Vegetable Seed Guide
Select the freshest fruits and vegetables to achieve the highest quality product. Wash the produce thoroughly in small batches under running water or through several changes of water. Be sure to remove all particles of garden soil to remove any disease-causing bacteria that may be present. Cutting, peeling or coring should be done quickly to minimize the time produce is left sitting.
Inspect each jar for cracks and chips. Wash the jars thoroughly in hot soapy water, and rinse. Place them in a deep pot and pour boiling water over them. Leave them standing in the hot water until the moment you are ready to fill each one.
There are two methods which may be used to fill your jars: raw pack and hot pack. Raw packing is the method of packing raw food into jars and then adding a boiling liquid to the desired depth, usually a pickling syrup, water or fruit juice. Hot packing is the practice of partially cooking the food before placing it into the jars.
Water Bath Canning
This method is recommended for all pickles, relishes, most fruits and vegetables with a high acid content such as tomatoes, pimentos and sauerkraut. Either packing method may be used when filling jars.
This canning method is absolutely necessary for foods with a high starch or low acid content. Corn, peas, potatoes, beans, beets, most garden vegetables and greens, and all meats and poultry fall under this method. This is the only method that will destroy botulism in low acid foods. If the canner has a pressure gauge instead of a weight, you may want to contact your county extension agent about having it tested for accuracy. If it is more than 5 pounds off, it should be replaced.