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Saturday, July 18, 2020

Great Gardening Gift Ideas for Kids!



I've been gardening for many years, and one of my favorite things to do is get kids involved in gardening.  It can serve as a great outside classroom.


Kids who play outside regularly develop stronger immune systems as they improve their motor skills.  And let's face it, getting them away from screen time and out into the fresh air will do wonders for their bodies and minds - and maybe yours, too.



And because children are very tactile,  they respond well to color, scent, and texture, and those are things that can easily be incorporated into their very own garden spot.


How to start?  First, it's important that the thought of having a garden seems fun and inviting to a child.  Before the garden season starts, you can introduce the idea of gardening with garden-themed toys or games.


Here are a few examples.










For older kids, consider garden crafts that are easy and fun to do.  Decorate stepping stones or rocks or make plant markers that can later be used to decorate their personal garden.








Gardening Books for Kids




There are many good books for kids to read to begin their gardening adventure.   Here are some great book choices. 











Get Kids Their Own Gardening Tools


Having the proper size tools makes planting and maintaining a garden easy and enjoyable for children.











A place of their own  



Whether it be a section off a corner of the yard, a raised garden bed or an old sandbox or pool turned into a garden, kids will learn an important lesson in responsibility when they have a place of their own where they can choose what to place inside.





CHOOSING WHAT TO PLANT


Let them be a part of the planning process by involving them from the start.   Using an old garden catalog, have them select pictures of plants they want to grow.


While it’s a convenient shortcut to buy starter plants for a child's garden, children will learn more by seeing the growing process as it begins, from seed. The care given to sprouting seeds and nurturing the young seedling are a valuable part of the gardening experience.


Plants with large seeds, such as beans, sunflowers, and nasturtiums, are easiest for small hands to sow. Though radish seeds are small, children delight in the almost instant growth and harvest.


Some other great seed choices are:

Marigolds
Cosmos
Zinnias
Dianthus
Edible flowers, such as nasturtiums, pansies, violets, and calendulas.





Other great additions to a child's own garden spot are birdhouses, feeders and birdbaths.  A wooden birdhouse that they can paint themselves is a great idea!





So if you haven't already, begin to instill the love of gardening in your child today!  





This post may contain Amazon affiliate links and as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases without costing you a penny extra.




Start Pressure Canning NOW - List!



With this fast-paced and ever-changing world we live in now, there is no better time to learn to pressure can food. 

Many people are taking a renewed interest in learning to can food in light of the recent world events taking place.

In addition to saving money by buying food in bulk at grocery sales and farmers’ markets, a pantry full of jars of food can give you confidence that your family will stay safely fed.  



Try Audible and Get Two Free Audiobooks

Whether you are harvesting the food from your own large garden or farm or beginning to grow some veggies on your deck or porch, the art of canning food is a great way to stock up on items you regularly use.    To learn the basics of pressure canning, a good book like this one is very important.




There are some essential kitchen appliances that you will need to get started.  The cost of some of these items may seem a bit daunting at first, but the investment will be well worth it. 


First, you will need a pressure canner.  NOT a pressure cooker, but a pressure canner.  A pressure canner is used to cook, sterilize, and preserve low-acid foods that are to be canned for future use.
 



Pressure Canner



Another way to can food is by using a water bath canner.   This is a large pot with a jar rack. It is used with all high-acid foods. High-acid foods include all fruits, jams, jellies, pie fillings, pickles or condiments, and tomatoes with added lemon juice. 



Water Bath Canner



You will need a good supply of canning jars, lids, and rings.  These three items come together in a case of canning jars.


You cannot use just any jar in canning food. Canning jars are specially designed to withstand the high temperature of steam pressure processing and the low temperature of freezing. These jars will be labeled as canning and/or freezing jars.


Canning Jars


These jars come in a variety of sizes, most commonly found are:


Pints. 

Pint jars are great for just about anything you want to add to them for smaller portions.


Quarts. 

Quarts are a great family-size jar. They are ideal for canning whole fruits and vegetables like peaches and green beans, or for just for canning larger portions.



Half Pint or Jelly Jars




Half Pints. This small size is great for creating gifts or small batches of jams, jellies, or preserves. Some smaller or cut vegetables may fit in these jars if using a wide-mouth canning jar.


Canning jars also come in what’s known as “regular mouth” and “wide mouth” jar openings. The only difference is the size of the jar opening.




You can sometimes find some canning jars at thrift stores, or maybe you have a relative that no longer does canning and has a stash of jars.  If you find some of these older canning jars, you may need to buy lids and rings to go with those jars.


Canning Jar Lids and Rings


There are reusable lids available now that are called “Tattler” lids that are made in the USA.  They also come in sizes suitable for both wide mouth and regular mouth jar sizes.  You can use these with pressure canners, water bath canners, and vacuum sealers.

Tatler Lids



There are also plastic lids for canning jars for use in storing the jars in the fridge after they've been unsealed.

