Can such work be worth it? Of course it 'can'!

Diane Gibson
Galva News gardening columnist Diane Gibson takes a look at day trips in this week's column.

The preservation of fresh food harks back to our very earliest civilizations.

Although I freeze some items like corn and fresh berries, I enjoy the process of canning. I don’t do it because it’s cheaper than buying from stores. Labor alone makes it expensive. Factor in the cost of gas or electricity to cook and heat water, the equipment and fresh produce and you have an expensive operation.

But, you just can’t beat the taste of home canned fresh produce in the middle of winter. If homegrown, I know the produce was clean, pesticide free, and picked at just the right time. I’ve cooked it without taking out the nutrients and without adding artificial ingredients.

It’s pretty easy to get started canning your own produce. Stop by the local hardware or farm store and they will have water bath canners, pressure cookers, jars and traditional needed equipment.

Before you start, I recommend the “Ball Blue Book of Preserving.”

If you’re fortunate, you will have an older relative that has quit canning and will donate their equipment to you. Test out used equipment to make sure there are no pin holes in the pans, chips on the lips of the jars and always buy new lids.

The reason I am talking about canning this early in the year is because now is the time to decide what you will plant in your gardens for canning later in the summer.

For more on Mrs. Gibson's column, see the March 12 Galva News.