Learning how to grow a canning garden and canning produce from your garden is an excellent idea, it can help you keep a stockpile of food in your pantry all year long.
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Canning is an excellent way to preserve food and allows you to use the produce in multiple ways, and of course, it is a wonderful way to save a few bucks in the long run!
A canning garden doesn’t have to be extravagant. It can be a small garden with just your family’s favorite vegetables.
A canning garden is planted for the sole purpose of canning the produce. You can even plant a few extra plants and eat from the fresh harvest.
How to plan a canning garden
When deciding on your canning garden plan, keep these tips in mind to make it a little less overwhelming.
Which vegetables can be canned
Before you start a canning garden, it’s really good to know which veggies can be canned. I wanted to do a quick rundown of the various veggies you can plant in a canning garden.
- Green Beans
What to grow in a canning garden
Don’t waste your time growing vegetables that you won’t eat. One of my biggest tips for planning and growing a vegetable garden is to grow what you’ll actually consume. This may take a couple of crops to get right, but once you nail it, your canning garden will be perfect.
These are a few of the most popular vegetables that are used in a canning garden. If you are a beginner, I would pick 3 or 4 plants and focus on those. Then as you feel more confident, try other plants.
Green bean plants produce so much produce, that you can pounds of beans off of just one seedling. Green beans can be canned just as they are, or you can try pickling them or seasoning them. Heat them and eat them plain or add them to your soups and stews during the winter. They are also great for cold bean salad!
Related- How to Can Green Beans
Can you remember your grandma making her own tomato sauce? Tomatoes are perfect for canning so you can add them to stews, soups, and casseroles. Or, you can make them into pasta sauce and can the sauce so you have it for many meals to come. Tomatoes are another plant that yields multiple pounds of produce per seedling, so they are a great investment.
Related- Canning Tomato Sauce
Do you love pickles? Then try growing some pickling cucumbers! One small seedling can produce pounds of these small cucumbers, which are perfectly crunchy and make the best pickles. You can make sweet pickles, dill varieties, or even bread and butter flavor. These are fun to experiment with as you will find dozens of recipes worth trying.
Banana peppers may not be the first produce item you think of canning, but it is quite valuable! You can season these all sorts of ways before canning them, add them to your canned pickles, your canned green beans, or even just can them for salsa. They are sweet and savory and can quite well.
Let’s talk sweet things now! Strawberry patches are fun to grow, and even the smallest patch can yield many pounds of strawberries. Pick them, clean them, and then can them for desserts, shakes, and beverages later on. You can even add pectin and make all sorts of jams and jellies to can. Strawberries are quite versatile when it comes to canning, so they are worth looking into. Learn more about canning strawberries
Like strawberries, raspberries are another berry worth canning. You can add pectin and other ingredients to make jellies and jams, so you can have these items on hand during the winter months. Plus, if you are on a no sugar diet, you can make your own sugar free varieties to enjoy.
Last but not least, let’s talk about carrots! You can use canned carrots in soups, stews, casseroles, even cold salads and appetizers. They can quite well and taste great when combined with spices and herbs. Consider canning carrots so you can enjoy their fresh flavor and nutrients all winter long.
You’ll want to choose vegetables that make the most sense to you and your canning process. You don’t want to grow vegetables that you won’t use. Here are some of my favorite veggies to grow for a canning garden.
Asparagus is a versatile vegetable that you can eat as a snack or side dish. It is loaded with fiber and several essential vitamins, including vitamin K and vitamin C. You can prepare traditional canned asparagus with canning salt and boiling water or you can prepare pickled asparagus.
If you are going to make canned pickled asparagus, you will need to add vinegar, salt, and dill into the cans with your asparagus spears. Make sure to fill your cans with as many asparagus spears as possible due to shrinkage that occurs over time.
If you like beets, you can easily can traditional beets or pickled beets. You must use a pressure canner during this process because of the low acidity in the beets. You do not need to give your beets a water bath.
Having canned beets means having access to a vegetable that you can eat on its own or add to assorted salads, including macaroni salad. These flavorful vegetables are loaded with vitamin C and are a great source of fiber.
Contrary to popular belief, it is possible to can squash. Having squash available is convenient because you can mash it, bake it, add it to salads, put it in soups, and do so much more with it when you are ready to use it.
If you want to have plenty of canned squash available, you will need to go through a process that includes cutting the squash down into pieces, boiling water, and then placing the hot boiling water inside the can before adding the pieces of squash inside. You must then place the lid tightly on the can to keep it sealed.
Roasted Red Bell Peppers
Do you like adding roasted red bell peppers to some of your recipes? You might throw it in with your pasta, make a savory pepper steak, or even use it in some of your favorite salads.
If so, you should know that you can preserve the roasted red bell peppers by canning them with a bit of olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, boiling water, and fresh garlic.
You can customize the flavor of your roasted red bell peppers by adding some of your favorite spices and other ingredients into the can before you preserve them.
You can grow your canning garden by attempting to can some of these different vegetables. If you want to have a large collection of tasty vegetables available for use, begin the canning process with some of these favorites.