Preserving Food

Preserving foods used to be an integral component of life, but with the advent of processed foods that knowledge is slowly being lost. However, modern technology is making it easier to buy locally grown and prepared foods and put them away for later consumption.

There are 5 easy methods for preserving various types of locally grown and harvested food:

  • Freezing: meats, fish, butter, cheese, berries, fruits, vegetables
  • Drying (air-drying, sun-drying, dehydrating, and oven drying): tomatoes, apples, pears, stone fruits, mushrooms and other vegetables, herbs
  • Canning: applesauce, jam, jelly, tomato sauce, chutneys, fruits, vegetables
  • Pickling: cucumbers, beets, carrots, relishes, beans
  • Alcohol: raspberry cordial, brandied cherries, medicinal elixirs such as elderberry wine

The National Center for Home Food Preservation offers information on all of these including a free, self-paced online course.

The Oregon State University Extension Service has extensive online resources for food preservation, safety, and storage, including

The USDA Complete Guide to Home Canning, 2009 revision, is sold in print form here. The online edition is below:

Directions and recipes from, which also includes a locator for pick-your-own farms