Canning with a Teenager

Posted by Annie on Jan 6, 2013 in Activity, Seasonal |

Canning with a teenager: Is it worth it?

canning dried beans

canning dried beans

We’ve been canning for the past couple of months.  Let’s face it, I got a late start but I think I’ve put up enough stuff to get us through the winter.

My son is 17 now. Canning is not high on his list of things to do, but most of the time he gets into it, once I get him pointed in the right direction, he’s pretty good.  He’s helped me peel potatoes, peel, core and slice apples and numerous other things.

Do encourage your children to participate. They may claim to hate it, they may gripe and grumble here and there but they will remember the experience when they get older and it might just give them enough courage to try it for themselves.    Back in my own youth  we spent hours working in the garden, snapping beans, hanging peppers and canning everything in sight.

I complained, dragged my feet and did everything I could to get out of  it but those are the days I remember the most; working together with my family.  When I think of my life, I want it to be simple and wholesome.

Canned Tomatoes

Canned Tomatoes

Whether my son enjoys himself or not, he’ll remember cleaning out the chicken coop with me, watering them each night, even moving bails of hay at dusk one night.  Share your skills with your kids.    Encourage them to get their hands dirty. I started out in the kitchen at the tender age of 6, standing on a kitchen chair.  Grandma supervised.   She even let me help with the dishes — which I begged her to do.  I begged to be allowed to iron.  Was I crazy?

Maybe so, but I’ve always gotten a sense of independence from cooking.  It fulfills my need to be creative.  Our kids need to know how to take care of themselves.  I rarely follow a recipe as it is written.  I try but I am always sure I can make it better than it was written, and usually, I do.

We just bought 10,000 mealworms, which we plan to raise to give to our chickens to supplement their feed.  Wish me luck.  🙂

Our latest adventure:  Homemade Apple Sauce


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