An important skill for any homesteader is to be able to preserve the harvest.  I’ve written some about canning in the past, but once again, if you are going to do some canning you’ll want to do it safely.  I would recommend taking a look at the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving .  It has a ton of information on the best way to safely can a large number of different items that you might have grown.

Tomatoes for processingSince I had a good number of tomatoes I had to do something with them.  I had made some sauce with them but I had just frozen it, since that day I didn’t have a lot of time left to can them.  However, I thought that it wouldn’t be a bad idea to eventually get them out of the freezer and to thicken it up some.  So I pulled them out and tossed them in a pot to simmer a little bit longer.

Additionally, I had more tomatoes so I went through and peeled them.  I tend to peel tomatoes by cutting off the tops, then cutting the tomato in half.  These tomatoes go onto a sheet pan and are tossed into the oven under a broiler for about 12 minutes or so.  After they cool a touch you can pull the skin off and drop the flesh into a jar.

I really like the Ball Quart Jar, Wide Mouth when it comes to canning most things.  These have a good amount in them, are easy to store and the wide mouth makes it easy to scoop things in or out.  I processed some with the thickened sauce and some with the peeled tomatoes.  I ended up with six of each when all was said and done.

Canned StorageThis year we also tried out the dehydrator for the first time.  We did a round of basil for our first go and it seems to have gone fairly well.

Also, I had moved some stuff around and have a new area for storing my canned garden goodies.  Take a look.

That is some of the soap that I’ve been making on the side.  I’m pondering opening up a little Etsy style shop with some of the homestead made goods.

If you are wondering, the wooden crate is a box of the potatoes that came out of the garden this year.  Eventually, there will be a few more boxes of that size on those bottom shelves and another set of shelves to the side for extras when we get to that point.

Finally, has anyone else gotten any canning or preserving done this year?