I know. I know. No one wants to think about it. It’s never fun to see it go. But it will happen. It always does. Summer will end. Fall will come. With it, though, will come the wonderful harvest season and all the delicious fruits and vegetables we have been waiting for. The next best thing to eating all that fruit right off the tree, ripe and juicy, is eating the canned version months down the road when the cold has hit. Canning and preserving food has been around since 1810 when Nicholas Appert provided Napoleon a way to preserve food for his armies. Not until John Mason brought us the “Mason Jar” in 1858 was it commonly used at home. Since then, folks all over the world have found great joy in preserving and canning their harvests or the harvest of others.
I grew up helping my grandma can peaches, pears, green beans, jams, jellies and pickles, to name a few. It is a great way to save money. Orchards are ripe for the picking in the late summer early fall and often much cheaper than buying the fruit at the store. Then, in the winter time, the canned food is ready and available, when the fresh food might not be around. Not too many fruit trees providing fruit in the month of December. Canning has become a very economical choice.
Let’s not forget the health benefits either. Canned fruits and vegetables, although not fresh, are still much better than the processed foods we find out there, and the taste cannot be beat. When home canning is an option, or purchasing organically grown and canned foods, you know that the food is fresh and of high quality without the chemicals and preservatives.
Christmas time is a great time to have some canned food on hand as well. Who would turn down a beautiful jar of canned peaches when offered for Christmas? There is a lot of love and care in that jar, and they just look pretty. Canned foods, especially when bottled in a beautiful paragon jar, are a gift from the heart, that may often bring back nostalgia of childhood or simpler days.
So, even though summer is ending, you can find joy in the fact that it is not over yet and you still have time. Time to prepare for the future, time to fill your home or your customer’s homes with good food for the winter, and time to enjoy the “fruits” of your labors.
Glatz, Julianne. “Canning Food, From Napoleon to Now.” Illinois Times, June 3, 2010. http://www.illinoistimes.com/Springfield/article-7361-canning-food-from-napoleon-to-now.html