Monday, August 31, 2009

Fall Canning Supplies


Dropped by the local Safeway store on corner of Yelm Highway, Lacey,WA today and found they did not have any canning jars. What are they thinking? I located the Produce Manager and had a chat with him. In a very serious manner told me that canning season is over because the local strawberry, raspberry farm called Spooners is closed for the season! Yikes and this was the Produce Manager.

Time for some canning 101. We had a chat about canning tomatoes, salsa, pickles, beets, green beans, peaches and so forth. I told him it is late summer that now the produce is ready for canning. The local produce vendors are beginning to sell boxes of produce and home gardener's are harvesting their own produce. All canning supplies are needed this time of year and it is frustrating to go to the store and find the shelves empty and to be told they will not be restocked.

I told him when folks are canning they might go to the local store for things like garlic, peppers, herbs, onions, sugar, splenda, fruit juice, vinegar, extra lids, pectin of all kinds and other ingredients last minute if they happen to run out. I don't know how many times I have had to get one more quart of vinegar when canning large batches of pickled items. Even the best thought out planning can leave one item short. It would benefit the big grocery stores to carry jars at a reasonable price through till later in September.

So I am appealing to each of you to speak to your local store's manager and pass on the word. Supply and demand will prevail. I also you suggest you tell them what price you like to find them at so they can keep in line with the other vendors.

I will do a survey of the local stores today and post the results.

I find it best to stock up when jars are on sale in the off season. I have ordered online but the shipping is high and usually ended up not saved any real money. I have put in large orders for the community before but you have to be willing to upfront the money for the delivery, have a delivery place accessible to a forklift out of the elements and then be willing to deal with all the folks coming at odd times for pickup. My experience was that some don't show up and expect you to wait with their goods and sometimes payment was difficult. I choose not to take on this task again and leave it up to someone else.

There is a local Thurston County company that puts in an order once a year. You can locate them at http://transitiontechnologies.tripod.com/id24.html . They gather orders till they reach the $2500 minimum limit to order from Ball then place the order. They do not have jars usually on hand for purchase. Place an order for next year and tell them Abby sent you! I ordered a case of regular and wide mouth lids last year and won't need any lids for a very long time! Nice to know I won't run out and have to dash from store to store looking for them!!!!
Canners unite and get the local stores we frequent to provide us with the goods we need. They just need a few phone calls or chats with the Manager and they will hear the canning message. Leave me a comment and let me know what you find out or if you have other suggestions. I love to read comments!

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