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If there were such a thing as a 12 point program for Mason jar addicts, I would be a card carrying member. I adore Mason jars and use them to store bulk foods in the pantry, craft supplies in the closet, and frozen goods in the freezer. Because of my love for Mason jars, they are being carefully wrapped in bubble wrap and packed away in boxes so they make the big move I have coming up this Fall.
So, imagine my surprise and delight when I was offered an opportunity to include a book about Mason jars in a Prepper book festival. The book is Mason Jar Nation: The Jars that Changed America and 50 Clever Ways to Use Them Today by JoAnn Moser and let me tell you, if you you are an addict like I am, you are going to want to take a peek.
It is my impression that Mason Jar Nation may have initially been conceived as a book of projects and most assuredly, there are plenty of those suitable for prepper-types like us. In addition to various lights and lanterns (perfect as emergency lighting), there is a seed starter, a very nifty storage option for fire starters, and my favorite, instructions for making butter in a Mason jar. This very cool and very fun stuff.
Now that I have said all of that, I’ll get to the real surprise. JoAnn’s book includes a very thorough and fascinating history of Mason jars. And the pictures, oh my gosh, they add so much to the book! In case you can’t tell, I absolutely love this book as much for the history as for the projects. It is a beautiful book and a delight to read!
JoAnn is here today to answer the book festival interview questions, plus, she, has three copies available in a giveaway. Enjoy the interview then be sure to check in below to learn about the giveaway.
Prepper Book Festival 12: Mason Jar Nation
Tell me about your book. What is it about?
The book is a fun hybrid in that it begins with a brief exploration of how fruit jars in general and Mason jars specifically changed American history. After the historical portion, the book detours into tips on vintage jar collecting and then dives into the meat of the book, which are the 50 crafty how-to projects using Mason jars today.
What type of research did you have to do while writing your book?
I started by compiling a list of just about every book ever published about fruit jars. (Many, sadly, are out of print.) Then I tracked a bunch down on the secondary market and started ready, highlighting, and taking copious notes.
One of the highlights of my research was visiting an antique jar and bottle show here in Minnesota. I’d hope to interview passionate collectors, which I did, but even better, there I met John Varone. John happens to live just a few miles from me and has one of the best fruit jar collections in the Midwest, if not the country. He invited me to his home to see his collection and, subsequently, became my fruit jar history mentor.
How long did it take to write?
About 11 months plus a month or two to go through the editing process.
Every book, fiction and non-fiction, includes a message. What message do you hope my readers will take with them after reading your book?
That is a great question! I think there are a couple of messages. Finding beauty in humble objects, for sure, and honoring the past spring to the top of my mind.
Can you tell us a little bit more about yourself?
Here are the bullet points!
• Education: MFA in creative writing from Hamline University. BA in English Literature from the University of Minnesota.
• Upbringing: Born and raised in the middle of nowhere, where self-sufficiency was a given.
• Parents: DIYers before DIY was a “thing”.
• Favorite childhood pastimes: Making stuff, drawing, reading comic books, visiting the town dump with my dad to find treasures.
• Spousal info: Married to a like-minded DIY fanatic who has as much DIY talent as he has power tools. (And he has a lot of power tools!)
As an author in the survival, prepping, self-sufficiency or homesteading niche, what are you personally preparing for?
Where I live, we have a preoccupation with weather, and justifiably so. Tornadoes, straight-line winds, blizzards, ice storms. We prepare for the worst of those and hope for the best.
Also, I’m a firm believer in planning for personal economic downturns. It used to be financial advisors would recommend that people have enough in savings to sustain them for six months. Now, a year (or more, if you can swing it) is best.
What would be your first prep-step if you were just getting started?
Canning food, of course! 😉
What movie do you think gives the best portrayal of what could happen?
Although the movie is based upon what already did happen, I’m going to say THE BIG SHORT, because it could easily happen again, which just might make it one of the scariest movies ever made.
Do you have plans for another book?
Besides writing about DIY, I’m a fiction writer too. Currently, I’m working on a young adult novel. However, if the stars align and MASON JAR NATION sells well, I certainly wouldn’t rule out another book of a similar nature. Perhaps the next time about wine bottles??
Is there anything else you would like to share with my readers?
Just that I’m excited to share MASON JAR NATION with everyone, and I hope they enjoy it as much as I’ve enjoyed writing it!
JoAnn and her publisher have reserved three copies of Mason Jar Nation in this newest Book Festival Giveaway.
The deadline is 6:00 PM Pacific 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.
Note: Due to customs requirements, this giveaway is only open to individuals with a mailing address in the United States.
The Final Word
This is not the first time I have featured Mason jars on this site and it will probably not be the last. Clearly there is something downright comforting and homey when it comes to seeing Mason jars lined up like soldiers on a shelf or in the pantry.
Yes, indeed, I am a Mason jar addict and invite you to become one too by entering the giveaway to win a copy of Mason Jar Nation.
In the meantime, for additional reading, check out:
For more information about the books in this latest book festival, visit Prepper Book Festival #12: The Best Books to Help You Prepare, Stay Healthy and Be Happy.
Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!
If you enjoyed this article, consider voting for Backdoor Survival daily at Top Prepper Websites!
Spotlight: .Mason Jar Nation: The Jars that Changed America and 50 Clever Ways to Use Them Today
Learn how to make more than 50 Mason jar projects, including luminaries, planters, and upcycled art, in this book for DIYers!
Mason Jar Nation begins by exploring the Mason jar’s impact on America since its 1858 patent. Prior to the jar’s invention, settlers had no reliable and safe way to store food for the winter, which required them to travel great lengths in difficult conditions and obtain expensive canned goods in order to survive. With its hermetically sealable two-piece lid and thick glass sides, the Mason jar changed the way mid-nineteenth century Americans fed their families.
Although the popularity of the jars ebbed significantly from the 1950s until the turn of the century, interest in them has exploded in the past few years. Ball, the biggest brand name in Mason jars today, has seen its sales double since 2001. Younger generations, including Millenials, have adopted the iconic jars as emblems of a more sustainable time. The humble Mason jar has been “discovered” as a versatile and beautiful material for creating craft items such as chandeliers, luminaries, planters, containers, and upcycled art.
The second half of Mason Jar Nation features over 50 of these adaptations, shown with clear photography, all designed and photographed by author JoAnn Moser, the “DIY Maven.”
Readers who appreciate American cultural history, making fun and affordable crafts, and Mason jars themselves will love this new book and its tall, narrow shape that’s based on the proportions of the classic Mason jar.
A frequent question I get on Backdoor Survival has to do with healthcare matters when there is no doctor around. This is the definite source of survival medical information for all Prepper’s and is my go-to bible for survival medicine.