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Do you can w/a specific quantity in mind?

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Do you can w/a specific quantity in mind?

Post  JustMe on 6/12/2012, 11:38 pm

When you're planning your garden or market purchases, do you plant/buy with a particular canning quantity in mind? Such as X jars of jam for gifting, Y jars of pickles for family, etc.

Or do you just can what you have extra in the garden?

Trying to figure out how to make sense of the canning planning. With as much fun and satisfaction I'm getting from this, I can totally see myself ending up with way more of a canned item than my family could possibly eat in a year.

I would like to put up 12 jars of spaghetti sauce for my family since that is a conservative usage at our house. Diced tomatoes and salsa are things we also buy that I could possibly can. I'm guessing we buy at least 24 cans of diced tomatoes and maybe 12 jars of salsa annually.

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Re: Do you can w/a specific quantity in mind?

Post  Patty from Yorktown on 6/13/2012, 7:19 am

Good Morning,

The simple answer to your question is yes. Yes, I plant with the thought of preserving my harvest. Yes, I purchase extra to can. I tend to plant heavy on the foods I know we will eat. Our house eats a lot peanut butter and jelly. I can all of the jelly, any extra goes as Christmas gifts. The folks who are smart enough to return the jars always get more in future years. Some folks know how much of what food they eat every year. Then they can to fill those needs. I am not that organized. I do know that 1 quart of apple sauce per week and 24 apple pies per year is too many. Good luck on your canning journey.

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Re: Do you can w/a specific quantity in mind?

Post  rowena___. on 6/13/2012, 1:56 pm

every produce item i plant or buy is with an eye toward long-term storage. every family's needs are unique, based on what they like to eat and how many people they are feeding and so forth. i always advise keeping a journal for about a month to see what you tend to buy AND what your family actually eats. the journal will change with the seasons because what is available changes.

if it helps you plan:

we are a family of three but i always aim to store enough to feed five. that allows me to have extra on hand for helping a neighbor or for parties and so forth.

with that in mind, here are the most common items from my stock plan and the amounts i aim for:

tomatoes: 100 quarts per year canned, plus 3 bushels more frozen and dehydrated
onions: 2 bushels per year, frozen, dehydrated, and cellared
potatoes: 10 bushels, canned, frozen, dehydrated, and cellared
winter squashes: 30 cellared
summer squashes: 2 bushels, canned, frozen, and dehydrated
root vegetables: 2 bushels, stored in the ground and cellared
celery: 5 stalks, frozen and dehydrated
cabbage: 10, dehydrated, frozen, and pickled
jams, jellies: 50 half pints for us and 25 for gifts
canned fruits: 100 quarts canned, frozen, and dehydrated
herbs: a pint of each herb dried for our use, plus 5 pints of each herb in jelly or extract

i used to store greens but now i just grow them year round.



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Re: Do you can w/a specific quantity in mind?

Post  Patty from Yorktown on 6/13/2012, 3:42 pm

Ok, I am tired now after seeing your preservation list.
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Re: Do you can w/a specific quantity in mind?

Post  rowena___. on 6/14/2012, 2:25 pm

well, i don't do it all at once. Smile a little here, a little there, sometimes a whole big batch. it's a year-round thing.

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Re: Do you can w/a specific quantity in mind?

Post  JustMe on 6/14/2012, 11:14 pm

Thanks Rowena.

Are the paste/Roma tomatoes the type to use for salsa, tomato sauce, paste, juice, diced, pizza sauce, and regular tomato sauce?

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Re: Do you can w/a specific quantity in mind?

Post  herblover on 6/16/2012, 3:17 pm

Another thought to remember is that canned goods can keep safely with little loss of flavor/texture for more than one year. While I do plan, I will can as much as possible of whatever I can get my hands on. My grandma always said to put up as much as you can because you never know what might happen. Also, you might have a bumper crop of tomatoes one year and not the next. Thsoe extras will help see you through.

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Re: Do you can w/a specific quantity in mind?

