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Saturday, September 5, 2020

Great Gifts for People Who Can Food

Looking for a great gift for that relative or friend who is into canning food? Whether they harvest the food from their own large garden or farm or they are just beginning to grow some veggies on their deck or porch, here are some great gift ideas for those who are into preserving their family's food.

To learn the basics of pressure canning, a good book like this one is very important.

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

Every food preserver needs a good supply of canning jars, lids, and rings.  These three items come together in a new 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:


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


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

The right kitchen utensils make 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.  The most-used utensils are:

Funnel that fits jar openings


Jar Lifter

Other needed supplies, depending on the types of food preserved, 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  Canners will 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

I hope you've found some great gift ideas for that special person in your life who cans food.


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Friday, September 4, 2020

Mother's Day Gardening Gifts!

Searching for a great gardening Mother's Day gift for Mom?  We have some great ideas.

We all want our older loved ones to keep healthy, and their love of gardening is a great way for them to do so.

The rigors of gardening, such as bending, stooping, kneeling, squatting, gripping, lifting and the like can be good exercise, but it can also be pretty taxing on an older body.

Luckily there are many gardening products and equipment that can keep those older gardeners injury-free.

Here are some great garden gift ideas for those gardeners that may be a bit up in age.


Simply click on the picture to learn more about each product.


For Gardening Comfort

Every gardener should have a comfortable hat to wear to block the hot sun while working.  

Comfortable shoes, also called gardening clogs, are a must, and they wear out quickly.

Garden gloves

I think every serious gardener is like me.  They buy new garden gloves nearly every year.    

I always have the following three different types of garden gloves in my gardening stash.

The first type of glove is heavy duty gloves with some forearm protection.  These are great for dealing with thorny plants.

My second type of essential garden glove is the rubberized glove that keeps my hands cool and dry while I work.  

The third type of glove I always have on hand is the plain old cloth gloves.  These are great for what I consider "soft" work.  They're comfortable and washable.

Comfort for the Knees

A kneeling pad of some sort is a lifesaver.  I've used old deck chair cushions in the past, but as I grew older, I found I needed something more substantial.  These kneeling pads are thick, comfortable, and waterproof.

Another type is the strap-on knee protectors.  There are plastic ones that I have found hurt my knees more than help them.  I recommend the soft ones like the ones below. 

Along the same lines, a garden kneeler is a great choice.  The one below is a sturdy garden kneeler, garden seat and has pouches on the side to keep necessary hand tools.  It's also lightweight so it's easy to carry around the yard.


If you're not an Amazon Prime member, you should look into it.  Free shipping is the biggest advantage in my book.  As I order online much more these days with the current situation, it saves me a lot of money.


Amazon Prime

Garden Tools

I've found that long-handled gardening tools are necessary for me now.  They can ease the strain on my back by keeping me in an upright position instead of being bent over.  

You will pay a little more for well-designed tools but they're definitely worth it to save my back and knees from injury.

Here are some that I use and I recommend.

Long Reach Pruner

Next is one of my favorites.  Five tools in one; including tools that hoe and slice, rake and smooth, scrape and cut, edge and chop, aerate and loosen.


A good set of sturdy, well-built hand tools is always a great gift.

Easier Watering

As you get older, the chore of carrying water becomes more and more difficult, not to mention the strain it can put on your arms, shoulders, and back.

A few great gift ideas are a light-weight expandable hose and a soaker hose or drip hose set.

Expandable Hose

Soaker Hose

Irrigation Kit

There are also a variety of ergonomic watering wands that are lightweight, easy to grip, and reach those hard-to-get-to plants.

Easy Reach Watering Wand

Another great idea to save water and time in the garden are self-watering planters.

Self-Watering Planters

Self Watering Planter

Hauling Help

Lightweight garden carts can make hauling bags of mulch, dirt, plants or other heavy objects much easier. 

Light Weight, Easy Maneuverability

This is the type of cart I personally cannot do without.

For That Hard-To-Buy-For Gardener

For the gardener who has all the tools and supplies that they need, here are some great gift ideas to bring some whimsy and beauty to their yard.

Rain Gauges

Hummingbird Feeders


Bee Nesting Box

Solar Lights




So there you go.  I hope you found a gift idea that will make your favorite older gardener very happy!


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