Celebrate the culture of agriculture & share skills (Growing! Cooking! Eating!)

The club will be canning 750lbs of tomaotoes and 200lbs of peaches this coming week.

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Comment by Pat Johnson on September 18, 2011 at 2:16pm

September 17th was another Group Canning event for the Pensacola Can Can Club. The Can-A-Rama Extravaganza started at 8:30am and continued through the day ending about 4:00pm. We canned 500lbs of Peaches in light syrup, 100lbs of Pickled Okra (hot & mild) and 100lbs of Green Peanuts (Boiled Peanuts). 

The membership is now up to 85 members. 20 of those members participated in yesterday's event (typical number for a group canning event so far). Many of the same members return for each event but there are always at least 5 new ones that show up and some that don't come to every event. 

For the most part, everyone has canners now (other than a couple newbies). The number of propane cookers stands at about 12 per event. The Propane bottles seem to be the biggest issue because each burner requires it's own source of propane (I do have a couple "Y" connectors that allow two burners to work off the same propane bottle). The pressure canning takes very little propane since the heat is turned almost off once the canner gets up to pressure and while it's processing. The Waterbath canners are a different story. Unless constantly watched they will burn on high all day and use a crap-load of propane. I think I will be assigning some members to be in charge of 3 cookers and canners each so that they can keep tabs on the processing times and turn the heat up and/or down so that the water is just boiling but not any more.

I think we have the two biggest volume & work items done for the year (Peaches & Tomatoes). Slipping skins and removing cores/stones takes a lot of labor and coupled with the fact that everyone wants a lot of jars means for a long day. Most of the waterbath canners hold 7 or 8 jars and we do mostly pints so the pounds generally translate almost 1 to 1 with the jars.  I am looking forward to canning something easy on the next event. Stuffing something in a jar and pressure canning it for an hour sounds easy compared to all that skinning and pitting involved yesterday.


Comment by Lynda Reynolds on September 18, 2011 at 11:25pm
Pat, you amaze me! My friend and I canned 100 pounds of tomatoes. She also made applesauce and pickled peppers...I dehydrated mushrooms...it was a busy weekend...well enjoyed...but not as productive as yours!!!
Comment by Harriet Fasenfest on September 19, 2011 at 1:09am

You, Pat, and the Can Can Club, are a Peach.  You gave me the endurance to face off with my tomatoes tomorrow.  


Comment by Pat Johnson on September 19, 2011 at 6:01am

Some of the Group events are a bit of a marathon/endurance challenge. Tomatoes and peaches are both high demand/volune items and require a lot of labor. I hate doing them in large quantity but that's part of why I started the club. The barn raising/quilting bee appraoch means my misery has company and it's a lot more fun because we're all whining and moaning but laughing and cutting up (no pun intended) while we're doing it. Lynda, being more productive is easy when you have 18 more participants. You're the amazing one regarding cans per person! Harriet, I hope you have better weather than we did. It was 95 and sweltering the day we did the tomatoes!

We decided we're going to invite a small group (of those members who have actually canned at a group canning event) to do an event where we bring a jar of our favorite canned goods to sample and do a little light cooking to round out a luncheon event. We've all agreed that the stuff in our jars is so good that we're eatng more canned goods that ever before. The newer canners are becoming eaters of canned foods as they accumulate more and more variety on their pantry shelves.

Not only are we succeding in teaching folks to can, we're also forming lasting bonds between a very diverse group of great people. We got canners in their 70s, in thier 20s, maried, single, black, white, fat, skinny, extroverts and introverts and everything n between! As I tell folks in the club "I don't care why you want to can cause their's nothing bad that can come from it".

Comment by Harriet Fasenfest on September 19, 2011 at 8:58am
Simply a marvel of good will and efforts. I think I will have to come by your way when I visit mom this year in FL. I generally come for two - three weeks. If you'd like, I'll head on over to Pensacola way to visit. I'm intrigued and impressed beyond words and might take the effort to put it in words - formal like.
Comment by Christene on September 19, 2011 at 10:04am
I just wanted to say WOW and I wish I was closer no one around here really wants to can so I am on my own.
Comment by Pat Johnson on September 19, 2011 at 1:25pm
Don't do anything too formal. I'd feel out of place. Give me some notice and I'll do a group canning event while you're in the area. Otherwise you'll have to be satisfied with a typical Happy Hour. either way let me know when you're coming and you can stop by and see the boats, canned goods and beer, wine and spirits in a decidedly "informal" setting;-)
Comment by Pat Johnson on September 19, 2011 at 1:26pm
Chritene, no one around here was canning either. I figured I'd fix that and now the canners are coming out of the closet in droves!
Comment by Pat Johnson on October 6, 2011 at 8:27am
I've been out of town in Indiana for a week or so but the Can Can Club is still chugging along. Since I wasn't able to do a lot of coordinating while on the road I suggested that we can various meats and that everyone bring their own meat to can. We will be canning about 150lbs of various kinds of meat and poultry Saturday. We have already decided we will do a Sauerkraut making event in November and take the Kraut home for a month and then can it in December (what we don't keep out for immediate comsumption;-) I think we'll do a soup/chili/stew event sometime in the next two months as well.
Comment by Pat Johnson on October 12, 2011 at 8:37am

Several members canned up several varieties of meat last Saturday.







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