Post  Triciasgarden on 6/16/2012, 3:23 pm

Justme, Roma are the kind to use for paste, etc. I used whatever I grew in spaghetti sauce one year because that is all that produced for me that year.

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Re: Do you can w/a specific quantity in mind?

Post  Triciasgarden on 6/16/2012, 3:28 pm

My sister's mother-in-law canned soups and stews and they were still sealed and great after 2-3 years! I do have a question about canning tomatoes. Are they trickier or do you have to be more careful canning tomatoes? Should you only keep them one year?

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Re: Do you can w/a specific quantity in mind?

Post  camprn on 6/16/2012, 4:15 pm

I usually don't have any left over so I can't say from experience but I would imagine if you followed the recipe they should be fine for a few years. Very Happy

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Re: Do you can w/a specific quantity in mind?

Post  happycamper on 6/16/2012, 4:22 pm

Triciasgarden, tomatoes are very easy to can. Due to the many varieties of tomatoes and their acid levels, for safe preservation the USDA recommends adding bottled lemon juice to each jar of tomatoes at the rate of 2 Tablespoons per quart and 1 Tablespoon per pint. Here is a link to the USDA food preservation website:

http://nchfp.uga.edu/publications/publications_usda.html

There is a specific acidity chart in the canning tomatoes section which also includes vinegar instructions as I recall.

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Re: Do you can w/a specific quantity in mind?

Post  mijejo on 6/16/2012, 4:44 pm

So, once you know the quantity you want for the table, freezer, dehydration, canning, and gifts - how do you determine the quantities of plants to produce that quantity?

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Re: Do you can w/a specific quantity in mind?

Post  Debora Cadene on 6/16/2012, 4:49 pm

@rowena___. wrote:
herbs: a pint of each herb dried for our use, plus 5 pints of each herb in jelly or extract

Rowena....how many plants do you find it takes to get a pint of herbs, and if you don't mind me asking...what sort of herbs do you / can you dry? Right now all I have for herbs in my garden are sage (two plants..one in each square cause that's what the nursery suggested). thyme...two plants in one square, oregano 4 plants each in their own square and 8 plants of basil..with two plants in each of 4 squares.

Any and all help would be greatly appreciated...as I "happen" to have a few extra squares....and would be MORE THEN HAPPY to run to the nursery for more....heheheeheheheee.

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Re: Do you can w/a specific quantity in mind?

Post  rowena___. on 6/16/2012, 5:44 pm

@Debora Cadene wrote:
@rowena___. wrote:
herbs: a pint of each herb dried for our use, plus 5 pints of each herb in jelly or extract

Rowena....how many plants do you find it takes to get a pint of herbs, and if you don't mind me asking...what sort of herbs do you / can you dry?

oh, it just depends on what is doing well in the garden and what i can find at the farmers market or in amish country. my favorites are any of the various basils, any of the lemon herbs, rosemary, mints, and lavender. it takes about 2 cups of herbs to make 4 half pints of jelly.

Right now all I have for herbs in my garden are sage (two plants..one in each square cause that's what the nursery suggested). thyme...two plants in one square, oregano 4 plants each in their own square and 8 plants of basil..with two plants in each of 4 squares.

ooooo, i think sage or thyme jelly would be fantastic! worth a try anyway. it's just a couple of hours work.

we also make jelly out of flowers. the yards in east nashville are literally covered in wild violets in spring so we spend a couple of days gathering blooms and then we make jelly, jam, and syrup. at the beginning of summer we do roses and dandelions, and toward the end of summer we do honeysuckle and bee balm.

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Re: Do you can w/a specific quantity in mind?

