Some people, especially the younger ones, are cautious about the idea of canning produce. Many families have gotten out of the habit, and that’s sad, because it really is pretty easy. If you’re thinking of starting, you can learn all about the dangers in the links below, but really, you just have to remember to use a tested recipe, and not change anything. It’s good to be cautious, but it’s a shame to miss out on an opportunity to preserve some of our good local produce.
Ontario Ministry of Agriculture
Another relatively easy way to preserve food is by drying it. I have a friend who swears by her home-dried tomatoes, and she just uses a light bulb. Not expensive, and not difficult. There are also solar drying racks, which use even less energy.
Freezing is the most common way we preserve food nowadays, but if you’re like me, you always have that nagging fear that the power will go off, and you’ll lose everything. One way to minimize that fear is to be sure there are no empty spaces in your freezer. This helps conserve the cold. Try saving large plastic containers (kitty litter containers work great); when you need to fill up spaces, fill the containers with water and leave them outside. When they freeze, put them at the bottom of the freezer. Then you can stack remaining food on top, making it easier to access.
I’ll be posting resources for home preservation of food in Stratford as the season approaches.