Safely preserve your produce at home

There are many resources available to assist home food preservers in preserving a safe product.

Various canned fruits on a table.
Photo: Bigstock.

Does your garden have an abundance of vegetables getting ready for harvest? Or is your local farmer’s market filled with fresh Michigan produce? As harvest season continues in our gardens and communities, remember that it is easy to preserve. Why not save some of this fresh, local produce to use all through the year? Before heading to the kitchen to start preserving, review current recommendations and find research-based recipes for preserving.

Canning, freezing and drying are the only approved methods for preserving food at home. The method you choose will depend on what you and your family like to eat, what type of produce you have available as well as whether safe guidelines are available for the produce and preservation equipment you have. Food preservation is a science, and home food preservers must be sure to properly preserve food. If not, dangerous bacteria can be present in the food and can cause foodborne illness when the food is consumed.

Whether you are a new preserver or experienced, it is necessary to review your equipment and recipes each season when you plan to preserve. Michigan State University Extension recommends using only the following resources for research-based recipes for safe home food preservation:

Follow the guidance from the resources above to preserve a safe product to enjoy all year long. For more information on food preservation, visit MSU Extension's Safe Food & Water website.

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