Canning is an essential skill to learn whether you’re looking to gain some independence from mass-produced food, or simply want to enjoy the tastes of Summer all year long. Fears of contamination and botulism can make this seem like a daunting task, yet canning many foods is quite simple and requires little special equipment. That said, canning recipes need to be followed closely. Always use USDA-approved directions for best results and adjust according to altitude. Luckily, we have been provided with this handy USDA Guide to Home Canning
Peaches are one of the easiest foods to preserve by canning, and my personal favorite! When my new favorite fruit stand, White’s Country Farm near Medford, OR, offered me 50lbs of deliciously low-priced peaches, I couldn’t resist! I can peaches using a “raw pack” method, which means I load fruit into jars raw.You can also do a “hot pack” where you cook the fruit and fill jars while it’s still hot. I’m not sure if it makes much difference for canning, but I try to cook foods as little as possible to preserve nutrients. I also cover my peaches in plain hot water (but add just a tsp of honey per jar). Many recipes suggest using fruit juice or even a simple syrup if you like sweeter-than-average peaches. If you would like to try any of these variations, recipes can be found in the USDA’s guide.
You may also can peaches using a pressure canner. Refer to your canner’s manual for proper directions (it’s slightly more complicated, but faster!)
Filling jars with peaches
Lifting hot, processed jars with jar grabber