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Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Canning Organizing and Planning

I will be the first to admit that sometimes I get a little carried away with wanting to have things organized. With that said, 2 years ago I started a canning notebook. Here is kind of the overview of it.
  • Each year/canning season I record what I canned and how much.
  • I keep a tally of how many pints and how many quarts.
  • I keep this notebook with my canning supplies so it is convenient while I am canning. Otherwise I would probably forget to record things.
  • At the end of canning season (I consider my canning season to reset as soon as I can something from the garden) I make note of how much I used and what I had leftover.
  • Anything that is left over gets transferred over to the next year's canning list and marked as leftovers.
Why do I do this? Like I said, we have limited space so I want to make the best use of my pantry where I store things I have canned. If I find out I don't use 30 quarts of tomatoes, I don't want to store 30 quarts of tomatoes. Which takes me to my next reason. Time. It takes a bit to can things so I don't want to spend the time canning more than I need. The third reason is garden planning. If I find out that I'm running out of things consistently, I can rearrange my garden plans. And lastly, I hope it will help out a bit financially. If I am able to plan my garden better for our families needs, I will need to purchase less from the store - and I guess health can be put in there too since what we grow will be better for us that what we purchase!

As for this past canning season, my notebook isn't too impressive. (The photo was taken in Nov. so my list has changed a bit.) If you are from the area or have followed my blog, you may know that many gardens left much to be desired last year due to constant spring rains and weeds taking over. Most of what I was able to can was fruit that was given to me and things that I can in the winter. (This winter I pressure canned dried beans with seasonings, ground beef, and soups. I usually cook and freeze ground beef but our home freezer got turned into a business freezer, and I wanted some ready for casseroles and soups for when our little one came.)

I haven't been canning very long, and I'm still figuring out the whole process and how I want to go about planning what I can. I'd love to hear some things that you do!

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3 comments:

agirlonafarm said...

I wish I was as organized as you! I pretty much just can whatever I have. I really should do a better job of planning...I always have good intentions! A canning notebook is a great idea, hopefully I can remember that when canning season starts.

Jenny - The Magic Mama said...

Completely agree with you agirlonafarm! I always have good intentions and planning would help so much. The notebook is a great idea!
Thanks!
~Jenny
www.themagicfarmhouse.wordpress.com

Kim said...

Great advice for this newbie canner! I did tomato sauce 2x & habanero/peach jam last year & hope to do more this year!

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