How to Begin Preserving Foods

Hi, you guys, and welcome to episode three of season one of a simple Homesteading Life podcast.

In case you don’t know me, let me introduce myself real quick. I’m Ann, I’m a homestead up almost seven years on the coastal side of the Pacific Northwest in Washington state.

Listen to the Podcast Here!

This m4a audio file was automatically transcribed by Sonix with the best speech-to-text algorithms. This transcript may contain errors.

The Farm Girl’s Guide to Preserving the Harvest

I’m also the author of The Farm Girl’s Guide to Preserving the Harvest. It’s an A-Z comprehensive guide on how to preserve foods utilizing every single method of home food preservation.

My book has a welcome to my farmhouse kitchen kind of feel. Sit down, let’s put up some food and chit chat about it. You’ll also find stories about our homestead in the book and about my family.

In each chapter I include our family favorite recipes, things that will help you move on and feel comfortable before you progress onto the next chapter. And this, my friends, is the topic for today’s podcast, The Art of Preserving Food as our forefathers once did.

How to Begin Preserving Foods

It’s during these current times in which we should be really reaching deep into learning as much as we can about gardening, raising livestock, and on top of that, also gleam whatever you can from those who are willing to teach you how to preserve foods for long term storage.

Now, regardless if we’re in this pandemic or not, this is something that we should all learn how to do and really come back to. It’s so much more beneficial than purchasing daily foods every day at the market, when you go in and grab what you need and go, you have these items on hand.

For your convenience, this episode of a Simple Homesteading Life Podcast has been transcribed. Please note, minor edits made during the transcribing process to allowed for an easier read. Feel free to listen to the original episode or other episodes of my podcast by clicking the link above.

How I Got Started With Food Preservation

As many of you guys know, I grew up with no homesteading or farming in my blood in any way, shape or form. I was a military brat. My dad was in the military for twenty one years. We traveled to multiple countries around the world and they ended up retiring in Florida, where I then became transplanted to Washington state.

Everything that I know about homesteading in any way, shape or form was self-taught. I gleaned everything I could. I subscribed to every single homesteading or farming magazine. I read the web. I must have read blog after blog, after blog, even government sites. Everything that you needed to know, I read.

I spent the first year on the property just filling my mind with information to the point where I truly thought it was going to just implode, just implode. And I knew that at some point I needed to get this all out and start sharing the things that I knew.

And it all began, literally, with the fact that food preservation was a big aspect in which I wanted to conquer. I wanted to be able to say that we were growing our own food and preserving it.

And I knew that that was going to be the first thing that I really, truly wanted to tackle on. Yeah, of course, I brought in my chickens and the ducks and whatnot and a small, tiny garden in that moment in time.

But food preservation, I could do because I was able to work with local farms in our area. We have a great farmer’s market, which is basically one or two and almost every single city, so it was easy to obtain foods that I could not grow or could not raise in that moment in time.

So as I was learning and gathering things, you know, my head was spinning. Pinterest was my worst enemy. The website gave various information and ball contradicted with the National Center for Home Food Preservation and vice versa.

On Pinterest, you can find rebel canning recipes, scientific canning recipes, and people who are just throwing things and telling you what to do without going into detail as to why you can do it or why you shouldn’t do it. I knew that eventually, I had a buckle down and just get over my fears, trust myself and the information that I had gleaned, and start preserving foods.

Fears About Canning

I had no mentor, though there was no one. I didn’t have a neighbor or friend or a family member that could walk me through everything. So of course, by the time the first jar was actually cracked open, we were like, Should we eat this?

And some of us kind of looked at each other. The kids did not, but Justin and I did. And then when the kids saw that we were able to eat it, it was actually good. It was consumed.

And I wanted more of it and they wanted more of it. Then the whole habits and routines and what we were going to consume and what we weren’t going to see and what we’re going to preserve and what we weren’t going to preserve actually fell into place.

If you can guess where I’m going with this, you obviously know by now that I got over the fear of preserving foods mainly got over, the fear of using a pressure canner and fermented foods and curing my own meat and things like that. And I was able to basically succumb any kind of self-doubt that I had in that moment in time and just forge forward.

