are so many wonderful food blogs now and I'm not talking Martha Stewart level here. Just ordinary people who are passionate about cooking, canning and gardening and a host of other interests. After I was married my Mom started gardening, got a cow, goats and both of my younger step sisters had a horse. When I had lived at home we did have a small garden but she greatly expanded it. One summer she canned over 1000 jars of food! I guess it was all something she had always wanted to do...people do different things at different times in life. Is this your time to learn to can?
The newspaper article I read last week, talked about city people who are trying their hands at preserving food - an example would be the blog Saving The Season where Kevin West has been bitten by the canning fever. My son and daughter in law in Columbia, Missouri now have their own chickens for eggs. Many areas have legalized chickens "in town" - just NO ROOSTERS for obvious reasons.
In my store I have private label foods - this means I don't make them - but they bare our store name. Then there are many small businesses with commercial kitchens who process foods on a small business scale. Of course, we have an interest in Colorado based food products and recently added some cantaloupe products from Rocky Ford, Colorado. We do have our own tea mix recipes which we have processed for us in Fort Collins. You probably know that stores can only sell foods processed in commercial kitchens but farmers markets can sell things made in home kitchens.
You may be familiar with blogs like Kimberly's Cup where a young mother has a special love to learn and make and do all things homespun, healthy and make a wonderful home for her family.
I enjoyed learning to can in the 70's and hope to get back to it one day!
It seems like every community has a farmers market now where locals gather to sell their backyard and small garden produce. This is a wonderful source for canning goods....you can save jars from year to year, find them at yard sales and reuse some jars from foods you have purchased. Grocery stores usually have a section where jelly jars are sold with lids, etc. Check out the canning blogs such as Food In Jars and Tigress in A Jam and Anarchy In A Jar and Canning Across America to learn more!
See my other posts listed under Canning and Putting up Food!