Canning Is Easy

So we were up at dawn again today.  Aaron’s new work schedule has really changed our internal clocks.  He has to be at work at 6 am and that gets us all up around 4:30.  Even on the weekend it feels like a luxury to wake up at 6!  I went out to the garden around 7 and pulled up a couple of bushels of carrots and sprayed them off.  Took them inside and began the task of canning them.  There is nothing particularly difficult about canning except that you have to make sure to keep things clean, know what you are dealing with in terms of type of produce (acidity determines whether you can water bath them or have to use a pressure canner), and have a full day of uninterrupted time.  The last batch of 20 pints of carrots began depressurizing around 2 o’clock this afternoon.  For those of you who have been following along and want to know how to do this all you need is this book:

canning book

It is kind of the canner’s bible.  It has recipes and instructions, and cooking times.  Up here at 5300 feet we have to add time to both types of canning because water boils at a lower temperature than at sea level.  If you don’t boil them for long enough you can get very sick.

Here is the pressure canner set up out on the deck:

Pressure canner

This was today’s end result:

carrots 2014

Here is a freak carrot that I pulled up today along with the rest of them.  It looks almost like it has tentacles.

freak carrot

I am going to be experimenting with canning soups this year, as well as potatoes.  I understand that one can can stock as well to preserve for things like crockpot recipes.  The extension of this will also be building a root cellar.  Canning takes a lot of time and energy (including propane).  Root cellars can let one put up produce for months without having to do a thing to it.  But of course, since this farm has been built from scratch…. I have to back hoe it out and build the thing.  Just another chapter I guess!  In the meantime, our pantry is getting very full.  Zina has been hand cutting, threshing and winnowing wheat as well.  Now we need to find a way to grind it and see what kind of bread it makes!


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