Prepper Book Festival 8: The Organic Canner

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Are you a frustrated home canner wannabe like I am?  Whether that describes you to a “T” or whether you are an experienced pro, home canning is one of those skills where you can never have too much knowledge and reference material at your fingertips.  Let me rephrase that: you can never have too much credible knowledge at your fingertips.

With that introduction, let me re-introduce you to Daisy Luther, the author of The Organic Canner.  You might remember Daisy from a previous Book Festival when I introduced her book, The Pantry Primer: How to Build a One Year Food Supply in Three Months.  This time around, in The Organic Canner, Daisy raises the bar on what a home preservation book should look like and include.

The Organic Canner - Backdoor Survival Prepper Book Festival

This is a big fat, easy to read, 8 1/2 x 11 illustrated book that is going to make you want to go out and purchase a canner and start building up a pantry filled with wholesome, organic goodness right now!  An lucky for you, one reader is going to win a copy of The Organic Canner for free!

More about that in a moment, because first, I want to share the highlights of Daisy’s “Canning Manifesto” with you and of course, a set of BDS Book Festival Interview questions.

The Organic Canning Manifesto

  • I don’t want to serve food-like substances, concocted in a factory after being created by chemists who throw around words like “mouthfeel” and “sodium ethyl parahydroxybenzoate”.
  • I don’t want to serve genetically mutated organisms that were begun in a petri dish at the labs of Monsanto.
  • I don’t want to serve items processed from the genetically modified corn and soy that infects more than 80% of the food in the grocery store.
  • I can’t afford to hit the health food store for every bite we put in our mouths.
  • Eating seasonally provides nutritional benefits.
  • I refuse to consume the growth hormones, antibiotics and other medications that are given to factory farmed meat animals.
  • Home-canned food is the fastest “fast food” around.

I don’t know about you, but I believe Daisy nails it!

An Interview with Daisy Luther, Author of The Organic Canner

Given your background, knowledge and experience, what do you feel are the three most important survival or prepping skills?

A friend of mine has it summed up: You need the ability to “produce” whether it’s food or another vital item like shelter or hygiene supplies. You need the ability to “preserve” and to keep the food you raise or the items you create good for as long as possible. And finally, you need to have the ability to “protect” what you have produced and preserved.

This might mean stashing it where no one can find it or all out defense strategies.

What would you purchase if you only had $500 to spend on preparedness supplies?

Oh, that is a tough one. I have to lean towards seeds, ammo and a bunch of Tattler reusable canning lids. If you are brand new to preparedness and facing the $500 question, I’d recommend a Presto pressure canner (it’s the best price), a Nesco dehydrator, about $50 on seeds, and all the rest on a shelf stable food supply.

Do you feel totally prepared and if not, what prep area concerns you the most?

I don’t think anyone ever feels totally prepared, and if they do, chances are, they’re actually not because they’re overlooking something, but complacent because they THINK they have everything.

I live in California, up in the mountains, and my biggest concern is water. I have an awful lot stored, but when your natural resources are so low, it definitely causes some prepper anxiety.

To what extent does your family participate in your personal preparedness efforts?

My kids are very involved.

My youngest daughter has been learning to can over the past year and made a few of her own concoctions that turned out wonderfully. She checks over the get-home bags before a long road trip and has a small kit in her purse everywhere she goes.

My older girl is away at college and is now in charge of her own preparedness. She does well, even on a student’s budget, and has food and water stashed away for an emergency. I think for both of them, they’ve lived this way their entire lives and it would be difficult for them NOT to be prepared.

What is your favorite survival or pepping book? (It can be fiction or non-fiction.)

My favorite fictional book, and the one that really woke me up and got me to up my preparedness efforts, was the classic, “One Second After” by William Forstchen. If a person can read that and not feel moved to prepare, I can’t even understand that person.

My favorite non-fiction book was written by my good friend Tess Pennington, and it is called “The Prepper’s Blueprint”. It’s a thorough compendium of absolutely everything a prepper needs to know, and is for the person who is just getting started all the way to the person who has been at it for quite a while.

