Growing your own food and preserving it go hand-in-hand in history, though many of us nowadays start with one or the other. If you're a canner looking to expand your homesteading skills to the garden, or are a gardener who wants to apply your green thumb to goods that are best for canning, here are 7 must-haves for the canner's garden.
• Cucumbers. Many people's first entry into preserving is making their own pickled cucumbers. Classic for a reason.
• Tomatoes. Few things are sadder than a winter supermarket tomato. Make some sauce, paste, and jam to give you the taste of August in January. You can oven dry any extras and preserve those as well.
• Berries. You gotta have something to spread on your toast. There are so many berry options, common and not, and all can be made into preserves. Grow a variety and create a mixed berry jam that fits your tastes.
• Peppers. From bell peppers to chillies, there are tons of varieties and a ton of ways to save them. Canning my own roasted reds and making my own chili oil are high on my list.
• Herbs. Many herbs grow fast and in abundance, so use that to your advantage. Make pesto, dry them, or add them to pickles and jams for additional flavor.
• Cabbage. We had someone bring one jar of sauerkraut to a food swap once, and it was highly bid for! If a swapper brought homemade kimchi, I would snap it up so fast.
• Beans. Did you know you can make your own canned beans with a pressure canner? The ultimate convenience food, no supermarket required!
What's your favorite produce to can? Do you have any to add to the list?