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Eight Reasons to Consider Canning

food canning

Canning your produce can make your harvest go a long way. The practice is economically beneficial and preserves your gardening efforts!


 

Now that gardens are planted and fruit trees are showing signs of small fruit, many people begin planning how they will preserve the harvest – canning, freezing, drying and even freeze-drying. However, even die-hard food preservers may ask at times if the efforts of growing produce and preserving are really worth it. Here are eight things to consider.

            Emergency preparedness – Preparing for potential job loss, earthquakes or other natural disasters serve as incentives for many to participate in food storage and preservation.

            Economically beneficial – Whether food preservation actually saves money depends on several factors: if you are able to grow your own high-quality produce; if you own the correct equipment in very good to excellent condition; the cost of electricity, natural gas or propane; and the cost of added ingredients and supplies such as sugar, pectin, lids, bottles or freezer bags. A first-time food preserver may find it cost prohibitive to purchase a new pressure canner, dehydrator, or water-bath canner along with all the containers, etc., but those can be purchased over time.

            Time saving – When considering this factor, it is important to think beyond the actual time to harvest, prepare and preserve the food. The time savings actually comes into play down the line when the convenience of having a bottle of stewed tomatoes or frozen chopped onions and peppers on hand to make spaghetti sauce alleviates a trip to the grocery store or time spent preparing these items fresh.

 

            Quality control – Time from harvest to jar or freezer is minimized when you can pick peaches in the morning and have them canned that same afternoon. Sometimes several days go by between harvesting/picking in a commercial orchard to the processing plant. Also, when it’s your hands sorting through the produce to make certain everything is cleaned and unwanted pieces are discarded, you are more confident in the overall quality of what you preserve.

            Flavor – In general, it is difficult to find commercially preserved foods without added salt, sugar, spices and in some cases dyes and firming agents or other additives. To a large degree, home preserved foods can be prepared with reduced salt/sugar and added spices in your preferred amounts.

            Health benefits – Those who have food allergies must always be on the watch for commercially prepared foods that have possible contamination from tree nuts, gluten and other potentially harmful allergens. Besides the freshness factor, when food is preserved at home, you are in control and can ensure that foods are properly prepared for your family. Reduced sugar recipes for diabetics and lowered salt content for family members with high blood pressure can also be used.

           Reduced food waste – Home gardeners often produce more food than can be harvested and used fresh. For example, rather than having many stalks of ripened corn go to waste, cobs can be shucked, then cobs or kernels may be blanched and frozen. Remaining stalks can then be donated to a farmer to be used to feed goats or other livestock.

            Emotional satisfaction – The idea of producing high-quality foods for future use – and from scratch – can be very satisfying. The best way to feel totally confident in what is sitting on the shelf or in the freezer is to simply follow the approved guidelines and steps established by science and research; not necessarily from a blog, Pinterest or a Facebook post.

For more information on home food preservation, contact your local USU Extension office or visit the National Center for Home Food Preservation at www.nchfp.uga.edu.

 


This article was written by Kathy Riggs, Utah State University Extension professor, kathleen.riggs@usu.edu or 435-586-8132




Think Visual Impact When Readying Yard for Events

garden tour

Get helpful tips from USU Extension horticulture assistant Meredith Seaver to get your yard and garden looking polished on short notice! What are some of your tricks for a gorgeous garden?


Q: Our yard has been a little neglected, but our neighbors asked us to host an event this summer. What are the most important things we can do to make our yard look nice in a time crunch?

For a special event like this when time is short and appearances are important, focus on the areas where your guests will be mingling that will have the greatest visual impact. Work later on areas not as likely to be seen and used, if time allows. As you walk through your yard, follow the same route you expect guests to use, and make a note of problems or neglected areas that catch your attention. Once you’ve done that, you’re ready to go to work. In addition to the problem areas, start with these tasks:

  • Rake leaves and debris, and cut back the dead tops of perennials.
  • Pull weeds and edge the lawn around your walkways and flower beds. A nice, crisp edge makes a great impact on the appearance of the area. You will probably need to touch up the edging a day or two before the event.
  • One last task that will help your yard look “put together” is to add a 3-inch layer of mulch over the soil in your shrub and flower beds. Small or mini bark nuggets are generally more visually pleasing than shredded bark or large bark nuggets.

These tasks will provide the most visual impact. Once you have tackled them, you can move on to other areas if there is still time.

  • If you have a fence, dust off cobwebs. Solid fences also benefit from a good rinse with a hose.
  • Prune low-hanging or head-height branches in the entry and mingling areas. Don’t just cut back branches. Instead, cut off small branches growing downward from the branch underside. That will preserve the natural form and beauty of your trees while providing clearance for your taller guests.
  • Since annual flowers can take several weeks to fill in and bloom, consider adding color with container gardens and hanging baskets that are already in bloom. Large containers and hanging baskets on shepherd’s crooks can also be used to direct foot traffic during the party.

Discover new ideas for your yard and garden at USU Extension’s Hidden Garden Tour on June 15 and 16. For information, visit www.hiddengarden.org or call (801)-851-8469.



Answer by: 
Meredith Seaver, Utah State University Extension horticulture assistant, Utah County, 801-851-8462, gardenhelp@usu.edu




2018 Farmers Market Roundup

 

farmers market

If you want fresh, locally grown produce, farmers markets are the perfect place for you! Find a farmers market near you and support growers in your community.
Quick tip:  bring cash and a few reusable grocery bags so you can shop to your heart’s content. 