And you didn’t ask this, but for older kids, a must-read is “The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon” by Stephen King. It’s not a gory, creepy paranormal book. It’s about a girl, about 10 or 11, who gets lost in the woods for a week by herself. It talks about the nitty gritty of survival – sanitation, fresh water, food, and safety from the elements. My kids both really enjoyed it and became much more capable in their outdoor skills because of it.

What about your survival favorite movie?

This is hard because I like nearly ALL of them. So I’ll try to pick something different because sometimes people don’t consider it a survival movie, specifically.

My recent favorite is “Contagion”. I don’t think we’ve seen the last of Ebola over here in the US, and I like how this movie so clearly shows the transference of a virus, the importance of a family going into lockdown to stay safe, and the vital necessity of having enough supplies to do so. The dad has to venture out from time to time for supplies, but a well-prepped family would be able to get by on their own. It also gives an interesting look at how those in charge try to avoid a panic by keeping things quiet, but actually just make the whole thing worse as more people become exposed.

Do you have anything else, such as an announcement, message, personal experience, that you would like to share with the readers on Backdoor Survival?

This is going to be a busy year for books. I have two more titles just undergoing the publishing process now, and a 3rd one planned for late summer. I also have a new website with some partners called Nutritional Anarchy (http://www.nutritionalanarchy.com/). Melissa Melton, Aaron Dykes, Lisa Egan, and I started a site that is all about freeing yourself from the grocery store. We talk about the dangerous toxins in processed food, growing your own food, shopping locally, preparing the food, and the healing qualities of whole food.

Thank you so much for inviting me to join your book festival, Gaye! You have such awesome readers and it’s nice to reach an audience that is so serious about their preparedness!

The Giveaway

Here is the part you have been waiting for because I know you are going to want to have a copy of the print version of this book.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

The deadline is 6:00 PM Pacific next Tuesday with the winner notified by email and announced on the Rafflecopter in the article.  Please note that the winner must claim their book within 48 hours or an alternate will be selected.

The Final Word

Something I haven’t mentioned about The Organic Canner is that the recipes are not only easy to follow, but they are accompanied by personal anecdotes, do’s and don’ts,  and notes that will make you believe that  Daisy is looking over you shoulder, offering friendly guidance every step of the way.  And the titles?  How about “We be Jammin” for the chapter on what else? jams.  Or “The Meat of the Matter” for the chapter on meats.

The Organic Canner is not only useful, it is also a fun book and I just know that it is going to set you on a path to can up a storm!

Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!
Gaye

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Spotlight:  The Organic Canner

From time immemorial, preserving the harvest was a vital preparation to face the barren winter months ahead. Different methods have been used throughout the ages and many of them, although modernized somewhat, are still used today.

Canning is the perfect solution for those seeking natural food sources, for gardeners, for those seeking a more self-reliant life, and for those interested in preparedness. Declare your independence and free yourself from the toxic grocery store items that are masquerading as food. Learn to preserve the bounty from your garden and local farms, savory hormone-free meats, and nourishing meals created from your own carefully selected ingredients.

Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced home canner, you’ll love the easy-to-follow instructions, delicious recipes, and directions for safely preserving your own creations.

Bargain Bin:  For your convenience, here are items suggested by today’s author, Daisy Luther, plus a list of all of the books in Prepper Book Festival 8.

One Second After:  For many, the novel “One Second After” was a game changer that convinced them of the need to be prepared. If you have not read this book, you really should.

The Prepper’s Blueprint: The Step-By-Step Guide To Help You Through Any Disaster:  There have been  many great books released recently but I favor Prepper’s Blueprint because it represents a soup to nuts approach to preparedness while at the same time sets aside both fear and panic.

Presto 23-Quart Pressure Canner:  Presto pressure canners and well priced.  Just be aware that it you have a built in microwave/hood combination, measure the distance between your burners and the top of the hood.  The 23-quart Presto was too tall for my gas range but the 16-Quart Presto fits fine.

Nesco Snackmaster Pro Food Dehydrator: This is the #1 best selling food dehydrator on Amazon and I know from reader emails that it is your favorite as well.  I tried one of the big, brand “E”, units but had poor results.  A Nesco is on my bucket list because I know it is simple to use and besides, you have told , it works great.

