The Natural Canning Resource Book: A Guide to Home Canning with Locally-grown, Sustainably-produced and Fair Trade Foods

Front Cover
Lifeweaver, Aug 9, 2010 - Cooking - 202 pages

The Natural Canning Resource Book - A guide to home canning with locally-grown, sustainably-produced and fair trade foods
By Lisa Rayner     Copyright (c) 2010
202 pages. 8 1/2 inches by 11 inches. Color cover. Approx. 500 black and white illustrations. ISBN: 978-0-9800608-2-9   

The local foods movement has made home canning popular once again! Farmer’s markets, Community Supported Agriculture projects, urban foraging collectives, permaculture guilds and community gardens are popping up like mushrooms. People who never learned how to preserve food growing up are teaching themselves and learning from old-timers how to can in boiling water baths and pressure canners.   The Natural Canning Resource Book fills a major gap in the canning literature. Most published canning recipes require the use of non-organic, refined ingredients like distilled white vinegar, white sugar, corn syrup or commercial pectin containing chemical preservatives. This book explains the science behind USDA canning guidelines and explores how to can foods using healthy, natural ingredients you’ll find at your local farmer’s market, CSA and natural foods grocery, buying club or cooperative.   

Learn how to:

--can fruit & pickles without sugar or sweetened with raw honey, agave syrup, maple syrup, brown rice syrup, barley malt, evaporated cane juice or other unrefined cane sugars.

-- pickle vegetables with organic, unpasteurized apple cider vinegar or homemade vinegar.

-- can wild and tropical fruits like Oregon grape, Juneberries, elderberries, paw paw & guava.

-- gel jams and jellies with homemade pectin extracted from locally grown fruit.

-- create your own jam, jelly, fruit butter, pickle, relish, chutney & salsa recipes. 

-- can foods using a solar cooker. 

-- create a community canning project or start a community kitchen. 

-- save money & energy with home canning.  

-- use European-style canning jars with glass lids & rubber gaskets. 

-- sell your canned goods at your local farmer’s market or CSA.CSA. 


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Measuring adjusting pH
Measuring pasteurization temperature
Heat penetration thermal processing time
Selling canned foods
Food canning
The modern forager
Food miles carbon footprints
Obtaining local organic fair trade foods

The development of USDA home canning guidelines
The science of creating canning recipes
The microbiology of canning
Spoilage molds bacteria pathogenic bacteria
How factory farms are making food safety more difficult
The process of canning
The canning kitchen
Boiling water bath canners
Pressure canners
Cooking pots
Otheer basic cannning tools equipment
Biocompatble cleaning polishing recipes
Canning jars lids
Bisphenol A phthalates Jarden canning lids
Jarden lid system alternatives
Post carbon canning jar options
Canning basics
Where to learn safe canning methods
Cold pack versus hot pack methods
Preparing jars lids food for canning
Wqater bath canning steps
Spotting safely discarding spoiled foods
Storing using canned food
High altitude canning
High altitude pressure canning
High altitude tips tricks Ive learned
Solar canning
Using a solar cooker
oven canning
Safe solar canning methods
Solar canning tips
Community canning
Community kitchens
A brief history of community kitchens canning projects
Creating recipes selling your goods
Water activity
Produce guide
Storing washing produce
Preparing fruits vegetables for canning
Other canning ingredients
Using recycling food waste
Sugar canning
Sugar chemistry
Descriptions of different sweeteners
Water activity levels of liquid sweeteners
Sugar pH
Deciding which sweeteners to use in your canning recipes
Extracting canning fruit juices
Canning whole sliced fruit
Natural coloring for low sugar fruit syrups preserves
Fruit sauces purées
Fruit preserves
What is pectin?
Sugar the gelling process
Making do with less sugar commercial pectin
Making your own pectin
Making jelly
Acidified foods
Pickles relishes chutneys
Vinegar canning
Oil acidified foods
Lactofermented fruits vegetables
Lactofermentation bacteria
Sauerkraut other drysalted fermentations
Brinepickled vegetables fruit
Water bath canning lactofermented foods
Canning safety checklist

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2010)

Lisa Rayner is a writer based in the Southwest U.S. who has written four highly regarded how-to books. Her first book was "Growing Food in the Southwest Mountains," now available in a greatly expanded Fourth Edition. She subsequently wrote "The Sunny Side of Cooking," "Wild Bread" and "The Natural Canning Resource Book." All of Rayner's reviewed books have at least four stars on Amazon and are considered to be among the best in their respective categories.

