A Family Affair! Top 5 Reasons To Start Canning
We are 5 sisters from Idaho who love to can! We grew up canning alongside our grandma and our mother! It’s of our heritage, a cherished skill passed down from generation to generation! The wife of a farmer and rancher as well as the mother of 5 children, our grandmother found canning an essential part of life. At age 90, she still cans today! She learned from her mother and ours from her. Now we want to share this love with, not only our posterity but with you! We want to share some reasons why starting your first canning adventure will be worth it!
The point of this article is not to make you feel bad about shopping at your local grocery store for food or feel like you need to be a canning expert to get started. What we will show you is why preserving even one item a year can and will enrich you and your families life.
Traditions & Memories
- Think of a cherished tradition in your family that you want to pass along to your loved ones. Those traditions often are what make up the warm, tender, yummy memories we look back on and hold on to. Those traditions and memories are the silver lining of our family ties. Peeling apples for applesauce, chopping tomatoes for salsa and husking corn in our dad pickup truck are a few of the priceless images we have with our own family and friends. Canning together with family and friends provides a fun beginning of a valued tradition and fond memories.
- As sisters, we love the generational link canning provides, grandmother to daughter and daughter to mother. It’s so rewarding to pass these valuable skills from our heritage to our posterity. Not only did canning create great memories but it taught the value of working together as a family. It’s a family activity where there is a role to play for everyone no matter the age. When we canned in our home growing up, we all canned. It was a family affair! We also have loved involving our family in canning projects because it's a non-electronic activity that exposes our children to new experiences. It teaches them the value of being open to learn and grow with no room for electronics. You can’t have one hand on an iPhone while slicing pears! It’s very rewarding to see the fruits of your labor together and to see what new things you can accomplish as a family!
- Job loss, natural disaster or zombie attacks, you never know when hard times will hit! Canning is a great way to start or simply improve your existing food storage plan. Every year when we begin our harvest, we know that when we are done, we will have a whole year of food storage! It gives you a sense of peace to know that your family will have food if the world flips you upside down. You can even have tasty food to help someone who comes across hard times. Investing a little bit of quality canning time during harvest months will pay off for the rest of the year. There is nothing like the satisfaction of being self-reliant!
- And, talk about easy shopping! Who doesn’t want a grocery store in their basement! It’s so nice to walk into your pantry or basement and grab the food you need for your meal!
- Plus, gift giving can be easy and thoughtful when you have yummy, homemade, goodies on hand to give to those you love. Who would not drool over some homemade raspberry jam!
- Do you like to know what you are putting in your body? Sick of reading labels? Canning provides your own whole foods on demand. Knowing what you put into your body, without having to worry about labels is so satisfying! Walking the aisles checking labels on all the applesauce, jam and peaches for high fructose corn syrup can be frustrating because it’s everywhere!
- One of the best things about canning is having access to healthy garden foods in the middle of winter without even having to leave your home. Especially when leaving the house for a grocery run is inconvenient. It’s so fulfilling as a mom to be able to easily provide healthy sides for every meal, and know they are as fresh as you can get!
- And of course, you can’t buy food that tastes like this! Anyone who has tasted a garden tomato will tell you that it is a totally different taste in comparison to store bought. Can that goodness and enjoy it all year long! Growing up enjoying our family canned garden food, we all remember our first experience eating canned beans or corn Usually this memory was in college and deepened our appreciation for our mother even more.
Easy meal prep
- Did you get volunteered to host your extended family Thanksgiving meal? No worries, you have all the veggies you need right in your pantry! Our mother and grandmother often will prepare large family meals on their own! Now as mothers ourselves, we find that preparing even large meals is easier when we can grab so much pre prepared food without even a thought. Does anyone dislike cooking dinner every night as much as we do? We love being able to grab some meat and a can of beans, a bag of corn along with some delicious huckleberry muffins and dinner is made!
- For those of you who have little ones, trust us when we say that canning makes you smile! Making baby food is a cinch! Just throw some of those canned peaches, pears, or beans in a blender! No need to buy baby food, just freeze the leftovers in ice cube trays! Easy, healthy and delicious.
- The best part of preparing meals with your preserved food is enjoying family dinner together with the food you can together!
Canning is easier than you may think
- You don't need a garden to can fresh food! Many people think that you have to grow your own food in order to can. But, like many others who can, we buy some of our food at farmers markets, food stands and even from local growers. It’s also really easy to find other gardeners who have a plethora of extra produce and are dying to share! You can even buy in bulk and save some money! Grab a group of friends or family and buy and bag corn all at once!
- Gardening does cost to start but buying some QUALITY materials once, will last a lifetime of canning. And until you buy your own, you can always borrow! We have found that those who can love to share!
- Getting started can seem overwhelming but it does not have to be. There are lots of resources out there to help to make canning easy! We have started a simple Instagram (garden_geek_sisters) focused on recording the memories we make while teaching others how to simply get started! Look online, ask a friend, take the first step! We’d be happy to answer any questions!
- Start small! A common reason people don’t start canning is that they feel like it would be too much work or overwhelming. It does not have to be! We suggest starting small! Get one box of peaches, one bowl of tomatoes or just a small picking off an apple tree. Do one project and test the results for yourself! Learn a new thing to can every year or stick with one or two canning projects! See our Instagram for a quick 1-minute step by step video on canning peaches. After watching that, you will see how simple it can be!
- We have found that Cal Ranch provides all of the equipment necessary for every canning project. We love shopping here! Plus, it’s easy to find great deals and sales. Their employees are helpful and knowledgeable.
Get started today on your first canning experience! Make some memories and learn a new skill! Canning is a simple, rewarding and fun endeavor that will leave you feeling grateful all year long!
Follow us on Instagram for the play by play on basic canning steps and videos. We love learning new things every year and will be documenting it along the way.
About The Authors
The Garden Geek Sisters also known as the 5 Miller sisters love to laugh, garden and make memories together! canning//freezing//preserving fresh foods//Idaho born and raised
You follow them on Instagram here > garden_geek_sisters