It's time to Can. I'm Greg Martin with today's Line On Agriculture.
Harvest time in the northwest means plenty of great fruit to can. Canning is a wonderful way to enjoy all year long but according to Lizann Powers-Hammond, an area extension educator with WSU, it's important to do it properly.
POWERS-HAMMOND: People have the idea that once a jar is sealed, it's safe. And the reality is, it's the processing - the proper processing that makes it safe. The seal keeps it safe.
I remember the long hours my grandmother would spend putting up all sorts of wonderful items. Her shelves would be lined with jars.
POWERS-HAMMOND: Popularity also depends on what's ripe but at this time of year people are finishing up with peaches and moving into plums and then apples are going to hit us next. So there are some things that are more popular but also popularity goes with the calendar; with what's ripe.
Quite a number of years ago my grandmother passed on but for a couple of years after we enjoyed the fruits of her labor so to speak.
POWERS-HAMMOND: As long as they were processed properly and are still sealed the product is safe but over time it will lose quality.
She says to properly can fruit, it will take some time.
POWERS-HAMMOND: It does and in fact we give people advice about how to process properly and some products are more time consuming than others, just the nature of the type of fruit. Canning really is a labor of love.
In addition to the time it takes, there is a right and a wrong way to can.
POWERS-HAMMOND: For canning there are quite a list of no-no's. And we don't always like to be saying don't, don't, don't but one of the things that people don't think about is there's a whole food science and people have the idea that once a jar is sealed, it's safe.
There are micro-organisms that thrive in an oxygen free environment so you need to make sure your processing is correct before you seal the jar. She also recommends getting good advice.
POWERS-HAMMOND: We hear stories about people using the dishwasher to can, using an iron on the top of the canning lid to get it to seal, canning it in the oven and all are unsafe and really potentially deadly for them.
If you do have any questions about the process of canning produce, your local county extension office has the answers to most of your questions and materials to help you get a great finished product to enjoy through the next year.
That's today's Line On Agriculture. I'm Greg Martin on the Ag Information Network.