Lisa Rayner has a 1991 Bachelor of Science degree in Natural Resource Interpretation from Northern Arizona University. She is a graduate of the 1993 Black Mesa Permaculture Project's Design Certification Course and 1994 Coconino County Master Gardener Program. In 2008 Rayner won the Martin-Springer Institute Moral Courage Award and the Friends of Flagstaff's Future Livable Community Award. Rayner was also a Garden's for Humanity 2009 Visionary Awardee. Rayner is known as a progressive human rights and Transition Town activist who walks and rides her bicycle everywhere in town.

She writes books with permaculture and Transition themes related to food and fiber. She was formerly the coordinator for the Juniper Street Community Garden where she also gardened for eight years until 2012. She also gardens at her home, both in small plots around her house, on balconies, and indoors.

The daughter of a chemist and a biologist, Lisa Rayner has long had an
interest in the natural world. As a young girl she was an avid collector of sea shells, rocks, bird feathers and more. The evidence can be found in every room of her house. She spent much of her time exploring the forest around her Delaware home. Her mother introduced her to weaving on a floor loom at a young age. Rayner is a self-directed person who enjoys her solitude and a few good friends. One exasperated teacher wrote in her second grade report card, "Lisa tends to play with little books, paper, yarn, etc. and rushes through assignments."

When she is not writing or gardening, she can be found grinding flour, baking, cooking, canning, spinning yarn, knitting, and designing, weaving and sewing her own clothing. She is also a political activist who has spoken at many city council meetings and written many letters to the editor of the local newspaper. She has volunteered much of her time for non-profit organizations that exemplify her values.

Rayner hated cooking growing up. Then, in 1985 she became vegetarian, and soon after, vegan. She spent the next year-and-a-half teaching herself to cook and in the process discovered she enjoyed it. Rayner's reasons for being vegan include animal welfare and factory farms, world hunger and environmental sustainability. In 1993 she was teaching a vegetarian cooking class when she realized that she wanted to learn about which foods grew in her cool, dry mountain home. She began to learn all she could about growing and cooking bioregionally-appropriate foods.

In 1996 Rayner obtained a word processor while dumpster-diving and wrote the first edition of "Growing Food in the Southwest Mountains: A Permaculture Approach to Gardening Above 6,500 Feet in Arizona, New Mexico, Southern Colorado and Southern Utah." A greatly-expanded Fourth Edition of the book was published in 2013.

Also in 1996, Rayner got to know her future husband Dan Frazier at monthly vegetarian EarthSave potlucks. From 2000 to 2002, Lisa and Dan published a monthly progressive newspaper that advocated for the protection of northern Arizona's environmental riches, the preservation of Flagstaff's small-town charm, and social justice issues. During this time, Rayner also ran a community currency program called Flagstaff Neighborly Notes.

During this time, Rayner's interest in geology revived with the gathering momentum of the peak oil movement, which later morphed into the Transition Movement. Her lifelong interests in do-it-yourself urban homesteading tie in perfectly with the need to economically relocalize and downsize this century.

Rayner has been a solar cook since 1995. She started her solar cooking adventures with a used cardboard CooKitTM panel cooker from Solar Cookers International bought for $10 and later purchased the Sun OvenTM she currently cooks with on her south-facing townhome balcony. She published her second book, "The Sunny Side of Cooking: Solar cooking and other ecologically friendly cooking methods for the 21st century" in 2007.

Rayner has baked her own bread with a sourdough culture since 1995. In 2009, she published "Wild Bread - Hand-baked sourdough artisan bread in your own kitchen."

A canner since 2003, Rayner was unsatisfied with most canning books because they did not explain the principles behind safe canning methods. She also wanted to can with only natural, sustainably-produced ingredients. She ended up writing the book for which she had been searching, "The Natural Canning Resource Book: A guide to home canning with locally-grown, sustainably-produced and fair trade foods." Rayner and her husband published that book in 2010.

In 2011, Rayner added spinning and knitting to her do-it-yourself repertoire. Her interest in spinning started when she was 12, when she bought a Navajo spindle while on vacation with her family in Arizona. However Rayner did not learn how to use it until many years later. In her 40s, Rayner met fellow spinners at gatherings of the Flagstaff Fiber and Textile Arts Gathering where she learned more about spinning and knitting.

Rayner enjoys spinning white and naturally-colored cotton on an Indian/Pakistani charkha spindle wheel and spins humanely-sourced wool, alpaca and llama fibers on a Schacht Ladybug flyer and bobbin spinning wheel. Sock knitting has become somewhat of an obsession. She is also learning to dye plant and animal fibers with natural, non-toxic dyes like indigo. A book on textiles for Transition is already in the works. It's working title is "The Post Petroleum Sock."

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