Prepper Book Festival 8 – Non-Fiction

Tools for Survival: What You Need to Survive When You’re on Your Own
The Organic Canner
The NEW 2000-Hour Flashlight
The Garden Pool – Feed Your Family From Your Backyard Ecosystem
Survival Savvy Family: How to Be Your Best During the Absolute Worst
Doctor Prepper’s Making the Best of Basics Family Preparedness Handbook – Version 12.5
The Prepper’s Financial Guide
Saving Jimani: Life and Death in the Haiti Earthquake
The Age of Earthquakes: A Guide to the Extreme Present
Practical Prepping: No Apocalypse Required: An Everyday Approach to Disaster Preparedness

Prepper Book Festival 8 – Fiction

After the Crumble (Volume 1)
A Time to Endure (Strengthen What Remains)
Aftermath: A Story of Survival
Resurrecting Home: A Novel (The Survivalist Series)
Game Changer

Plus: The Preppers Guide to Food Storage

No list of books would be complete without my own book, The Prepper’s Guide to Food Storage.  The eBook is only 99 cents plus the print version is available for less than $6.00.

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Comments

Prepper Book Festival 8: The Organic Canner — 81 Comments

  1. Thank you for the opportunity to win this book. A recent convert to canning, I love learning more about providing for my loved ones.

  2. I would say invest in a decent dehydrator. I use ours all the time and it is always going full blast during garden harvest. Canning is a skill I’ve yet to get right! But still willing to learn!

  3. So glad to have found this website! I am just getting into learning about prepping and this will be a great help. Thanks!

  4. The year before last, when the midwest (particularly Missouri, where I live) was in a BAD drought, the heat was unbearable, and using the electric range or oven was out of the question, because it was just too darned HOT! I cooked a LOT on the grill, or we ate sandwiches, because they didn’t heat up the house. The only thing that was good was that my tomatoes LOVED the heat (and I watered twice a day) and they went gangbusters on me. I decided to try my hand at water bath canning (tomatoes being a high acid food, not requiring a pressure canner), and I used the side burner on my propane grill. It was WONDERFUL! I basically set up a “summer kitchen” under the shade of the trees (the ones that hadn’t lost their leaves) and canned away. I think I canned up 20 quarts or something like that. The point being, sometimes you have to improvise, and that side burner on your grill can be used for more than just warming up some BBQ sauce or a pot of BBQ beans. 🙂

  5. I have been following Daisy Luther on Pinterest where she is a prolific pinner. I also follow her blog. It would be great to win her book. As for my own tip, I have a Pinterest board called Keeping Food Fresh. The pins cover ways to keep food without electric refrigeration. Such as the Keer pot from Africa that you can make yourself from a couple clay pots and some sand. And vegetables such as Carots and scallions and celery can be stored upright in glasses of water. There are several vegetables that be REGROWN from their roots right in your windowsill. You can find my board by searching on Keeping Food Fresh if you have a Pinterest account.

    • Thank you for the info….there are tons of pages called Keeping Food Fresh. I hope I followed the right one. 🙂

    • Karen – Can I have a link to your Pinterest boards so that I can follow them (and repin)? If anyone else has some Pinterest boards you would like me to share, let me know. I am always looking for good stuff from reliable/credible sources.

  6. Read reputable current books on canning. Just because “grandma” did it that way and no one died, doesn’t mean you won’t–these days there are more/resistant bacteria and not all acidic foods are as acidic as they used to be.

  7. A food saver system, Tattler reusable lids, pressure canner and a dehydrator
    are a preppers best friends. Invest in a Ziplock vacuum also, it’s cheap and you
    can save many fruits and veggies that would normally spoil sooner in the fridge.

  8. I have been canning for years now. I discovered it almost five years ago and find that getting the full use out my garden fresh produce is awesome . also when you find things on sale to stop can a roast or two or hamburger. My new project is called retort canning. where you vaccuum pack your food in metalized heavy mylar bags. then place them in a rack in your preasure canner and can the same length of time as you would for a jar. the produce comes out and you let cool then put the label with the time and date on each one and store in small boxes. it takes up one third of the space and is totally possible to make up your own mre.. Now I haven’t been able to can bread yet that is still and ongoing project.

