Harvest time means canning time. The peas were a success this year. Not as many as we would consume in a year but a lot more than we have ever had before. I got about two pint bags of dried peas and 7 pints of canned. I think next year I will blanch them then toss in the freezer. I have already canned 10 quarts of green beans and 6 quarts of wax beans with a few more to go. The peas have been replaced with more green beans and I'll start some broccoli or cauliflower here in a day or two before the heat comes on again. The tomatoes are starting to ripen pretty good and, hopefully, soon some larger ones will start to ripen instead of just cherry or pear tomatoes. The little patch of barley has been gathered in and even some dill. Harvest, harvest, harvest.... And all that between the other stuff that needs to get done.
But with the garden starting to take off into harvest mode, lots has to be done to preserve the bounty and thus requires a good warning to anyone not familiar with canning your garden's surplus.
DO NOT CAN VEGETABLES USING A HOT WATER BATH CANNER!!!
You are tempting fate and asking for serious trouble in the form of BOTULISM! If you do not own a PRESSURE CANNER, then save up your money to buy one. In the meantime, freeze your vegetables. And while you are saving your money, do your research in what will suite your canning needs. I recommend purchasing a new pressure canner and not a used one. One reason, it will be covered by the manufacturers warranty (for a certain amount of time upon purchase, of course) and you would know that the gauge has been tested and works. Personally, I would not purchase a used one.
Most pressure canning books recommend that you take your pressure canner in annually to the local county extension office to have the pressure gauge tested but as with our extension office they do not perform that service. Ask them if they know of any place that does and they may be able to tell you. If not, contact the manufacturer and ask for their recommendation.
Also, DO purchase a good reliable canning book - Ball Blue Book of Canning is one that I recommend. You can easily find newer versions but do add to your collection an older version that has a blue cover on it... the main reason is for the pages that have some charts in the back that will tell you how much of certain kinds of vegetables you need in order to can for a years' supply of food for a family of 4. I have a post here about the information on the blue covered Ball Blue Book of Canning. And for general canning instruction and recipes go to the National Center for Home Food Preservation. My pressure canner also came with a booklet with complete instruction charts for canning and altitude.
Follow the instructions on canning and preserving for the safety of you and your family. They are not there to annoy you. They are there to assist you in preserving safe food for you and your family. The local cemetery has recorded history of a family that lost a good portion of them to poorly canned greens. Don't you add to the statistic.
The weeds in the garden are mocking me, so I best be off. Until next time.....