Savor the Flavor: Pickle, Can, Ferment & Preserve the Best of Summer Bounty!

Canning, pickling, and preserving the season’s best local produce embodies a sustainable approach to savoring the best of Sonoma County’s bounty. These tried-and-true preservation techniques transform fresh fruits and vegetables into year-round delights, and reduce food waste, too!

Imagine enjoying vibrant pickles, jams, and sauces bursting with captivating fresh flavors long after the season has passed. As if that was not enough motivation, remember that utilizing locally grown produce, we support farms in our community and reduce our carbon footprint.

This week at Oliver’s Market, all Local Produce is 25% off, so it’s the perfect time to preserve the delicious flavors of summer — and reduce waste, too! We’ve also got all of the supplies you need for canning featured this week, so check out some highlights below.

Important Note: Before undertaking canning or preserving, it’s important to know the rules for food safety associated with it. Check out these great resources to ensure your food is preserved properly:
This is the Website for the UC Master Food Preserver Program, offering tips, recipes, and more:
This is the Sonoma County Regional Contact for UC Program, which offers free classes and workshops:
Another great resource is the National Center for Food Preservation:

Note: Sale prices in effect from September 27-October 3, 2023 at all four Oliver’s Market locations.

Before we get too far, let’s Make sure we are using the same terminology:

From our friends at Wikipedia, “Pickling is the process of preserving or extending the shelf life of food by either anaerobic fermentation in brine or immersion in vinegar. The pickling procedure typically affects the food’s texture and flavor. The resulting food is called a pickle, or, to prevent ambiguity, prefaced with pickled.

Just one step beyond cooking, canning food involves processing food in closed glass canning jars at high temperatures. The heat interrupts natural spoilage by destroying food contaminants and, at the same time, removes air from the canning jars. As the jars cool, a vacuum seal forms to prevent recontamination. Most common is the water bath method, but pressure canning can also be done at home to preserve meats and other foods that require it.

A broader term, preserving refers to all of the ways food can be preserved for future use. Techniques include Water Bath Canning, Pressure Canning, Vacuum Sealing, Fermenting, Refrigerator Pickling, and more. In other words, there are a lot of great ways to enjoy food in the future that can be set aside today!

Supplies and Ingredients on Sale!
We have some helpful visuals listing the basic items needed for Water Bath Canning, so check that out and make sure you have what you need before getting started.
In addition to 25% off Local Produce this week, don’t miss these great buys for your preserving needs:

  • Pickling Cucumbers, Grown in the San Joaquin Valley, CA, $1.29/lb.
  • Pearl Onions Red, White and Gold, Grown by Christopher Ranch in Gilroy, CA, 12 oz. Bag, $2.99/ea.
  • Organic Green and Red Cabbage, Grown in California by Josie’s, $0.79/lb.
  • Local Organic Honeycrisp Apples, Grown by Devoto Gardens in Sebastopol, CA via F.E.E.D. Cooperative, 25 % OFF
  • Organic Red and Gold Beets, Grown by Monecucco in Oregon via F.E.E.D. Cooperative, $1.49/lb.
  • Local Organic Early Girl and Roma Tomatoes, Grown by Windrift in Petaluma, CA via F.E.E.D. Cooperative, 25 % OFF
  • Golden State Vinegar, 1 Gallon Bottle, 2 for $7
  • Sure-Jell Pectin, 1.75 oz. Package, $3.29
  • Morton & Basset Pickling Spice, 1.9 oz. Jar, $3.99
  • Oliver’s Own Apple Juice, 1 gal Jug – REV, Local, $10.99

Our recipe team gathered up some great recipes for using our local bounty in delicious ways. For apples, we offer Apple Butter and Applesauce. For pears, how about Brown Sugar & Cardamom Pear Jam? We have recipes for classic Dill Pickles and Strawberry Jam to share, too! Imagine bringing some homemade Apple Butter or Dill Pickles as a hostess gift or adding homemade Strawberry Jam to a breakfast gift basket this Christmas? These gifts are always appreciated and last until your recipient is ready to enjoy them!

Living here in Sonoma County, we have a deep appreciation for the flavors of each season, celebrating not only produce, but also our community and environmental stewardship. We hope you take a leap and try preserving some great local produce this week with a little help from Oliver’s.

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