Plastic lids that fit canning jars



You will need various kitchen utensils to make your canning projects easier.  You can buy a kit of items like the one below that has most if not all of the items you will need.

Utensil Kit


Or you can purchase items separately.  You will need:

Funnel that fits jar openings


Ladels



Jar Lifter






Other supplies you may need, depending on the types of food that you intend to can, are:

Pickle Crisp (for pickling veggies and pickles)



Citric Acid, commonly used for home canning tomatoes



Canning Salt (Not regular salt)



Real Fruit Pectin for homemade Jam and Jelly recipes.



5% Vinegar  You will probably use large amounts of this.  Vinegar is used in the pressure canner to prevent minerals from hard water from building up on the jars or on the inside of your canner.  Vinegar is also used along with water to fill jars of some foods to be processed.


5% Vinegar



There are also seasoning packets available for use in canning like salsa tomato mixes, pickle mixes, potato seasonings, etc.  Mrs. Wagers' brand is very popular with canners.


Mrs. Wagers' Packets







So what are you waiting for?  Learn to pressure can and water bath can and start saving money on food and getting some much-needed food security!


Related Articles

Canning Article List

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This post may contain Amazon affiliate links and as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases without costing you anything extra.




Canning Items You Need to Get Started!




With this fast-paced and ever-changing world we live in now, there is no better time to learn to pressure can food. 

Many people are taking a renewed interest in learning to can food in light of the recent world events taking place.

In addition to saving money by buying food in bulk at grocery sales and farmers’ markets, a pantry full of jars of food can give you confidence that your family will stay safely fed.  


Whether you are harvesting the food from your own large garden or farm or beginning to grow some veggies on your deck or porch, the art of canning food is a great way to stock up on items you regularly use.    To learn the basics of pressure canning, a good book like this one is very important.




There are some essential kitchen appliances that you will need to get started.  The cost of some of these items may seem a bit daunting at first, but the investment will be well worth it. 

Try Audible and Get Two Free Audiobooks

First, you will need a pressure canner.  NOT a pressure cooker, but a pressure canner.  A pressure canner is used to cook, sterilize, and preserve low-acid foods that are to be canned for future use. 



Pressure Canner



Another way to can food is by using a water bath canner.   This is a large pot with a jar rack. It is used with all high-acid foods. High-acid foods include all fruits, jams, jellies, pie fillings, pickles or condiments, and tomatoes with added lemon juice. 



Water Bath Canner



You will need a good supply of canning jars, lids, and rings.  These three items come together in a case of canning jars.


You cannot use just any jar in canning food. Canning jars are specially designed to withstand the high temperature of steam pressure processing and the low temperature of freezing. These jars will be labeled as canning and/or freezing jars.


Canning Jars


These jars come in a variety of sizes, most commonly found are:


Pints. 

Pint jars are great for just about anything you want to add to them for smaller portions.


Quarts. 

Quarts are a great family-size jar. They are ideal for canning whole fruits and vegetables like peaches and green beans, or for just for canning larger portions.



Half Pint or Jelly Jars




Half Pints. This small size is great for creating gifts or small batches of jams, jellies, or preserves. Some smaller or cut vegetables may fit in these jars if using a wide-mouth canning jar.


Canning jars also come in what’s known as “regular mouth” and “wide mouth” jar openings. The only difference is the size of the jar opening.




You can sometimes find some canning jars at thrift stores, or maybe you have a relative that no longer does canning and has a stash of jars.  If you find some of these older canning jars, you may need to buy lids and rings to go with those jars.


Canning Jar Lids and Rings


There are reusable lids available now that are called “Tattler” lids that are made in the USA.  They also come in sizes suitable for both wide mouth and regular mouth jar sizes.  You can use these with pressure canners, water bath canners, and vacuum sealers.

Tatler Lids



There are also plastic lids for canning jars for use in storing the jars in the fridge after they've been unsealed.

Plastic lids that fit canning jars



You will need various kitchen utensils to make your canning projects easier.  You can buy a kit of items like the one below that has most if not all of the items you will need.

Utensil Kit


Or you can purchase items separately.  You will need:

Funnel that fits jar openings


Ladels



Jar Lifter






Other supplies you may need, depending on the types of food that you intend to can, are:

Pickle Crisp (for pickling veggies and pickles)



Citric Acid, commonly used for home canning tomatoes



Canning Salt (Not regular salt)



Real Fruit Pectin for homemade Jam and Jelly recipes.



5% Vinegar  You will probably use large amounts of this.  Vinegar is used in the pressure canner to prevent minerals from hard water from building up on the jars or on the inside of your canner.  Vinegar is also used along with water to fill jars of some foods to be processed.


5% Vinegar



There are also seasoning packets available for use in canning like salsa tomato mixes, pickle mixes, potato seasonings, etc.  Mrs. Wagers' brand is very popular with canners.


Mrs. Wagers' Packets







So what are you waiting for?  Learn to pressure can and water bath can and start saving money on food and getting some much-needed food security!





This post may contain Amazon affiliate links and as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases without costing you anything extra.



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