Whether you grow your own garden produce, buy it at the local farmer’s market, or are gifted with produce from gardening friends, keeping that fresh, often organic food for later use is a smart idea.
Two safe ways to can food are the water bath method and the pressure canner method.
The water bath method is safe for tomatoes, fruits, jams, jellies, pickles and other preserves because of their acid content. You sterilize canning jars, prepare your produce, fill the jars, and boil them in water until they are sealed. If you are new at this, ask an experienced friend to show you how to do water bath canning. https://www.freshpreserving.com/waterbath-canning.html
Vegetables, meats, and other foods that are low in acid must be canned in a pressure canner at high temperatures to prevent spoilage. https://www.freshpreserving.com/pressure-canning.html
Freezing is an excellent choice for storing vegetables, soups, sauces, fruit, and meats. The secret to successful freezer storage is freezing in air tight containers. This is where the food saver machine comes in handy. It literally vacuums out the air so that contents stay fresh for log periods of time and don’t get freezer burn or ice crystals. https://www.hgtv.com/outdoors/gardens/garden-to-table/freezing-vegetables
Dehydrated foods can be stored very easily in glass jars or safe plastic containers so you have a supply of produce available all winter. You only need to rehydrate them for soups, stews, and casseroles. Some fruits are even tasty in their dried state, like cranberries, apricots, pineapple, and grapes. https://commonsensehome.com/vegetable-dehydrating/Drying
Storing Whole Produce
If you have a dry, dark basement, heated garage, or any area where you can control the temperature and light, you can store potatoes, onions, garlic, and squash for most of the winter. You can store other vegetables as well. See this article for more information on how to store each vegetable successfully.