Preserving the harvest Canning and freezing both offer ways to use the produce from summer and fall.

Gardeners started planning when frost was still a threat. Examining seed catalogs or plant offerings at a local gardening center, they carefully chose which fruits and vegetables they’d fertilize, water and watch over for months.

But as summer and fall’s abundance multiplies, what can be done with a bounty of tomatoes or apples? As shoppers take advantage of their backyard harvest and lower prices at farmers markets and local orchards, there is more than one way to preserve the overflow.

Canning began in the late-18th century, when Napoleon challenged someone to invent a method that would keep the military’s food supplies from spoiling.

As commercial and household freezers became more widespread in the 20th century, families gained another way to preserve fresh produce.

Now, with the resurgence of eating locally, farmers markets and consumer-supported agriculture, food preservation is on the rise again.

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