Monday, 25 March 2013

Gardening for Canning and Freezing

If you are planning on starting a garden for the purpose of being able to can and process much of your bounty... here are some suggestions I have on what to grow for a season in your front or backyards.
Humble Beginnings in 2011

Keep in mind, I live in Canada... so for those of you what are in the USA, you may be able to grow other foods (like kumquats for example) If you have access to local farmers markets, be sure to weigh out the pros and cons to growing your own versus buying from a local farmer. Sometimes a plant takes more effort, money and energy than they are worth when you are doing smaller scale, backyard gardening. Here is a lovely link for working out the logistics for space, cost and time too.

 I know that the following few that we have grown and loved are GREAT for canning and freezing:


Beans - for Dill Pickle Beans, plain canned beans, or flash-frozen
Green, red and yellow peppers - freeze well for stuffing, can well for salsas, chutneys, corn relish, etc.
Cucumbers - for obvious reasons! PICKLES! RELISH!
Asparagus - keep in mind that this stuff takes 2 years to establish from crowns before you can begin harvesting. It's an "investment" in the backyward garden, best grown along a fence. Once it is done (very short season) you can plant low-rooting things like salad greens where it was... and them make sure you heavily mulch before the winter comes to protect the area. Makes DELICIOUS dills though.
Legumes - for drying and soaking/cooking later on. You have LOTS of choose from, and I wold say these are ONLY worth is if you have LOTS of space.. otherwise, they are cheaper in the grocery stores.
Onions - You can grow from seed (start NOW!) or sets (later)
Corn - a heavy feeder for those of you with backyard gardens... and it takes up quite a space of room to get a decent amt... but if you have the room... I say go for it.
Beets - Hello beautiful colour. We use blood bull beets from the seed savers exchange. NOM.
Others... if you want to "grow there" - pumpkin, squash, cabbage (for sauerkraut or Kimchi)


Tomatoes - hundreds of ways to use these babies. Make sure you get a variety that say sis processes well... or one that you love. One bush can yield 10-50 lbs of fruit too... so tomatoes are a MUST in this girl's garden

Ground Cherries - These are a staple in my garden from now on. Simple to grow. See my bog about them here: GROUND CHERRIES, and I snapped a photo of the back of the seed pack for your enjoyment. PS... they are apparently perennials too! PSS. I can't say enough about these babies!
First Berries 2012
Peaches, pears, apples, concord grapes, raspberries, blue berries, strawberries - all amazing for preserves and such. Just make sure you think about how much space the plants take up, and how long the plant takes to product a harvest. I would say that strawberries are a great place to start, but make sure you get the established trailing ones if you want a harvest this summer. Raspberries can be invasive, but also incredibly rewarding. Growing them at the back of your property along a fence is good.


Dill from Dedo's Garden in Innsifil, ON
Dill (for pickles)
Garlic (for pickles, pesto, etc.) - see blog post here about my little garlic helper :)
Basil - for pesto
Lemon Balm - for tinctures, flavoured liquors and simple syrups
Mint (lots of varieties) - same as above for purposes  also great dry for teas and homemade bath soaks
Lavender - same as above :)
Cone Flower (Echinacea)
Ready to Harvest

Made July 18th 2012 - used them as Rx this last winter and gave as gifts


  1. We're planning a "food garden" this year, so thank you for all the good suggestions on what to grow. We live in the south of Norway, so I think we have almost the same climate as in Canada :) Have a nice day, and a happy Easter!

    1. My pleasure my dear. Nice to connect here with you. We live in a unique micro climate, a Zone 5B - which translates into being excellent for growing pitted fruits, award winning wines, and extending the growing season by about 6 weeks on average. I wish you all the best in your gardening endeavors! have a wonderful Easter xo