Each year several thousands of people, women, men and children alike, begin to prepare, plan and then plant their gardens to help soften the blow to their family's bank account. Each year our family does the same, but not only to soften the blow to the wallet but to have better foods for or family.
We love fresh fruits and veggies from our garden and yard. Actually, this year we have planted 9 different fruit trees along with a mixture of fruit vines and bushes. I am so syked to get the garden planted and for all the veggies to pop up and supply our family with tasty, nutritious foods.
Now back to the canning part. For 2 days I have been washing and storing our canning jars. Washing? You may ask. Well, we had over 200 jars stored in our outdoor shed for about 2 years. Medical reasons. So, having clean jars, and I mean clean jars is important to home canning. Even when you purchase jars new, you should and it is recommended by the manufacturer that you wash your jars thoroughly.
So, I washed all the jars in soapy water with a little bleach. Don't worry, our jars get washed a second time and the boiled individually before being filled with all those fresh veggies we spoke of earlier. I had a delima on how to store all the jars as I hate keeping cardboard boxes in the house. Yuk!!! My reasoning is because those pesky little bugs get in the grooves and lay egg after egg after egg...well you get the point. Anyways, I have to fight off ants in the Spring, so out with the boxes.
So, after giving it much thought, for now I am openly storing them by lying them on their sides and stacking them on my shelving units. On the 3 shelves combined there is over 200 jars and I have about that same amount filled throughout the kitchen and pantry. This seems to work, but I do know that my husband will have to come in and put a thin board with pre-drilled holes, and use bolts and washers across the open end to keep them from falling when I need jars (right now I am using small strips of cardboard) but as before that will have to go.
And lastly, I love going through my jars and finding those little "gem" jars, those oldie but goodie jars, those jars that you know have many stories they could tell and I still use those jars, no need to shelf them because they're old, they were made to be used for a long time and that's what this family is going to do.
Hope you enjoy the pics I have added of the shelved jars and those "gems".
Have a Safe & Happy Canning Season!!!