it’s occurred to me that a lot of other people don’t neglect their blogs when they’re canning – in fact, they actually blog about it. so, here’s what’s going on: i love putting up food in jars, grew up learning it from my family, and began doing it on my own a few years ago.
this harvest season, having just returned from traveling, i found myself with a hell of a lot more time than money. so, i put ads on the local online classifieds, offering to turn local produce into jam/jelly/chutney/whatever in exchange for a share in it. to say this scheme worked is an understatement: i quickly took down the ads, because i connected with two excellent clients who could each provide me with as much produce as i’d have time to stuff into jars.
one client works at a farm, and has been clearing out last year’s stuff from her freezers to make room for the new crop: among other things, she had a couple hundred pounds of green tomatoes, and i’ve become very practiced at turning out green tomato salsa.
the other client runs a market garden and agri-therapy program for kids with disabilities and adults who’ve survived brain injuries. they need to make sure that their produce doesn’t rot if they can’t sell it all once, and they also like specialty products for selling at their market stall. considering that i’m no commercial canner, i’m not sure how legal this is, but hey: they like my jam, and they’ve declared themselves liable for it! so far all i’ve done for them is blackberry jam, but there should be a boom in a couple weeks as the tomato crops come in full force.
between these two good folks, plus the donations of my friends, and the efforts of my fruit-scavenging lover, i’ve got more home-canned goods than i’ve ever had in my entire life. i’m not sure if it’ll get us through the winter without buying imported/cold-stored fruit, but at least we won’t need to buy salsa any time soon.