Post  rowena___. on 6/16/2012, 5:54 pm

@mijejo wrote:So, once you know the quantity you want for the table, freezer, dehydration, canning, and gifts - how do you determine the quantities of plants to produce that quantity?

i figure out how much i can expect a given plant to produce over the season, then figure out from there. for example, i estimate conservatively that each tomato plant will average 10 lbs. of fruit--some will give more, some less. i have a goal of putting up 100 quarts of tomatoes canned, plus 3 MORE bushels, total, frozen and dehydrated. it takes a little more than 20 lbs. of tomatoes to make 7 quarts canned--so i need at least 300 lbs. of tomatoes to make my canning goal for the year. so, based on my calculations, if my garden produces according to my estimates, i need 30 tomato plants, and that is what i have. most of the plants will yield a bit more than 10 lbs., in fact i have one plant that right now has enough fruit on it to yield 20 lbs! so the overage gets put up by freezing or dehydrating.

the reason i don't fret if i don't make my growing goal is that the amish live within an hour's drive of my home, so at the end of the season i can make up any difference by visiting them, where i can buy 25 lbs. of tomato seconds for $10.00.

i go thru this process with every food i intend to grow for storage. for foods that i intend to buy for storage, i just figure out how much of each i need and then buy when it is near the end of that season, to get the best prices.

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Re: Do you can w/a specific quantity in mind?

Post  Debora Cadene on 6/16/2012, 6:07 pm

Rowena...what about the dried herbs? How much does a plant typically produce (providing it gets a good shot at growing)? How do you personally dry the herbs...do you crush, or leave the leaves whole. Can you also dry basil leaves? I have a feeling i am gonna need WAY more of each herb to make a pint, or even a half pint of each....
HELP.

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Re: Do you can w/a specific quantity in mind?

Post  rowena___. on 6/16/2012, 6:25 pm

@Debora Cadene wrote:Rowena...what about the dried herbs? How much does a plant typically produce (providing it gets a good shot at growing)? How do you personally dry the herbs...do you crush, or leave the leaves whole. Can you also dry basil leaves? I have a feeling i am gonna need WAY more of each herb to make a pint, or even a half pint of each....
HELP.

you can dry leaves of any herbs. the way i do it is to take a 3"-5" cutting from the plant and cut off all but the top four leaves. the cut leaves are used fresh or dried as needed. i then root the cutting to make a new plant.

where the original plant was cut, it will form two new branches, effectively doubling your herbs at that point.

to dry, you can hang the stems upside down in bunches (in which case, you can't root them), you can use a dehydrator (which i sometimes do but often i don't have room in either of them because of other foods being dried), or you can lay them between two pieces of clean dry paper towel and dry them in the microwave.

technically you can dry them in the oven but that uses a lot of energy, heats up the kitchen, and ties up your appliance. they have to be watched carefully too or they will burn very quickly. you can also dry them in the sun but that is iffy due to variables such as humidity, cloud cover, and BUGS. Smile

the amount a plant produces just depends on the conditions, but the more you cut, usually the more the plant will bush out which means you'll get more in the long run. but if you only strip the leaves off the plant, it will eventually just quit producing. so take cuttings!

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Re: Do you can w/a specific quantity in mind?

Post  Debora Cadene on 6/16/2012, 7:24 pm

Can cuttings be taken from all the herbs I have? (basil,thyme,oregano and sage) Right now, my basil is between 8 and 12 inches tall. 6 of the 8 plants are only two stemmed and the other two are three stemmed. I have pinched off a couple of leaves here and there, but thats it as they are still new. On the two plants that I have three stems on,is that where I would take a cutting of 3-5" (leaving 4 leaves) OR could any of them be cut? But will that mean it won't get any taller. One of the basil is pretty scarce of leaves...its tall, with lots of space in between each leaf...never notice that when I got it.
UM....how do you make the cutting get roots to grow into another plant?? Embarassed
Can cuttings come from any of the plants I have listed above? My oregano isn't very tall, but its spreading out and where it sits on the dirt, is taking root....I didn't know it did that. My thyme and sage haven't really done much, but my sage has been picked at by something too.
So Sorry for all the questions, but bieng able to double (or more) my plants is exciting....and having enough to actually fill up a little jar is even more so.

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Re: Do you can w/a specific quantity in mind?