I didn’t have anyone to tell me that the canners weren’t safe back in those days and that things were going to explode or I was going to kill someone or anything like that. And I think that that is what caused me to be able to talk about preserving foods and to write about it and to teach classes on it was because I never had that fear.

I didn’t have that looming fear that someone goes, Oh my gosh, I knew someone who died of botulism, or I knew that the pressure canner exploded in my aunt’s house or whatever the case was, so I didn’t have that underlying fear.

That made me move forward once I became comfortable with just fortitude of I’m going to get it done and I’m going to owe my food source and my family is going to come along with me. We’re going to do it.

Writing My Food Preservation Book

However, it wasn’t until 2017 when I was approached by a friend to see if I wanted to write a book on preserving foods. And she knew that if all the things that I ever wanted to write in this career path that I’ve chosen, it would be a book on preserving.

And the reason why is because I think she heard me so many times talk about my soapbox moment and saying, I cannot believe that someone is scaring someone because of this canning, preserving method or this fermenting method or whatever the case is. And I think I griped to her a little bit too much, and that’s the truth of the matter.

So when she got approached to write a preserving book, she knew that she didn’t want to write it. So she passed it on to me. And with that came a lot of research because you can’t just sit down and write a book based on what you learned a couple of years ago, you had to truly research again because preserving methods and the scientific aspect of it changed based on funding. So you always want to double research where you’re at.

So I sat down and I decided I was going to write this book, and in two months I wrote seventy five thousand words. I worked, probably, I would say about 15 hours a day researching, writing, taking pictures, gathering photos, doing whatever I needed to do. And my again brain was at that point of imploding.

I wanted to make sure, though when I wrote it, that it was written in a not only just basically about the scientific aspect of preserving foods, but also the traditional aspects of it as well, too. Because of the fact that we are homesteaders, we want to know the whys.

If someone came to me and goes, You can’t do it like that. I go, and if you know anything about me, I will look at them and I go, Whoa, back up a little bit. Tell me why I can’t do that. It’s not enough where you just tell me I can’t. I need to know why.

And so that was the base and the foundation of what the Farm Girls Guide to preserve the harvest was really about. I truly enjoy social media. I’m one of those people that love to see what’s going on and what people are doing and, you know, even gleaning some information on there.

Canning Cliques

I belong to a couple of groups on Facebook that just make my heart really, really heavy, heavy. And one of them would be a rebel canning group, and one of them would be what they call canning by the book group. And if you know anything about preserving foods in any way, shape or form, you don’t get to cross those two worlds together.

You either belong to one group or the other group. And so I never comment on any of the groups. I just sit there. I like to glean information. I like to wonder, Oh my gosh, is that true? Is that is that really a fact or not?

What I’ve come to find out is, is that Group A and Group B, they counteract each other, they counteract each other. There are things that Group A should not be doing that Group B should not be doing as well, too.

But then yet if you put them together at a table, they’ll fight with each other through and through and through. When, in truth, if they just went back and actually did a little bit more research and a little bit more studying, they would realize that there is a happy medium to knowing what’s going on now.

I won’t agree one hundred percent with either group, but I will tell you that because of the lack of communication between them they’re not able to share information correctly or in a way that’s comprehensive to people.

The Battle Over Leaving Canning Rings on Jars

Now, I already stated that when I wrote the book that I had to do a lot of fact checking. Like, for example, one of the biggest arguments is going to be whether or not to leave your canning rings on your jars after they’ve been processed.

You know, one group will say, No, you cannot. It’s not approved, you’re not allowed to do it. The other group says, Well, yeah, I do it all the time. But in truth, here’s your happy medium.

The canning lids can stay on the jars. However, what you want to do is after you wash your jars, if you want to just rest them on there or give them a little slight finger-tight twirl, allowing room for the lid to pop is going to pop because in truth, we all know if the lid is to come unsealed, it’s going to come on sealed regardless of the ring is on there or not.

Some people will say it creates a false seal, but in truth, it doesn’t really happen because if a lid fluctuates during the temperature of whatnot, there was time for air to get into the jar. Which then at that point creates mold and bacteria in there as well, too.

So you have to keep those things in mind and when you’re when you’re playing this game of, he said, she said kind of thing. The National Center for Home Food Preservation does state that it is OK to leave her canning lids on there.

