NJJoe wrote:I also forgot to mention that I am looking to buy a pressure canner this season. I'll be able to can virtually anything I want with this. Regular boiling water canning requires you to acidify the interior contents of the jar. Boiling water does not get hot enough to kill botulism spores so the added acid is added as a safeguard. Downside is that you need to add lemon juice, citric acid, vinegar etc... to your jars' contents. Pressure canning achieves far higher temperatures kills the spores this way so you don't need to acidify the contents. You can safely can soups, stocks, veggies and even meat this way.
There are so many farms around me that grow naturally and organically. For instance, one weekend buy 50 pounds of string beans and pressure can them, maybe I will have a resulting 20-30 jars which should last me for the year. And if I do this for most of the veggies/foods I anticipate needing then my trips to the grocery store will be few and far between. Yes it is time consuming but you save money, help promote local farms and the health benefits you get by eating food you trust are not measured in $$$
We have 2 canners because we can so much food. We do bunches of green beans, make our own spaghetti sauce, beets, sauerkraut(which doesn't require a canner), cabbage, and so forth. We can meat also.....beef, venison and pork.
I get a whole hog, and do the butchering myself. We usually get over 100 lbs. of sausage out of a hog. I don't cure the hams, those go into the canning jars. We have enough canned and dry goods to last a family of 5 at least 6 months.