There are many different methods of canning, but most depend on heat and sterility. Nearly any kind of vegetable or fruit from your garden can be canned. You’ll need a pot large enough to hold jars of produce, sterile jars and rings. If you do decide to try canning produce, be sure to follow all directions carefully so that you don’t introduce bacteria into the food you’re trying to preserve.
Jams, Jellies, Preserves and Butters
Fruits (and some vegetables) have a natural substance called pectin. It combines with sugar and heat to thicken the fruit syrup when it’s cooked. Generally, the fruit is cooked with sugar and water, with or without spices or other flavorings added, then ladled or poured into jars while still hot for sterilization purposes. You can find recipes for making jams from all sorts of fruits and vegetables in a good cookbook or online. In general, preserves are made with whole fruit, jams crushed, and jellies are strained of all fruit pulp.
Pickles and relishes use salt, vinegar and/or spices to preserve vegetables and fruits in a brine of some sort. We’re most familiar with cucumber pickles, but corn, peppers, melon, onions and many other kinds of fruits or vegetables can be pickled as well!