  9. I made a zeer pot recently, I plan on keeping my potatoes in it instead of the hot garage (I live in Southern Cali) So far the lowest temp I got was 48 degrees, that was early am, anything better then garage! I bought a 17 in grill top and it fit perfectly over the smaller pot and place a rock over that to keep critters & animals out.

  10. I am 73 years old and only in the last 7-8 years have I been doing a lot of canning. Prior to that I was only doing tomatoes, applesauce and other water bath canning. Now I love going into the pantry and bringing out chili, beef stew, or the makings for chicken & dumplings on a busy day. I also do some dehydrating with my cheap, little Ronco dehydrator and keep a full freezer. I have a 900 s.f. garden plus grow bags (that I made) and other containers. I hope to convince my kids not to wait as long as I did to be a “prepper” (Isn’t that what our grandparents were?). We never know when we could lose our elec. power for an extended time. I am not a fear based doom and gloom kind of person, instead I am a strong believer of neighbors helping each other. We live in the middle an Amish community and even though our religious beliefs don’t mirror each other, we are great friends and help each other.

  11. my food preservation tip is to think beyond the prepared foods you are used to. When I first started canning, I started with the canned things I was used to, canned tomatoes, peaches and such. but after those successes boosted my confidence I started thinking about the other foods that my family consumes a lot of and I wondered if they could be preserved in some way. I have since canned just about anything my imagination has come up with. My real tip I guess would be to diversify. Preserve some foods as is (like plain canned tomatoes) that can be used for tons of different things, but also preserve some ready to eat stuff. I cant count how many times I have had to get a quick meal and just opened a jar of beef or chicken stew or chili to have a wholesome meal for my family in minutes.

  12. I love to can , I actually have a friend that I just introduced to pressure canning she is a real beginner , if I win this book I am giving it to her, thanks for all your good information.

  13. I’ve only done a small amount of canning in the past, and it was mostly hit or miss. If I don’t win this giveaway, I will very likely buy the book. Thanks!

  14. Not original but very helpful…When canning meat, even the smallest speck of fat can cause the seal to fail.Solution…just before putting the lid on the jar, wipe the rim with VINEGAR to remove any hint of fat.

  15. I am still a baby-canner, but hope to learn more. My tip would be to go ahead and do it. I’ve spent so much time procrastinating because I was sure I couldn’t do it perfectly. Had I started way back then, I’d be a master now.

  16. I remember canning strawberry and peach preserves with my grandmother but have never done any on my own since I was a child. I’ve done a lot of prepping and am now ready to start adding to my food storage. Would love to can/preserve/dehydrate fresh foods but haven’t a clue where to start. This book would be my teacher and encourager!

  17. I have used my vacsealer to vac-pak my sweetner. I use a birchtree based natural sweetner and can’t always find it in the stores around me. So when I do find it, I buy as much as I can. I Vacpac’d a bunch of the little teaspoon packets 2 years ago and stored it in the food storage room. So far no problems with it when I had to dig into it for traveling last month. I can’t use the other sweetners, (like Splenda etc, allergies to one /2 ingredients in them). Just call me abbie-normal 😉 LOL
    I would so love to learn to pressure can so we can “put-up” the veggies da hubs wants to grow. Right now it’s just the two of us so he doesn’t plant a lot. Just some basics, Toms, cukes, peppers, one or two plants of each. He really wants to expand the garden to include a lot more veggies and maybe some fruits.He doesn’t grow enough to can, we eat fresh every day and I freeze and dehydrate what I can,but if I try to save some of the produce to can,it goes bad before I get enough. We have a farmers market but they also don’t have a lot on hand and it’s REALLY expensive. Mostly because of the lousy weather we’ve had during past couple of year.I’m hoping that this year the weather WILL co-operate and let us grow a bit more.

  18. Learning to make bread in different types of ovens and overy open fire in a Dutch oven or a flatbread. But canning is the way tp prepare..need to learn that

  19. I haven’t tried pressure canning yet. I rent and have one of those glass topped stoves 🙁 Not sure how a pressure canner would work on that. (Advice anyone?)

