I'm wanting to can some Florida red potatoes, corn off the cob, and cranberry beans. How do I start?
By sbaddison from Snellville, GA
Either google the topic, or go to one of your stores that handle canning supplies and in the area where the supplies are located you will find a book you can buy that tells how to can many different items. That is how I learned how to can, from one of those books, my mother or mother in law weren't close enough to give me a lot of help, I did know some stuff from watching my mother can when I was a kid. If you have never canned before you have to take into consideration the cost of getting started.
The advice given is great! The USDA has a lot of information available online, so definitely start doing some searches for it with google/bing/whatever.
Also, remember that to can vegetables, you need to purchase a pressure canner. Water bath canning only works for fruits and tomatoes, and even tomatoes you are safer adding some lemon juice. Vegetables do not have the necessary acid content for safe water bath canning.
And try not to use an older recipe book, because acid content has changed over the decades, so using recipes from when your grandmother was canning can be a bit dangerous, too. Some people are good at tweaking these so that they are safe, but for a beginner, it's just best to stick with the more recent books. There are a lot! Have fun! :)
Call the local Agricultural extension agent in your town and they will mail it to you for free.
The potatoes are best jar canned. Corn off the cob I prefer frozen but you can jar can this. The beans, if they are like green beans then you jar can these as they don't taste as good when frozen.
You may also have a canning house that will can them for you nearby and the ag agent can tell you about them. Georgia has a lot of good info for Georgians like us. I love the Ag. Agent here and his helpers. Flowers, foods, trees, everything you need and Athens if he doesn't know it.
Ball canning puts a good canning recipe book. Consider the intial cost of getting started as it can be expensive. Watch garage sales for jars, rings, and sometimes water bath canners. You will need a pressure cooker for most veggies, a water bath canner for jellies etc.,...the internet has a lot of information on canning. We put in a huge spring garden and a big fall garden I can pretty much year around. I freeze corn on the cob and corn cut off the cob to use in stew. I pressure can corn off the cob to eat right out of the jar.
The best way is start small and work your way up to more. Good luck and remember cleanliness and following recipes are important for your safety. Have fun as it is hard work but SO rewarding to have veggies and fruits you have grown and know where they came from and what if anything has been sprayed on them....etc...
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