 

9th West Farmers Market*
Sundays, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
June through October, International Peace Gardens, 1060 S. 900 W., Salt Lake City
http://9thwestfarmersmarket.org

Ashley Valley Farmers Market
Saturdays, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
July through September, 225 E. Main St., Vernal
http://avfarmersmarket.wix.com/avfarmersmarket

Benson Grist Mill Historic Site
Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
May through October, 325 State Rd. 138, Stansbury Park
www.bensonmill.org

Bountiful Farmers Market
Thursdays, 3 p.m. –  8 p.m.
June through October, 400 North 200 W., Bountiful
http://www.bountifulmainstreet.com

BYU- LaVell Edwards Stadium Farmers Market
Thursdays, 3 p.m. – 7 p.m.
August through October, 213 E. University Parkway, Provo
http://dining.byu.edu/farmers_market.html

Cache Valley Farmers Market
Saturdays, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
May through October, Cache Historic Courthouse, 199 North Main Street, Logan
https://gardenersmarket.org/

Daybreak Farmers Market
Saturdays, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
June through September, 11274 Kestrel Rise Rd, South Jordan
https://www.daybreakfarmersmarket.com/

Downtown Farmers Market*
Saturdays, 8 a.m. – 2 p.m., June through October
Tuesdays, 4 p.m. – dusk, August through October
Saturdays, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., November through April
Pioneer Park, 350 S. 300 W., Salt Lake City
http://www.slcfarmersmarket.org

Daybreak Farmers Market
Saturdays, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
June through October, Daybreak in South Jordan
https://www.daybreakfarmersmarket.com/

Downtown Farmers Market at Ancestor Square*
Saturdays, 8 a.m. – noon
May through October, 2 W. St. George Blvd., St. George
http://www.farmersmarketdowntown.com

Farm Fest Market – Sevier County
Saturdays, 9 a.m. – noon
June through October, 370 E. 600 N., Joseph

Long Valley Farmers Market
Saturdays, 9 a.m. – noon
Mid May through Mid October, 475 N. State St., Orderville
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Long-Valley-Farmers-Market/1397811127154513

Moab Farmers Market*
Fridays, 4 p.m. – 7 p.m.
May through October, Swanny City Park, 400 N. 100 W., Moab
http://www.moabfarmersmarket.com/

Murray Farmers Market
Fridays and Saturdays, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
August through October, 200 E 5200 S, Murray Park
https://slco.org/urban-farming/farmers-markets/murray-farmers-market/

Park Silly Sunday Market
Wednesdays, noon – 5 p.m.
June 13 through September, Silver King Resort, Park City
http://www.parksillysundaymarket.com

Provo Farmers Market*
Saturdays 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.
June through October, Pioneer Park, 500 W. Center St., Provo
http://www.provofarmersmarket.org

Richmond Harvest Market
Saturdays, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
June through Mid-October, 563 S. State, Richmond
http://richmond-utah.com/harvest.html

Roosevelt Farmers Market
Thursdays, 3:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
June 22 through September 28, 130 W. 100 N., Roosevelt
facebook.com/groups/101217766689683/

South Jordan Farmers Market
Saturdays, 8 a.m. – 2 p.m.
August 6 through October 29, 10695 S. Redwood Road
http://www.southjordanfarmersmarket.com

Spanish Fork Farmers Market
Saturdays, 8 a.m. – 1 p.m.
End of July – November, 67 East 100 North, Spanish Fork
http://www.spanishforkchamber.com

Sugar House Farmers Market*
Wednesdays, 5 p.m. – 8 p.m.
July through September, Fairmont Park 1040 E Sugarmont Drive, Salt Lake City
http://www.sugarhousefarmersmarket.org

Syracuse City Farmers Market*
Wednesdays, 5 p.m. – dusk
July through August, 1891 West Antelope Drive, Syracuse
facebook.com/SyracuseCityUtahFarmersMarket

USU Botanical Center Farmers Market*
Thursdays, 5 p.m. – 8 p.m. (dusk)
July through September, USU Botanical Center, 875 S. 50 W., Kaysville
http://www.usubotanicalcenter.org/events/farmers-market/

VA Farmers Market
Wednesdays, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.
July through September, VA Medical Center, 500 Foothill Drive
Lawn and patio outside the Building 8 Canteen.
https://www.saltlakecity.va.gov/SALTLAKECITY/features/vaslchcsfarmersmarket.asp

Wayne County Farmers Market
Saturdays, 4 p.m. – 6 p.m.
May through October, Center and Main Street, Torrey
http://www.facebook.com/WayneCountyFarmersMarket

Wheeler Farmers Market
Sundays, 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.
June through October, 6351 S. 900 E., Murray

Year-Round Farmers Market
Saturdays, 9 a.m. – noon, Year-Round
Wednesdays, 4 p.m. – 7 p.m., May through October
50 W. Center St., Cedar City
http://yearroundmarket.weebly.com/

 


*Markets marked with an asterisk utilize electronic benefit transfer (EBT) machines, allowing Food Stamp participants to use their benefits to buy fruits and vegetables at local farmers markets.

Did we miss a market? Let us know in the comments!