    I have learned to can fruits and jams. I bought a dehydrator and have “cheated”, using frozen foods since I don’t have much garden space. I keep my home dehydrated food in vacuum sealed glass jars. Need to try mylar bags but haven’t gotten around to that. Would love to win the book!

  20. A food preservation tip about dehydrating is pretty obvious but I didn’t think of dehydrating the pulp from my juicer, but it is really easy and beats freezing the pulp, which I was trying to do. I use lots of carrots so the pulp also dehydrates much faster than carrot slices and I don’t have to chop!

  21. My wife just got a pressure canner for Christmas. We are looking forward to using it, especially for home made salsa. 🙂

  22. Water bath canning is quite simple and the equipment can be found inexpensively at Walmart. When berries, apples,pears, etc are inexpensive I buy huge amounts and make apple butter,jam and pie filling. It makes a wonderful Christmas gift. I also make soup mix to store using home grown then dehydrated vegetables. This way food is stored safely, long term and requires less space.

  23. I dry what likes being dried and can what doesn’t dry well. Between those two techniques, that cover most of my food storage.

  24. I sure hope all the canning I’ve done is still good. I don’t think about it as a food source, only a go to food should I need it.

  25. I would say canning is my favorite since I have been doing it the longest. Besides I love seeing all those colorful jars on my shelves!

  26. Best tip I can give is utilize what’s free….the sun. Every summer and fall, we use old screen doors and place fruit and veggies on it, then place it in the sun. During July and August, the sun is pretty intense here, so a lot of our food is dehydrated within a day, maybe 2. Then we can put out the next batch to be dried. No electricity needed.

  27. Excalibur dehydrator, vacuum sealer, tattler lids, and pressure canner are on hand. Now I need to learn how to use them to their max. Great site here…glad I found it.

  28. Remember that when you are combining foods when canning, you must you must can for the greatest amount of time called for by any of the ingredients.

  29. Thank you for all the opportunities you give us to get ready. I love your articles, I have canned for years but I’m always looking for new ideas and easier safer ways to do it.

    I also would like to thank you for the water webinar I just got my distiller last night. My great grandsons ages 2 and 4 and I had fun making dirty water that came off the top of the pool into something drinkable. The water not only was clean and drinkable it was a lot of fun and the kids got a good science lesson. Thank you again because no one else is telling us that the other methods of treating water although effective in some cases could still kill us or make us very sick.

  30. We try to grow as much of our own vegies as possible and buy the rest from local farmers. It is so wonderful to open up a jar of canned veggies in the winter and know that they were fresh when canned.

  31. I grow a lot of my own herbs and dry bunches of them by hanging upside down untill brittle. Then I store the dried leaves in glass bottles for the coming winter’s use.

  32. I love to can and dehydrate food! I grow my own veggies and fruits. I would LOVE, LOVE, LOVE to win this!! Crossing fingers and toes!! Thanks for the chance!! Good luck everyone!

  33. I loved the interview with Daisy! Thanks so much for the information and for the chance to win this wonderful book. I’ve done canning in the past but haven’t tried pressure canning yet. I’m looking forward to getting a pressure canner, so I can give it a try. I’m sure that I’ll love it.

  34. I have never done any canning, but I would like to rectify that in the future as it seems like a very valuable skill to have. I would love to give it a try and have neat rows of jars on my pantry shelf with healthy food in them!

  35. We have a multi-pronged approach to food preservation.

    We are learning to can locally grow produce we can purchase in bulk.

    In an effort to reduce our weekly food budget and increase the volume purchased we now use discount grocery stores. The prices are significantly lower and we can buy in bulk.

    Our garden gets bigger with each year.

    And we continue to utilize the warehouse stores for bulk purchases of grains, (rice, flour, oats), sugar, and salt.

    Of course 5 gal buckets and mylar bags protects the investment.

  36. There are several different Methods. I would suggest that people investigate them all and decide which is best for them. They are listed in the comments above.

  37. Besides buying a good pressure canner, I guess my best tip is, if you use your canning all year long, not just to have for incase, then can more than you think you will need LOL I am forever running out of something the first time I can it 🙂 And with two teenage boys in the house, salsa, canned tomatoes and other goodies go quick!! Lots quicker than they would if they were store bought stuff

  38. That manifesto is right on target. Which is why we have to fight TPTB from making self sufficiency a crime. They can’t make money on us if they are not poisoning us.

