Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Urban homesteading is a trend that is on the rise. It involves sustainable practices and self-reliance from sewing, gardening, mini-farming and preserving, which is nothing new to most farm families, but is becoming a new adventure and lifestyle to consumers sometimes many generations removed from the farm. Preservation is a big deal in the world of homesteading. This can include jams, jellies, canning, freezing and even dehydrating.Kim Scheiderer, my friend who likes to can and loves to be a homemaker, offered some tips on home preservation. First, how do you decide if you are going to freeze or can a crop? It simply boils down to a family’s taste preference. Food preservation is not hard, but it does take some organization, planning and time. For the most part, no special tools are needed unless you need a pressure cooker for specific veggies such as tomatoes or green beans. Stainless steel tools are recommended when using hot jams, jellies, other hot foods and reaching into hot water baths. She recounts a story one year when a batch of grape jelly had to be thrown out because it tasted like black plastic. Kim had used a black, supposedly heat-safe ladle, and she thinks it must have melted and blended in with the jelly. Memories are made during preservation days as well as when the family enjoys the products during the year.My memories of canning go back to eating some awesome bread and butter pickles my grandma made. No Thanksgiving or Christmas would be complete without leftover turkey sandwiches and her pickles. Believe it or not, I have never canned anything in my life. A few years ago when I arrived at a county fair to help judge 4-H projects, you can imagine my thoughts, when I was told I was judging the preservation projects. I took an immediate crash course in canning. If this is all new to you there are a couple of great resources. The standard reference for generations has been Ball’s Blue Book Guide to Preserving which is on its 37th edition. A great online reference is Ball’s website www.freshpreserving.com. OSU extension home food preservation has a website complete with pretty cool videos and local classes regarding home preservation. http://fcs.osu.edu/food-safety/home-food-preservation Happy preservation memories this summer! Kim’s Freezer Peaches6 cups sliced peaches1 cup sugar2 Tbsp. Fresh Fruit Preserver Peel & slice fresh peaches. Stir in sugar and preserver and let sit for 15 or until it makes syrup. Put desired amounts into quart freezer baggies. Freeze up to 1 year. Freezing Berries Shelly DetwilerStrawberries, Raspberries, Blackberries & Blueberries are frozen best.If you wash them before freezing, make sure they are very dry with a paper or cloth towel. Freeze on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet. For strawberries, raspberries and blackberries this should be 1 layer thick. Blueberries, when dry can be thicker. Freeze until solid and then put in airtight containers and bags. Then you can remove the amount you desire. Green Beans freshpreserving.comPreserving Method:Pressure CanningMakes about 1 quart2 lb green beans per quartWaterSalt, optionalBall Glass preserving jars with lids and bandsDirections:PREPARE boiling water canner. Heat jars in simmering water until ready for use. Do not boil. Wash lids in warm soapy water and set bands aside.WASH and rinse beans thoroughly. Remove string, trim ends and break or cut freshly gathered beans into 2-inch pieces. Place prepared beans in a large saucepan and cover with boiling water. Boil for 5 minutes.PACK hot beans into hot jars leaving 1 inch headspace. Add 1 tsp salt to each quart jar, 1/2 tsp to each pint jar, if desired.LADLE boiling water over beans leaving 1 inch headspace. Remove air bubbles. Wipe rim. Center hot lid on jar. Apply band and adjust until fit is fingertip tight.PROCESS filled jars in a pressure canner at 10 pounds pressure 20 minutes for pints and 25 minutes for quarts, adjusting for altitude. Remove jars and cool. Check lids for seal after 