I have been asked several times in the past week, why I can so I will try to take some time to answer those 🙂
Growing up we had a huge garden. Back then, money was tight and so this was a huge blessing for us to be able to not have to buy canned goods at the grocery store. My Dad built a cellar just for my moms canned goods. It was a huge blessing. We didn’t just put up what we got out of our garden either. I would go with my grandmother to help my Uncles bring in their bounty as well, which they all shared with us so we had a lot of food!
The solution to this was to can. We canned and canned and canned some more :). I was not any bigger then my Nemo when I would sit and string and snap beans. Some days the bushels seemed like they would never end but when winter came and you had beans that tasted just as good and fresh as they did when the crops came in, you were thankful. My mom always gave me jobs to do, as did my grandma. I was never to small, there was just always something they could find for me to do. So work was encouraged. We didn’t complain, we viewed the work as a blessing. Even making huge kettles of apple butter, in the massive cooper kettle my Dad made for us. Where I grew up the power would go out for days at a time. It could be for any reason, you just never knew. A car wreck, weather, you name it. So for us where we lived, canning made sense. If the power was out we could still eat. Mom would open up jars and fire up the gas stove. We never went hungry or worried about such things, even if it was many many days.
So here are the best reasons I came up with personally for canning ” putting up” a bounty of food….
1. Store bought canned goods are getting smaller and the price is going higher. Have you noticed how small things are now or how much air comes in a bag of chips?
2. It is cheaper. Continuing from #1 it is just simply more cost effective. Not only does it cost money for the canned goods at the store, but the price in gas alone is very steep!
3. Regardless of if you have a garden or not, you can CAN. If you do not have a garden, buy local from farmers. I would rather support the local farmer then the chain grocery stores.
4. In the Bible it speaks of working the land, there is something very meaningful to harvesting your own food and putting up a bounty to last all winter. It makes me feel closer to the Lord.
5. I do not view the canning I do as work. Sure it IS work, but I view it is a blessing and a privilege. After all the reason I need canned food is because because God has blessed me with a family to take care of.
6. With todays kids eating all the processed foods on the market, when you put up your own food, you KNOW what is in it. You know what your kids are eating and what they are not. There is GREAT comfort in my book in knowing that instead of store bought jam with dyes and such in it, my kids jam is colored with what God intended it to be colored with. I know as they eat piece after piece of bread and jam, or opening a jar of fruit that they are eating healthy.
7. It is great fun and fellowship. Growing up and canning as I did, we would all get together. Sometimes my mom, grandmothers and I, sometimes more would help like my Aunt etc. We would all talk, everyone had a job and it sure did make the time go faster. There is a saying, many hands make light work. Gathering like we did, we simply had fun and enjoyed what each other as we worked. Can’t ask for more then that.
8. Tradition. My family has canned much longer then I have ever been alive. These days while some are taking to canning and it is slowly making a come back, many think I am crazy for continuing such a thing when I can just run down the road to the store. However, wouldn’t all the time my mom and grandma took to teach me these things be such a waste if it became a lost art? I am literally the last girl in my family. I was always in the kitchen. I want my boys to appreciate food being harvested and put up, someday when God provides a wife for them, I hope they love and appreciate all God has blessed them with and enjoy canning OR maybe they would like to learn:).
So those are my main reason. It isn’t because I am scared of a disaster or anything because I trust God to handle those situations.
This week I have finished all the green beans I have for now. I also made peach jam and I have about 15 pounds more peaches to put up and some other things. What is going on in YOUR kitchen this week?