The pantry shelves are lined with mostly-empty jars and empty spaces. It’s June and there are garlic scapes in the refrigerator, awaiting on my canner’s attention! Time to re-stock those shelves!

Canning season (for produce) runs from spring to late summer in this household. Come late fall, focus shifts to kraut, ferments and vinegar making, hunting and butchering, the preserving of meat (deer, chicken and turkey).

The cool room has its seasons accordingly!

In fact, spring (May) is a great time to sort through jars, clean shelving and organize, making room for the new harvest coming in. The last thing I want is to clean in the middle of canning season!  You could say the break-down looks something like this:

May-spring cleaning involves washing shelves, sweeping out debris, removing unwanted/spoiled items

June-August: shelves are slowly loaded with canned, whole fruits (cherries, apricots, peaches), jams, syrups.

September: shelves welcome more fruits & also sauces (apples, grapes, pears, plums), the meat and broth from butchered chickens. Dill pickles, tomatoes/sauce/salsa are also on the list!

October-stock with: apples & pears for cold storage, canned elderberry sauce/syrup, rose hip syrup. This is the time to salt cured meat (excited for our first this year!), deer broth.

November-stock with: sauerkraut, ferments, whole vegetables including beet, carrot, garlic, onion, parsnip, pumpkin, potato, rutabaga, squash, turnip.

December-finish making jam and bone broth from goods in freezer; turkey butchering season

Whew! The goal is to be finished by Christmas. It never works out that way! Time runs short in summer and all too often goods are tossed in the freezer to be processed at a later date.

Its a golden feeling though, walking into that storage room, crammed to the ceiling with food, our raw or canned, real food! So lets jump in and talk canning!