However, the group that’s the scientific group will argue the point that you shouldn’t and the rebel group will argue the point that says, No, you can’t. But what the real answer is based on science. It does say that you can leave your canning lids on there.

So those are a few of the discrepancies that I came across when I was writing the book, and I knew that this information had to be shared. So in the book, you’ll find a lot of OK, so this might upset some people, but here’s the truth. And that’s what I was able to do through the book.

And I hope that those of you who actually have a copy of my book really appreciate my candidness and bringing you the facts versus just saying you can or you cannot do something in a certain way. And I wasn’t afraid to upset people by saying those things, so hopefully you guys were able to value that from me and you’re able to pick up from it, and I also always gave references to where I had gathered the information from.

Do Your Own Research

So again, research is key. Just because I tell you to do something doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go back and try to find proof of what I’m speaking of to be incorrect or incorrect. Always, always do your research when it comes to food preservation. Always do your research.

Modifying Canning Recipes

Let’s talk real quick about modifying recipes for hot water bath and for pressure canning. We’re just going to touch bases on this real quick because I really went into detail with this in my book, and I hope I’m encouraging you guys to either check my book out at the library or grab your own copy or whatever the case is.

But definitely take a look at what I talk about in regards to a recipe modification. There was a period of time where it was stated that pressure canning and hot water bath canning was the safest method if you follow recipes found on a National Center for Home Food Preservation or the Ball Blue Book.

There was a time where that information was being shared, however, it has just been released a few years back in twenty fifteen that we can now modify the types of herbs and spices we’re using for canning purposes. They’re giving you the right to go ahead and make those modifications that if you don’t like peppercorn or if you don’t like dill weed or whatever the case is that you no longer have to add it and it’s not endangering the life of the person who is consuming it.

You have that right to make these adjustments. This is found on the National Center for Home Food Preservation website, and Ball is actually backing it up too. That as well to the reason why they’re not really publicly sharing it, is because sometimes people get a little carried away and it could modify the recipe itself, so it’s better for them to be safe than sorry.

If you do some digging on there, you do not need to follow what they call scientifically proven recipes. Because in truth, if you even slightly follow the recipe to a T, but then you have a little bit too much, I don’t know black peppercorn in it, it’s going to alter it anyways.

And so they realize what they were saying was just kind of like far-fetched and out there. So yes, you are able to modify recipes completely in pressure, canned goods and in hot water bath and steam canning. What you cannot modify is this acidity level for what the food item is, meaning pickled items can be hot water bath canned.

However, meat does not cross over to the hot water bath canning method. Neither does fish. Neither do those low acidic vegetables. You have to know the difference between what is really required to be pressure canned and what is OK to be hot water canned. You can never cross that.

I’m telling you as a middle of the roader who has studied the scientific aspect of it and the traditional aspects don’t bother crossing those over. Stick to where the acidity level is and modify your recipes based on that.

Like modifying soups or stews, pressure canning, but it’s still pressure canned because as meat in a low, acidic vegetable in it. Modifying a pickled item or a jam item because I don’t want to use a certain vegetable like dill weed, for example.

So yes, they can be modified but never alter crossing over a soup into a hot water bath canning or green beans without being pickled into hot water by the canning. Just don’t do it.

Who has time to stand over and watch something boil for four hours? I don’t, and I don’t think any other modern homesteader around here really does, either.

Steam Canning

I’m going to talk about one more thing about canning before we move on to another form of home food preservation, and that is going to be the use of a steam canner. If you guys have never used a steam canner, I really, really, really, really, really highly suggest you look into one.

They have modified the world of hot water bath canning to a degree that you have no idea of how amazing this tool really is. Can I say that enough? So basically, the process of canning high acidic food items, jams, jellies, pickles, marmalade, all that kind of stuff there is done through the use of steam.

So the steam canner is ideal for like glass top ovens, summer canning, things like that. It processes it by putting about two inches of water in the bottom pan.

It comes with a rack, your unprocessed jars goes into the canner from there, and then a dome lid is placed on top of it. Your processing time doesn’t start until you see a full stream, kind of like a pressure canner, a full stream of steam releasing and then you start your time from there.

The processing time is exactly the same as a hot water can hot water bath canner without an extreme amount of heat, an extreme amount of water, and the wear and tear on your stove. The price of a steam canner fluctuates anywhere from $50-$78, depending on the brand, make, and model that you’re buying.