  39. I don’t really have a tip but I do create deer and elk jerky in my oven. It takes time but it sure is good when I take the jerky on later hunts or just for snacks.

  40. About the only tip I can think of at present is to eat what you can/preserve. That will keep the stock rotated and you will know what the quality of your work is, because you are sampleing it as you go!

  41. Keep up with rotating your food storage both items you have bought and home canned/dehydrated. Always use the oldest first and add new items in back. This takes some work but ensures you do not find a can years after it’s expiration date.

  42. I forage mulberries and make some fabulous almost free jam with no preservatives. Water bath canning for the jelly. In my pressure canner, save up all my leftovers of chili, spaghetti sauce , etc.. and do an evening of leftover canning. Nothing goes to waste!

  43. I am a novice so I don’t really have any new preservation tips. I did recently read about putting mineral oil on eggs so they keep longer. I haven’t tried that one yet.

  44. My Mom canned a lot of things – unfortunately, I never learned – but I think I could if I won this gift . . . I would certainly give canning a good try . .

  45. For preserving food, learn how to can, even hot water canning is better than nothing. If you have vegetable which need pressure canning and don’t have one, try pickling instead. You can pretty much pickle any vegetable. You can also turn a lot of vegetables into relishes, chutney or jams which can be preserved using a water bath.

  46. Diversify …. Use a food saver system, freezing, canning and a dehydrator to save your abundance of your own garden. What you invest in equipment will be repaid over and over again.

  47. not original, but learned from experience, preserve your veggies while they are still fresh! Whether canning, dehydrating, or freezing, leave the veggies on the plant or vine until you are ready to do something with them. Fresh veggies always preserve the best!

  48. We have and use a water-bath canner and solar oven/dehydrator, but the pressure canner & accoutrements are still on the wish list for the next time we get an unexpected windfall of funds.

    My tip about food preservation is to research things that store well when planning your garden. We grow a lot of winter squash, “keeper” potatoes, dent corn, root veggies (carrots, rutabaga, parsnips) and our apple trees are varieties that keep well into the winter. Having a good root cellar and maintaining it makes for relatively low-work food storage (no need to process all those items either via canning or dehydrating) – which frees up your time when faced with a sudden intense burst of tomatoes or cukes that won’t keep long without intervention.

    have a great day y’all!

  49. There are lots of food preserving videos on You Tube. One of my favorites is Linda’s Pantry. She does a lot of canning and dehydrating tutorials.

  50. In the event of a power outage you can still dehydrate your bounty. If you have windows with nylon screens on them. Pull a couple screens off, wash them up good and spread food out that you want to dry. And place in your car on a warm sunny day. Check often until you get the hang of it and you may need to Crack the window a it to keep it from getting to hot in there. Something worth trying ahead of time so you have an idea how it works before you need to use it for real.

  51. I plan to buy a canner this summer and cannot wait to start using it. I am unsure about using tattler lids as I have heard that they sometimes don’t seal.

  52. Learn multiple ways to prepare and store food. For example; canning, dehydrating, freezing, etc. Read, learn and practice. Grow what you like to eat.

  53. I haven’t learned to can yet. I dehydrated a lot, and my vacuum sealer gets a lot of use! I enjoy Daisy’s blogs!

  54. I love to learn new things and am just starting out in my canning. I have a garden and canned fruit jams last year and some pickles. Found out the pickles were better not processed even though they don’t store for a long time. I believe that whatever your plans are in food preservation you have to actually do it. It’s the experience that will get you through. There is always a learning curve and you can’t wait until you need it or are depending on it to start to try it out.

  55. The round stackable dehydrators are much more difficult than the ones that blow air from the back such as the Excaliber. If you get a different brand of this type be sure to check trays to make sure hoies between wires are not too wide and therefore allow food to fall down through holes.

  56. Use no or minimal seasonings when canning as they tend to get much stronger after the food has been canned. When using salt, only use Kosher salt or canning salt. If you use regular table salt, food may be discolored or the liquid may become very cloudy.

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