Safe summer food preservation resources
Check out the resources available for home preservers to use to create a safe product when preserving Michigan Fresh produce.
In Michigan, we enjoy watching our gardens grow all around the state to reap the summer and fall harvest. Farm markets fill with summer squash, blueberries, zucchini, beans, peas, and onions, to name just some of the local Michigan grown produce now available.
As we harvest shiny, red tomatoes, bright green peppers as well as purchase fresh fruits and vegetables available at the farmers markets, remember that it is easy to preserve. Why not save some of this fresh, local produce to enjoy all throughout the year?
Canning, freezing and drying are three approved methods for preserving food. The method you choose will depend on what your preferences are as well as whether safe guidelines are available for the produce and equipment you have. Food preservation is a science and home food preservers must be sure to properly preserve food or dangerous bacteria can present in the food and could cause foodborne illness when jars are opened, and food is consumed. Michigan State University Extension recommends the following resources for safe, research-based recipes and resources for preserving food at home:
- MSU Extension Michigan Fresh fruit and vegetable factsheets. Updated in 2023, these factsheets provide current, research-based food preservation information as well as using and storing tips.
- USDA Guide to Home Canning.
- National Center for Home Food Preservation’s website and So Easy to Preserve book.
It’s a great time to start planning for food preservation now so that you are equipped with safe, research-based recipes and the proper equipment you will need when the produce is ready to harvest. Following the guidelines in the resources above will allow you to preserve a safe product to enjoy all through the year.
For more information on home food preservation, enroll in MSU Extension’s online Home Food Preservation course or join a free, online Preserving MI Harvest class. You can also follow us on Think Food Safety for food preservation tips and information and easy access to our online classes, and watch our library of new food preservation videos.