I’m going to tell you in 2015, when the National Center for Home Food Preservation came out and said, Yes, this is a tool that’s safe for canning high, acidic food items. It was just it was just amazing because I can can in my home just as much as I would put in a hot water bath canner with just minimal wear and tear on my stove.

That was just incredible in itself. And the amount of heat that it released was nothing compared to what is a full kettle hot water bath canner was. So if you haven’t looked into a steam canner yet, please do so.

This podcast is transferred over to a blog post at the same time, so I will put all this stuff in there for you guys. Just information, links and all this stuff for you guys to try.

If you get a chance, go online and look up a steam canner. And if you don’t own one, I would tell you buy one and use it. We’re getting ready to go into canning season. You should not enter it without a steam canner. I promise you. You will thank me in the very end that you have a steam canner.


So now we’re going to move on to the next phase of food preservation, that I think intimidates people more so than pressure canning does. The art of fermentation.

Whenever I teach a class or have a speaking engagement or whatever the case is or write a blog on it. This is one of those things that people just are so fearful of because it doesn’t exist anymore.

Fermented foods and fermented beverages are not something that’s commonly found right now in your everyday market. You have to actually look for it. They’re kind of tucked away in the health food section.

People know about it because they know the benefits of consuming fermented foods. But the act of actually fermenting something is so foreign to them that they would rather not touch it, not even with a ten foot pole, which is kind of weird to me because I grew up in Asia, where fermentation was absolutely everything.

Everything that you ate had a fermented side dish to it, and it was something that I grew up eating because my mother is time. And when I talk about it, I just assume that everybody is going to be like, Oh yes, I want a good gut flora. I want my immune system to be strong. I want my skin to look good. I want brain stimulation. I want all this stuff. And they’re going to do it, but they don’t, they don’t.

That’s the truth of the matter. So there’s a fear of it because it’s unknown, right? So once you can get past the fear of the unknown, you can actually proceed to be able to start fermenting foods at home. And the act and the process of getting it done is much easier than most people even think.

How can I convince you guys to actually start fermenting if someone can shoot me an email, send me a message on Facebook, whatever the case is, how can I convince you to start fermenting? How can I convince you that 80 percent of your immune system runs through your gut?

It’s going to stimulate your brain, your heart, your skin, and it’s going to give you good gut health because it’s balancing your gut flora. I know I just said it a few minutes ago, but I’m going to say it again, and I’m going to keep saying it because I convince someone that those qualities, those benefits are that important to learn how to ferment foods at home.

It’s just one of those things you just got to get on your bike and you just got to pedal until you can just do it independently and then you get it done. So you’re still scared. I’m sure you’re still nervous. I’m sure you’re still unsure of the process.

Why don’t we just start slow? Why don’t I convince you to start fermenting some of the easiest basic items slowly until you get a little bit braver and then you start to experiment on your own for what you’re going what you can put up.


Kombucha. If I have to hear people say I don’t like them because it’s too weird flavored. Store bought kombucha is completely different than what you’re fermenting at home.

There’s a process if you want to just get used to drinking kombucha because you’re taking a sweet tea and you’re allowing it to ferment with your scoby and you’re going to allow that process to happen. You can slowly incorporate and start customizing the flavor of your brew until you’re able to consume it to a full balance of a full seven day ferment.

I teach people all the time. Maybe you’re not used to the kombucha at seven days, so why don’t you pull it at four days? It’s not going to be completely fermented, but you can start getting used to the the taste of it and then from there, pull the next batch at five days or a couple of days. After that, pull it at six days.

Start off customizing, customizing your palate to the taste of kombucha, and then from there, start experimenting into second ferments where you’re adding flavor like pineapple juice or even lemon juice or guava juice or, you know, whatever, whatever you want to add to it, fresh herbs make it a little bit more savory. Whatever it is, you can do that through this process. It just requires getting a SCOBY to be able to do something like that.

Water Kefir

Another thing that’s actually really great is water kefir, and that is absolutely delicious because you can flavor it with just juice that you’ve actually made at home, and that keeps it healthy and balanced as well to.


