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Home canning can be a safe and economical way to preserve quality fruits, vegetables and other foods produced in your home garden or orchard. Disregarding the value of your labor, canning vegetables, canning fruits, and other homegrown food may save you half the cost of buying commercially canned food. Canning favorite and special products to be enjoyed by family and friends is a fulfilling experience and a source of pride.
Many vegetables begin losing some of their vitamins when harvested. Nearly half the vitamins may be lost within a few days unless the fresh produce is cooled or preserved. Within 1 to 2 weeks, even refrigerated produce loses half or more of some of its vitamins. The heating process during home canning destroys from one-third to one-half of vitamins A and C, thiamin, and riboflavin. Once canned, additional losses of these sensitive vitamins are from 5 to 20 percent each year. The amounts of other vitamins, however, are only slightly lower in canned compared with fresh food. If vegetables are handled properly and canned promptly after harvest, they can be more nutritious than fresh produce sold in local stores.
The technique articles linked from this page will help you get the most effective use out of your water-bath or pressure canner as you preserve the season's harvest. Most of our home canning articles come in both "html" format for online reading and in printer-friendly "pdf" format. However, some home canning articles are html only or pdf only. PDF files are downloadable and formatted for printing or saving to your computer for future reference. The pdf files require the free Adobe Acrobat Reader which is available if needed by clicking the link at the bottom of the page. If a pdf version of an article is available, a link will show at the top of the article. PDF only articles are designated by the PDF symbol.