Guide to Home Food Preservation
You’ve learned to get your garden going in Florida, now you can try your hand at preserving.
In this guide you will learn:
What’s Ripe Now or Soon?
Georgia Peaches – You can sometimes find peaches by the box from produce markets or even peach orchards direct from Georgia. Canned peaches are great and easy to make at home. You can also make peach jam, pie filling, chutney, dehydrated peaches and more. There’s lots of recipes in the USDA Guide to Home Canning below.
Mangoes – Different varieties of mangoes ripen between May and August or even later. If you find someone with a large mango tree, they may beg you to take a bag or two home. Just right for making dehydrated mango, jam, chutney, frozen mango for smoothies and more. Pro tip: Chop the mango into smaller strips, dehydrate and add to trail mix. It’s so yummy!
Starfruit – Starfruit, aka carambola, produce fruit on and off during year. They are edible green or ripe. We have made starfruit pickles, chips, chutney, jam, and frozen chunks and juice. Find someone with a mature starfruit tree and they will be calling you to help them harvest. Some trees produce bushels, even on young trees. Heads up – starfruit are very high in oxalic acid. If you are sensitive to oxalates, avoid eating starfruit.
Beans – all sorts of heat loving beans grow during the summer. You can freeze, ferment or pickle, or even dehydrate them. Be sure to check and see if the beans you have are edible raw as not all of them are. Please note that beans (unless they are pickled in vinegar) are LOW ACID and need to be pressure canned.
Get started on the right path
Purchase and test your equipment, including jars and lids, before you harvest or purchase fresh ingredients for canning.
USDA Guide to Home Canning
This publication from the USDA in 2015 covers the scientific principles of which techniques are based and how equipment is used. It also discusses basic canning ingredients and a series of specific guides for specific foods.
National Center for Home Food Preservation
The National Center for Home Food Preservation is your source for current research-based recommendations for most methods of home food preservation.