24 hours. Lid should not flex up and down when center is pressed.Note: The processing time given applies only to young, tender pods. Beans that have almost reached the “shell-out” stage require a longer processing time. Increase processing time 15 minutes for pints and 20 minutes for quarts. Herbed Tomatoes freshpreserving.comMakes about 6 (16 oz) pintsAdding dried herbs and spices to home-canned tomatoes gives you a head start on recipes that require seasoned tomatoes. Choose the spice blend that suits the kind of recipes you are likely to make.Preserving Method:Waterbath CanningYou Will Need:12 cups halved cored peeled tomatoes (about 24 medium or 8 lb)WaterSpice blend(s), see belowBall® Citric Acid or bottled lemon juiceSalt, optional6 Ball (16 oz) pint glass preserving jars with lids and bandsDirections:PREPARE boiling water canner. Heat jars in simmering water until ready for use. Do not boil. Wash lids in warm soapy water and set bands aside.COMBINE tomatoes with just enough water to cover in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil and boil gently for 5 minutes.ADD specified quantity of your chosen spice blend, ¼ tsp Ball® Citric Acid or 1 Tbsp bottled lemon juice and 1/4 tsp salt, if using, to each hot jar.PACK tomatoes into hot jars leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Ladle hot cooking liquid over tomatoes leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Remove air bubbles. Wipe rim. Center hot lid on jar. Apply band and adjust until fit is fingertip tight.PROCESS filled jars in a boiling water canner 40 minutes for pints and quarts, adjusting for altitude. Remove jars and cool. Check lids for seal after 24 hours. Lid should not flex up and down when center is pressed.Italian Spice Blend Makes about 6 (32 oz) quarts or 12 (16 oz) pints, You will need: 4 tsp basil2 tsp thyme2-1/2 tsp oregano1-1/2 tsp rosemary1-1/2 tsp sage1 tsp garlic powder1 tsp hot pepper flakes,optionalADD 2-1/4 tsp of spice blend to each pint jar. If omitting hot pepper flakes, use only 2 tsp.Mexican Spice Blend Makes about 6 (32 oz) quarts or 12 (16 oz) pints, You will need:6 tsp chili powder2 tsp ground cumin2 tsp oregano2 tsp garlic powder2 tsp ground coriander1-1/2 tsp seasoned salt, optionalADD 2-1/2 tsp of spice blend to each pint jar. If omitting seasoned salt, use only 2 tsp. Tomatoes – Packed in Water freshpreserving.comMakes about 2 pints or 1 quartPreserving Method:Pressure CanningYou Will Need:2-1/2 to 3-1/2 pounds tomatoes per 2 pints or 1 quartBall citric acid or bottled lemon juicesalt (optional)Ball Glass preserving jars with lids and bands Directions:PREPARE boiling water canner. Heat jars in simmering water until ready for use. Do not boil. Wash lids in warm soapy water and set bands aside.WASH and prepare tomatoes by placing into a large saucepot of boiling water. Blanch tomatoes 30-60 seconds or until skins start to crack. Remove from boiling water. Dip immediately into cold water.SLIP off skins, trim away any green areas; cut out core. Leave tomatoes whole or cut into halves or quarters.ADD 1/4 teaspoon citric acid or 1 tablespoon bottled lemon juice to each pint jar OR 1/2 teaspoon citric acid or 2 tablespoons bottled lemon juice to each quart jar.PACK tomatoes into hot jars following the RAW PACK or HOT PACK methods listed below.ADD 1/2 teaspoon salt to each pint jar or 1 teaspoon salt to each quart jar, if desired.REMOVE air bubbles. Adjust two-piece caps.PROCESS pints and quarts 10 minutes at 10 pounds of pressure in a pressure canner, adjusting for altitude. Remove jars and cool. Check lids for seal after 24 hours. Lids should not flex up and down when the center is pressed.RAW PACK METHODPACK tomatoes into hor jars leaving 1-inch headspace. Ladle hot water over tomatoes leaving 1-inch headspace.HOT PACK METHODPLACE tomatoes in a large saucepot. Add enough water to cover tomatoes.BOIL gently for 5 minutes, stirring to prevent sticking.PACK hot tomatoes into hot jars, leaving 1-inch headpsace. Ladel hot cooking liquid over tomatoes, leaving 1-inch headspace.