I really, really got into making shrubs this year. Shrubs are absolutely delicious. They’re drinking vinegars, so you’re making it with raw apple cider vinegar and you’re actually infusing fruits that are seasoned in with the shrub.

Now, I like to make my shrub into a mommy juice, but if you add a little bit of sparkling water to it for the kids, they love it. So maybe drinks are the best way to incorporate fermented foods into your process. But I can promise you that a Scoby is not going to be that intimidating once you learn how to handle it.

The kefir grains will continue to grow, but you know what, you could feed it to your chickens if you have too many, or you can gift it to friends and encourage them to move forward with it as well. I got my kids to enjoy fermented items and fermented foods by doing foods that they were going to eat.

Fermented Beans, Garlic, Pickles, and Kraut

In truth, pickles, fermented dilly beans, fermented pickles, fermented garlic. And then I started making my own sauerkraut. I mean, on my website, you can find my smoked kale kraut recipe.

Oh my gosh, it is to die for you guys need to go and try that. The process is extremely easy to make, and I walk you hand-in-hand through the process and you will come to love this recipe because it’s a little bit different than most kraut recipes.

You can do kimchi. You could use some basic cabbage crop as well, too. Those are great starting places for you guys, and a lot of these recipes are on my website, and the process for going through it is done very casually, very confidently and very hand-holding in my book as well, too. There’s a whole chapter on fermentation.


Let’s talk sourdough. You can capture a wild yeast in order to start a sour dough starter. Or I have a connection for you that you can get one and it’s helping a small family farm.

The Alderman farms will actually sell their starters, and on top of that, they’re offering e-books for my listeners and I have a code to you want to email me or respond to the the website. When I released this blog on the website that you would like the information for a five dollar e-book, or you can buy their book from them as well too.

Patty and Tommy, they really have closed in on the sourdough, and I’m going to tell you, I love their starter. I love their starter.


Curing foods; curing meats, curing fish, curing anything. Most people will tell me, Well, I don’t need to cure anything because I don’t raise my own pigs or my own cattle. I just don’t see the need for it.

Do you know how amazing home cured bacon is? You know how amazing a nitrate free corned beef brisket is, or being able to cure salmon, for example, or venison, or whatever it is?

Do you realize how fabulous that meat product is? You do not have to raise your own pig or your own beef to do this, because guess what? In suburban America, right now, there are a bunch of butchers that sell these items.

You can go buy a beautiful forest, raise pasture raised pig, grab a slab of belly, and basically make your own brine and smoke your own bacon. That is the benefit of living in a modern society and having those abilities to do so or go to your farmer’s market and find the the vendor that’s selling beef or pork. There’s always someone there. Ask him for something that’s been uncured so you can try your hand at doing it yourself.

-If anyone just heard that crashing in the background, I had to stop recording real quick to go see what was going on, and apparently someone dropped some dishes in the kitchen. And this is what working from home is really about, especially when you have kids that are no longer in school and your husband just comes home from work. So I apologize in advance. I’m so sorry for all that crashing noise, but this is life on our property. I work from home. I homestead here and I run my website and my brand here, so I apologize. All right, so let’s let’s move on. Let’s move on real quick.-

So because curing meat is really more of a scientific means of preserving foods, I really took my time and broke down in detail in that particular chapter on everything that you’re going to need to know. I even gave you some resources that you can actually pick up to help you along the process.

I promise you, if you have an enthusiast that loves to smoke food, I am sure that person is going to really want to try my bacon brine that I have in my book. And I will tell you, once you get started, your comfort level really begins to progress just like anything just like pressure canning or or fermenting, you know, things like that.

It just progresses, it progresses. And you will get used to the idea of really curing your own items and how to store it in order to maintain it and keep it for years to come.

If you actually vacuum seal it properly, you can maintain it for almost two years. Really? Ask me how I know this, have you checked my freezer lately?That’s how I know.


Pretty much everybody’s had their hand in a dehydrator at some point or another. I do get a lot of questions in regards to what I think the best dehydrator on the market is and why I think that.

I will tell you, I started off with a Nesco dehydrator. I think it was a square one at first, and then I progressed to the round one and I was running three dehydrators at a time for, I think, almost a year.

