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Planning To Can and Freeze – Stocking Our Pantry From The Garden

Garden season is starting to heat up, and that means it won’t be long until the produce starts to roll in! As much as we love creating meals from all of the fresh berries, cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers and more during growing season – it’s also time for us to start planning for what we will preserve in order to keep our pantry stocked through the winter months as well.

can and freeze

Canning is a great way to eliminate preservatives from your diet (photo : Shutterstock / Gamaruba

Between what we consume fresh, and what we can and freeze from the garden – we supply a large majority of our family’s food needs throughout the year.

Not only is it great tasting – it more importantly helps us knock out nearly all of the preservatives from our diet, helping us to stay clear of the  preservative-laden “middle aisle” packaged good sections of the grocery store.

So whether it’s opening up a jar of homemade pasta sauce, salsa, pickles, juice or jam, or pulling out a frozen brick of vegetable soup or stir fry packet of onions and peppers from the freezer – we prepare our list now early in the season to make sure we preserve enough food from the garden to handle our family’s food goals.  

can and freeze

Bricks of frozen soup in our freezer provide year round healthy and quick meals!

That early planning has turned out to be the biggest key to the success of our pantry. Much like filling out a grocery list to plan out a weekly list of meals – we write down what we think we will need each month throughout the year – and then multiply it by 12 to come up with what we need to have on hand for the entire year. A great example is our pasta sauce, we know we use around two jars each month – so we make sure to can 24 quarts to handle the need. The same goes to freezing packets of onions, peppers and snow pea pods for stir fry’s – we know we will use at least 4 each month – so we make sure to have 48 bags sealed and stored in the freezer to keep us ready to cook!

And even if you don’t grow your own food in a backyard garden – that doesn’t mean you can’t start preserving the taste of summer. You can participate in a local CSA or buy produce from local farmers at the farmer’s market to create a much healthier source of food for your family.

 You can check out our complete 2016 list of food that we will can and freeze from this year’s garden at the bottom of the article – as well as our top 10 canning recipes here : Top 10 OWG Canning Recipes.

We hope you enjoyed this week’s Sunday Farm Update.  If you haven’t had a chance, be sure to check out our new book, Growing Simple. Growing Simple tells the story of how we created Old World Garden Farms to get back to a more simple and fulfilling life. It is now available in both paperback and ebook on Amazon

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Our 2016 Canning & Preserving List

Tomato Juice :  40 quarts
Salsa : 24 Pints
Picante Salsa : 24 pints
Hot Pepper Mustard : 30 pints
Pasta Sauce : 24 Quarts
Pizza Sauce : 6 pints
Hot and Spicy Ketchup : 6 pints
Strawberry-Honey Jam – 6 pints
Blackberry-Honey Jam – 4 pints
Apple Butter – 6 pints
Pickles – 12 to 16 pints of assorted varieties
A few jars each of jalapeno rings, banana pepper rings, hot pepper flakes, cowboy candy, strawberry-lemonade concentrate, cayenne pepper powder, chili powder and taco seasoning.


Chili – 12 to 24 quarts (we freeze them into quart bricks)
Vegetable soup – 12 to 24 quarts
Whole peppers for stuffing,
Jalapeno, Cajun Belle and Mini Belle peppers for appetizers
Corn – 24 frozen quart bags Green Beans  –  24 frozen qt. bags
Stir Fry Packets – 48 packets of onions, peppers, and sugar snap peas for stir fry