Nothing Beats Fresh!

That's right - nothing beats fresh! But we are flying through the seasons and as new fruits and vegetables begin to be harvested, we start to see the last of others. Rhubarb, for example, is starting to see the last of its days. Nothing beats fresh, but freezing foods and preserving foods with home canning are two great ways to enjoy the fresh flavours of local, seasonal food all year long and get the best of both worlds - strawberries straight out of the field now, and frozen or canned strawberries in December! If you haven't tried this before, check out our quick guide to preserving and freezing foods below and click on the links we've provided for more information and to give it a try! Starting this process with the highest quality produce is the best way to start - so make sure to head to the farmers' market this Saturday for an amazing selection of fresh, seasonal produce! Scroll to the bottom to see who - and what - you'll find at the market this week!

What is Canning?

Canning preserves food by removing the air from a container to prevent the growth of bacteria, molds, and yeasts. The process creates a tight seal that keeps the liquids in and the bacteria out. Many different foods can be canned! Fruits and vegetables can be canned whole or cut, or be made into jams, jellies, sauces, relishes, pickles, chutneys and more! You can also can meats, eggs, milk and prepared foods like soups.

When done properly, home canning is very safe! But, if it’s your first time canning, make sure to follow the recipe you are using exactly, as even small changes can affect the quality and safety of the product.

There are two main ways to can: with a boiling water canner that is used for fruits, jams, pickles, relishes and more, or with a pressure canner that is used for meats, vegetables and other items with low acidity. It is very important to know which canning method to use to ensure a safe result!

If you’re interested in reading the process for how to use a boiling water canner, check out this very helpful and detailed guide!

If you’re interested in reading the process for how to use a pressure canner, check out his very helpful and detailed guide!

Please don’t be overwhelmed! Canning can be fun and not quite as complicated as it seems – and it is well worth your time. Check out this guide with some general information you might find helpful as you begin the canning process. The best way to learn about canning is from someone who has canned in the past, and don’t be afraid to ask questions!

What is Freezing?

We’re probably all very familiar with the process of freezing foods, but for those of you who don’t make it a common practice, here’s a few tips!

You can freeze pretty well everything! Fresh fruits and vegetables can be kept frozen for up to roughly 12 months – make sure to wash and cut them first! Frozen fruits are perfect for throwing into smoothies, making recipes using out-of-season fruits, or to enjoy frozen (frozen grapes are one of my favourite snacks!). Frozen vegetables are great for making meals and save you lots of time. Washing and cutting bulk amounts of fresh veggies at one time is perfect for throwing into soups, mixing up a stir-fry, or putting together a casserole in the future.

Similar to canning, you want to make sure that no air can reach your frozen goods so make sure to wrap the food properly using heavy foil, freezer bags, or containers designed for freezing food. This will prevent freezer burn! Freezer burnt foods are still safe to eat but it can make foods dry and less tasty, and it may make some white or grayish spots on the food – you can easily cut away the parts that have been freezer burnt, and eat the rest. Keeping an eye on how long something has been in the freezer will also prevent your foods from freezer burn.

Read more about freezing foods here.

Remember: Nothing beats fresh! But canning and freezing can save you time and money, and make sure you can enjoy all of your favourite fresh, local goodies any time you want!

Who Can You Find at the Farmers' Market?

Once again, this Saturday, June 13th, more familiar faces are joining us! This is the list, folks! Click on their names to find information on pre-orders and to learn more about their farms and businesses!

Back this week:

Stay tuned for more updates as more of our vendors return to the market over the next few weeks! Check out their websites for more information about their products and to see what’s in season!