And I did that because I knew that I wanted to buy an Excalibur dehydrator, and they are the king of kings when it comes to dehydrating. They are the dehydrator that you want to own, and I didn’t have the money right then in there. So I end up saving all of our egg money that I made from egg sales. And I put it towards buying one.

I will tell you I have not looked back. The amount of time it takes to dry something in Excalibur is cut in half to even running three dehydrators. Most of the dehydrator are stackable, with a fan on top or a fan on bottom.That’s your problem right there. Most of the times you have to rotate trays in order to get all the goods to dry properly.

However, with an Excalibur dehydrated, the fan placement is in the back of the dehydrator, which then blows through all of your trays at an even temperature. And depending on the type of dehydrated you get, it could come digital or it can come manual, but the fan placement is on the back of it.

The other thing that I love about my dehydrator is that I can raise bread in it. I can make yogurt in it. I could dehydrate fruit leather in it. Fruit in it. Eggs in it. If I really wanted to venture into it, I could dehydrate milk in it.

The Excalibur has upped my game in regards to what I actually preserve and what I actually dry. I do prefer to, however, do a lot of my herbs air dried because I love the essential oils that are released into the air. After clipping, I love to be able to reach up and grab my herbs as they’re hanging there.

There’s very few herbs that I actually run through the dehydrator. It’s mainly reserved for like fruits and vegetables for snacking purposes for us, or if I need to get my yogurt to rise overnight and I don’t want the stove on or, you know, whatever the case is, things like that.

But if you have never looked into the Excalibur, I would suggest you do so every once in a while. They do have a sale where they’re saving like a hundred dollars on it. And I like to show that if you follow me on social media in any way, shape or form, I always love this share of those sales and that will be the time for you to grab it.

Or if you have the money sitting down right now from egg sales or whatever the case is. Look into the Excalibur. I promise you it’s going to up your game when it comes to hydrating.

Now, if you wanted to, of course sun dry, you could sun dry if you wanted to. In Thailand, people sun dry, they will catch fish, they’ll sun dry it and then they sell it as is. And then you take it home and you cook it the rest of your way.

Or they’ll salt the fish, for example, sun dry it and then you’re taking it home from there. So it’s a form of curing at the same time as it would be drying it.

So there’s natural ways to dry things. I mean, you’ll catch me in October before I go to conference with herbs hanging on my mantle, as they’re drying or herbs hanging all over my kitchen drying. I mean, it’s just a common thing in my house.

But look into the Excalibur, if you can afford it and really up your game when it comes to drying goods. I think you’re going to be very pleased with the decision to have it, and I truly, truly encourage people to do that.

Again, another whole chapter in my book is dedicated to drying foods and the plethora of methods enabled to get it done and what to look for in regards to is a food item completely dried? Some people will assume that drying foods mean that it’s hard when, in truth, most of the food items that we dry have a leathery kind of leathery texture to it, and it’s considered dry in that moment in time.

But I really touch bases on how to preserve those items for long term storage. You can open that can in about six months or nine months, and the food was just as good as it was the day you dehydrated it.

Some people just think that putting it in a mason jar, sealing it is enough. It’s not. And I really covered deeply the method in regards to how to vacuum seal that jar and what how many oxygen absorbers to put in that jar to keep it for six months, nine months or one year.

So really, that’s the benefit of what I offer in my book. So think about that and think about the Excalibur. I promise you, you will not regret ever getting that.

Freezing & Vacuum Sealing

The last thing I want to cover is, probably one of my biggest pet peeves of all times, I’m sorry, I’m going to say it just like that. Do not store that hard, beautiful garden goodness, the heart to gain gatherer nurture, grow garden goodness in Ziploc bags and put it in the freezer.

Please, please discontinue using Ziploc bags, please. Over a period of time, even if they’re freezer safe bags where they say that they’ll keep out the freezer burn, they don’t. So stop using them.

I say it like that because I once was one of those people who would put things in freezer bags and then a couple of months down the road or not, even a couple of months, sometimes two or three weeks down the road, I would have ice crystals on my food items.

Learn that those Ziploc bags are not worth spending your money on it as far as you know, as far as preserving food items goes. I would highly suggest that you invest in a vacuum sealer, a food sealer that your food goes into a plastic bag, it sucks out all the air for you and then you seal it from there.

