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Preserving Food: Tips & Techniques

What is home food preservation?

Preserving food is the practice of preventing food from spoiling using any number of different techniques.

Home food preservation is the application of those techniques, such as canning, freezing, and drying, to prolong the life of your fruits and vegetables at home! Food preservation has long since been a vital part of the food industry as it allows food to be produced and shipped long distances without being ruined. Are you enjoying watermelon in December?

You can thank food preservation for that! Food preservation allows us to enjoy foods grown in other parts of the world or that are out of season by keeping them edible for longer periods of time. Preserving food at home employs a lot of the same methods the food industry uses to extend the life of food but can be done in your own home with little to no additional equipment needed.

Frozen berries and vegetables in bags

What are the benefits of preserving food at home?

Most gardeners that have enjoyed a successful harvest are left with the same question at the end of the season: “What do I do with all this excess food!?”

The answer to that question is home preservation! Preserving the harvest from your organic garden is a great way to keep your homegrown fruits and vegetables fresh so you can enjoy them long after the growing season is over. Instead of letting that excess go to waste, you can capture and store your garden’s bounty to enjoy later.

For those on a budget, preserving your harvest at home is the perfect way to save you time and money, reducing your expenses at the grocery store and time driving back and forth. Lastly, preserving food at home can be a great family activity with important lessons you can teach your children around being resourceful and reducing waste. And don’t forget to check out our article and video that walks you through how to turn your preserved harvest into great gifts for the holidays!

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drying oranges in the oven

I’m ready to start preserving! Where do I begin?

When most people think of preserving at home they immediately think of canning.

Canning is probably the most popular and well-known method of preserving food at home, but it is by no means the only one. Other popular home preservation methods are: freezing, dehydrating, cool storage, pickling, and drying. Choosing which method of preserving that is right for you mostly depends on what you are preserving and what equipment or supplies you have available.

Below you will find information that walks you through these different methods. Also note that different preservation methods lead to different food flavors and textures, so you might want to experiment with different approaches to find the one you like best. Finally, safety is always important when dealing with food and especially when preparing to store it for a long time. Make sure to check out our article on safety tips and follow all safety instructions when choosing your preservation technique.

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Fruits on drying racks with text, "6 ways to preserve food"
Jars of canned vegetables with text, "how to preserve food at home"

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