Post  milaneyjane on 6/16/2012, 7:50 pm

You eventually figure it out after a few years, LOL! And for us, it depends if we find a new recipe we like. I think food storage for our family of 5 as I plant. But it doesn't do any good if you don't like what you can. Last year I didn't add any salt to our canned beans....the kids won't touch them with a ten foot pole. Now frozen beans they will eat like crazy. Last year I came across a recipe for killer pepper relish. We loved it so much I planted a variety of 50 pepper plants this year! I also have 50 tomato plants up from my 36 or so last year. Last year I didn't let a single item go to waste and kept my canning equipment out on the kitchen counter. As soon as I had enough for a batch of something, I processed it. I have also found that we are more likely to use something frozen vs canned vs dehydrated. I freeze all my herbs whole in gallon ziplock bags and take out what I need as I cook. It always tastes garden fresh. I don't care for dried herbs if I don't have to use them.



I would rather have too much than not enough. I love knowing that I have enough to share with family and friends.



Items I can:

jam--stawberry and peach

salsa salsa salsa (many varieties)

tomatilla salsa

tomato sauce

pickles

pepper jelly (great as gifts) LOTS!

pepper relish

cherries



Items I freeze:

strawberries, blueberries, peaches, carrots, squash, beans, herbs, summer squash, sundried tomatos

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Re: Do you can w/a specific quantity in mind?

Post  rowena___. on 6/16/2012, 7:57 pm

Debora Cadene, tall, leggy herbs are not that healthy, you actually want to take cutting so they will bush out more instead of going up.

you cut a piece off that is 3"-5" long. from that piece you remove all but the top four leaves. stick that piece in a cup of water, change the water from time to time, and in a few weeks you will see roots. at that point you can plant the cutting in soil.

when you make the cutting, do it just above a leaf point. in a few weeks--about the time you see roots on the cutting in water--you will see two new branches.

you can do this on every stem of the plant, as long as the cutting doesn't remove more than about 1/3 of the leaves on that stem.

basil roots easily in water. thyme and oregano will root on their own in the soil as you have seen--when the rooted sections are well established you can cut them loose from the mother plant and repot them as individuals. sage doesn't root well by cutting, but it does great with layerings.

since you are still new to gardening, don't bother with too many new skills yet. the only reason i mention cuttings is that when taking fresh herbs to cook with, you need so much more than with dried herbs that you might as well get the most bang for your buck, and that is by taking the cutting--after all, you're going to strip the leaves off the stem to cook with them, which gives you a bare stem just waiting for something to do.

now to give you some confidence: my little girl has been gardening with me since she was four. whenever she sees something broken, she puts it in water and waits. 70% of the time, it makes roots. if she can do it, so can you. but remember--30% of them will reject your efforts. that is no reflection on you. it is mother nature reminding us that she is really still in charge.


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Re: Do you can w/a specific quantity in mind?

Post  rowena___. on 6/16/2012, 7:59 pm

i'll be taking a bunch of cuttings tomorrow or the next day, i'll take pictures as i do it and publish a blog post showing what i mean. Smile

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Re: Do you can w/a specific quantity in mind?

Post  Debora Cadene on 6/16/2012, 9:06 pm

Thank you Rowena...I look forward to the pics.

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Re: Do you can w/a specific quantity in mind?

Post  JustMe on 6/17/2012, 10:44 am


the reason i don't fret if i don't make my growing goal is that the
amish live within an hour's drive of my home, so at the end of the
season i can make up any difference by visiting them, where i can buy 25
lbs. of tomato seconds for $10.00.


Seconds for canning? Do you cut out the bad part of the tomatoes? Since I'm still learning about canning, the books say to use unblemished fruit. BUT, Blue Ribbon Preserves: Secrets to Award-Winning Jams, Jellies, Marmalades & More mentions using seconds for applesauce.

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Re: Do you can w/a specific quantity in mind?

Post  rowena___. on 6/17/2012, 11:02 am

what the amish call "seconds" is just cosmetic--too small or misshapen or irregular appearance, but otherwise still fine. they don't sell blemished items, they cull them for feed.

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Re: Do you can w/a specific quantity in mind?

Post  camprn on 6/17/2012, 12:20 pm

You can certainly cut out the blemishes and then can the rest.

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