Thursday, July 21, 2011

Home Canning

Having more time in the garden this year has increased my desire to get more out of what we are growing on our own land. For the last few years, I've been drying herbs and making pesto and salsa to freeze (although the salsa never makes it very long into the cold months before being gobbled up). Since I also have an insatiable love for homemade pickles and jam, I wanted to explore making my own this year.

When I saw that Egg|Plant Urban Farm Supply was having a basic canning class last Sunday, I got excited and signed up. I learned how to make raspberry jam (pictured above), got a list of basic supplies, and recommendations for resources in book form and on the web.

I'm really excited to have a cool local business like Egg|Plant right here in St. Paul. Their focus is on growing good things to eat on your own plot of land and they have the supplies, tools, and resources to help you do it. It's located on Selby Ave. close to some of my favorite antique stores. Even better, the store is run by folks from the Midway neighborhood.

The name of the store is a clever play on words. In addition to the "Plant" part, they also have the "Egg" part in the form of everything needed to raise backyard chickens. They also sell the chicks! Charlie got to play with the last set of chicks on the day they were about to go to their new home:

They will have more chicks available next March, at which point I will remind myself that I'm really not that great at taking care of animals lest I get carried away with a scheme to have fresh eggs in my backyard.

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