I would suggest that you go ahead and pick one of those up. I can suggest one for you. Or you can go to Costco and look at Costco, so they actually sell them there as well, too. And it’s the one that I actually got on Amazon.

So they’re the same quality. They have great use for them. You’re going to love them.

The cost of the bags is a little bit much, but is that cost factor worth eating food that you’ve grown yourself or purchased from a local farmer for that year out? I would say yes, absolutely. Hands down, yes.

We use that vacuum sealer to not only put vegetables and fruit in that we’ve froze in advance and then put it in the vacuum sealed bag. I mean, like, we use it for stir fry, we use it just for steaming the vegetables, whatever the case is.

It has also housed when I ran out of poultry bags for freezing when we process our meat. It houses everything like that. I’ve used them for that purpose alone. Not practical, but in a pinch when I didn’t plan properly for the poultry bags, it works.

The other thing I like to use it for, again, is for vegetables and fruit. You can use them for everything, but if you get a food saver that actually has a jar lid attachment to it, it’s a little hose. It goes on top of mason jars. It will vacuum seal your mason jars for you.

So when we’re talking about how to preserve dehydrated goods in mason jars, you’re going to need a vacuum sealer or a jar sealer. And if you have a vacuum sealer that’s with great little traits to it, it will come with a vacuum sealer on it.

You do need to buy the hose and the lid, but that’s how you learn to preserve preserve foods long term. And we’re talking long term anywhere from a year to 18 months. Some things actually last a little bit longer if they stay vacuum sealed in that process.

So, yes, a vacuum sealer is a must for us to have, especially if we’re freezing quite a bit of food and plan on eating year round. Now I’m going to tell you, I didn’t get to this point overnight. It took me one year of saying, I’m going to buy a really good vacuum sealer. And this year I’m going to buy a freeze dryer. You know, I already have one. We own our freeze dryer.

So do you see what I’m saying? So I did not just go in and say, this year I’m investing two thousand on tools to help me preserve my harvest. No, I did it a little bit each year, and I will tell you it has saved us from purchasing goods at the market.

It has allowed us to eat foods that we know how they were truly grown, and it has given us the opportunity to just really sit back and value our hard work throughout the entire year until all of a sudden the season starts all over again.

So yes, the tools that I’m giving you and I’m sharing with you do cost money. But in the end, they will save you in regards to not having to waste the items that you spent all that time growing and raising.


There you have it, a summary of my book in thirty five minutes. That’s pretty incredible. I spent two months, seventy five thousand words to write it, but I can actually summarize it in that amount of time.

If you guys do not have a copy of my book, The Farm Girls Guide to Preserving the Harvest, you can grab it on Amazon for sixteen dollars and some change right now.

It is going to be your go to guide, I promise you, because I hear this all the time. Your go to guide for preserving foods. I mean, you don’t have to start at the very beginning and move away through it.

It was broken down in chapters for a reason because there were going to be some people who mastered pressure canning and canning, and they were ready to move on to things like fermenting or meat curing and things like that. So you can actually go to those chapters.

So take your time. Go through the book. There’s everything in there. If you are brand spanking new to preserving foods, you will want to start at the very beginning.

Remember, this book was not written to be leaning more towards rebel canning or more towards scientific canning. This book was written as a homesteader, as a sustainable homesteader would who travels the middle of the road.

The individual who desired to know the whys of both traditional canning and scientific canning. And I was able to find that, and I was able to share it with you guys.

So there you have it. If you if you were inclined to ask me more questions about this, you can reach me on social media, on Facebook, Instagram or you can shoot me an email at ann@afarmgirlinthemaking.com.

Thank you for joining me. Thanks for joining me on chat on episode three, and thank you for allowing me to talk about my book. I really don’t do that very much.

So if I encourage you in any way, shape or form to start owning your food source. I want to just say thanks, thanks for doing it, not for me, but for you. I can’t bring everybody into this lifestyle at once, but if I can take a handful of you guys each year, that is what this is all about.

So there you go. I hope you enjoyed this and hopefully we’ll see some more of your photos as you tag me on Instagram in regards to preserving the harvest. If you guys do get a copy of my book, make sure you tag me in your stories so I can share it.

I love sharing the fact that people are now entering and owning their food source. All right, you guys, that’s all I have, and I will see you next week.

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