CANNING CALENDAR

The process of canning and preserving is just one of the “living arts” that we are thrilled to see making a comeback. This year at The Factory Café, we have set ourselves the goal to “put-up” as much of the bounty of summer as we possibly can. (Not to mention my plans for my own backyard.) Our kitchen staff is constantly searching for ways to further source organic and local ingredients. Part of that solution means growing herbs, tomatoes, and other vegetables on-site; canning as much locally grown produce is another.

Last summer we made my Gram Perkins’ recipe for 14-Day Pickles for our café Egg Salad and, unfortunately, ran out of pickles by November. This coming summer we plan to, well, make better plans.

We are starting with the canning calendar below to save our harvest at its peak and preserve only the freshest garden fare. (Please note, the calendar below is tailored for the Southeastern U.S., but you can look for more specific information on your region or zone on The Old Farmer’s Almanac website.)

Find more information and resources on home canning at the National Center for Home Food Preservation website. We also recommend the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving and Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life for further inspiration.

Share some of your favorite canning recipes and tips with us in the comments below.

CANNING CALENDAR

MARCH

Harvest cabbage – make sauerkraut

Harvest broccoli – make broccoli soup

APRIL

Harvest asparagus – can or make pickled + peppered asparagus stems

Harvest strawberries – make jam and/or pie and crepe filling

MAY

Harvest cucumbers – make pickles and/or relish (dill, sweet, or bread and butter)

Harvest rhubarb – make jam (combine with strawberry for a sweeter treat)

Begin to harvest herbs – make infused oils

JUNE

Harvest garlic – can or make minced garlic and/or pickled garlic

Harvest green beans – can or make “dilly” beans (pickled)

Harvest new potatoes – can and use for potato soup

Harvest blackberries – make pie filling and/or syrup

Harvest summer squash and zucchini – can sliced or make sweet + spicy relish

Harvest cucumbers – make 14-Day Pickles

Harvest herbs – dry for colder months

JULY

Harvest corn – can or make roasted salsa and/or sweet corn relish

Harvest blueberries – make jam and/or pie filling

Harvest plums – make preserves and/or plum butter

Harvest eggplant – make pickled eggplant (with garlic and herbs) and/or canned eggplant antipasto

Harvest okra – make pickled okra

Harvest pepper – make pickles, pepper jelly, and/or hot sauce

Harvest tomato – pickle green tomatoes; use ripe tomatoes to make salsa, pasta sauce, ketchup, and/or crushed preserved tomatoes

Harvest cucumbers – make 14-Day Pickles

Harvest tomatoes – make sauce

Harvest basil – make pesto

Harvest garlic – roast and can in oil

Green Tomato Jam

Can Chili Starter –  recipe coming in July

AUGUST

Harvest apples – make applesauce, pie filling, and/or apple butter

Harvest watermelon – make jam

Harvest cucumbers – make 14-Day Pickles

Harvest tomatoes – make ketchup

Harvest corn – make creamed corn

Harvest garlic – clean and move to dry cool spot

Make Pickled Watermelon Rind

SEPTEMBER

Harvest kale – make canned greens

Harvest sweet potato – make canned sweet potatoes in brown sugar

Harvest pumpkin – make pumpkin butter and soup

Harvest Tomatoes – make tomato paste

Can Soup Starters

P.S.: Canned goods from your kitchen also make great gifts. Use recycled fabric scraps to create our Canning-Jar Covers for easy labeling, and you’re ready to spread the love.

Photos by Rinne Allen and Robert Rausch

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  1. Monica

    In the northern climate our growing season is very short so you are lucky. I start caning by saying how many would we need per month & then make what we need. I make tomato sauce that I used to can but because the pressure cooker can only hold so many jars at once it is time consuming. So I put it in bpa-free bags & using one of those sealer machines (takes our air & seals) & I freeze it. It lies flat & easy to defrost. Taste is not compromised. I make 3 cups sauce per bag & 53 bags.
    First step is to cook tomatoes & them put through a machine that separates skin from fruit. Then cook sauce with carrots celery & onion – purée or not then bag & freeze.
    I can salsa, jams, red pepper jam, & of course pickles that are the fantastic. We don’t share our jars of pickles because the labour is high (but we do serve them at gatherings). But I give instructions to others who I find in turn also refuse to share once they start making them.
    Bernardino has a canning soft cover book. Careful of food safety when canning at home – temperature is important for low acid foods & a pressure canner is needed for something and submerging in a regular canning pot is ok for other things.

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