And the winner is……

Emily! The random number gods have chosen you as the winner of my can it forward day giveaway. I will email you momentarily with details for claiming your prize. Thanks so much to everyone who entered, and to those of you who didn’t win, make sure you pick up your own copy of So Easy to Preserve when it comes out, it’s an awesome resource! And we’ll have another giveaway some day soon. Happy canning!


In other news, check out these sweet antique jars my sister gave me for my birthday! Starting my antique jar collection 🙂


Can it forward day. A giveaway!

Happy international can it forward day! I hope that you all canned something today and/or ate something that you had canned to celebrate. To me, can it forward day is basically everyday, as I love to get others on to the canning train. I didn’t actually can today, because I just got home from a conference late last night, but zucchini relish and tomato sauce are on the roster for tomorrow. But anyways that brings me to the reason for this post. A can it forward day giveaway!! Pictured below are my giveaway items. I’ve decide to include 4 canned goodies, the zesty zucchini relish and tomato sauce are the two pint size jars, and you will get the fresh stuff I make tomorrow. The half pints are strawberry jam and Victorian barbecue sauce. Yum yum yum. The other exciting thing is that I will be giving away a copy of So Easy to Preserve, which is written by the University of Georgia extension service. This book is an amazing resource with many scientifically tested and trusted recipes. The one caveat, however, is that they are coming out with a new edition at the end of the month so I don’t yet have this book in my possession. What that means is I will likely ship (or give to in person depending who wins) the winner the other prizes first, followed by the book when it comes out. But what this does mean is you’ll be getting the most up to date awesome recipes!


OK here is how to enter. There are going to actually be multiple ways that you can enter this contest. First you will receive one entry for commenting on this page and telling us who first introduced you to canning. Was it a parent or grandparent, a friend, or something you just started doing on your own? I love to hear how people got started, so that will earn you an entry. You can also earn an entry by liking the babbling botanist Facebook page and inviting others to do so. In the spirit of canning it forward I’d like to be able to reach more people and Facebook is a great way to do so. This is going to get complicated for me to tally up, but this is my plan. Anyone you invite gets an entry, but it also earns you an entry if they post the name of the person that invited them like my page on my Facebook wall. I hope this doesn’t get too confusing for everyone involved, but I’m going to give it a shot! The contest will close on the one year anniversary of me starting this blog, August 22 2014 at 9pm Pacific time.

Happy canning! And sorry, but I can ship to Canada and USA only.

Thanks y’all, this giveaway is now CLOSED.

Happy Earth Day! Planting golden paintbrush, convincing you to can, and a jam giveaway!

Happy 2014 Earth Day! I hope you are all doing some earth friendly things today! For me, my field work that was planned for today was postponed until tomorrow, so I’m being green by “working from home.” HA! Anyways, it’s true, well, that I’m home, but all joking aside I wanted to share a couple things that I did do for the occasion, and a few that you can do too.

The first way I celebrated Earth Day was with the Institute for Applied Ecology. Every year we recruit volunteers and plant endangered plants. This year we planted 800 golden paintbrush (so far!) at William L. Finley National Wildlife Refuge. This is my study species as many of you might know! We are proud to say it is well on its way to recovery. Here are a few pictures from the event.

Paintbrush in “cone-tainers” ready to go in the ground.

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A lovely flowering paintbrush

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And his comrades.

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Volunteers working hard to get plants in the ground.

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A paintbrush in his new home on our grid.

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Awesome! Aren’t they gorgeous?! Great way to spend the Saturday before Earth Day!

OK, now to totally switch gears to another Earth Day topic – canning! And other food preservation. I love to can (if you haven’t realized this yet, I’m not sure what blog you’ve been reading), but it’s not just fun and delicious. It can be good for the planet too, and for you! Yes, I’ve been posting a lot of sugary jam recipes lately, but really how much jam do I actually eat? And I do often go for much less sugar. But anyways, let me get to the point – here are my top reasons that you should start preserving this Earth Day . Some of them are earth friendly and some health friendly reasons.

1. It allows you to eat local even in the dead of winter.
This should really count are more than one reason since eating local has so many benefits:
– less emissions from your food travelling
– fresher food
– knowledge of where your food came from – talk to your farmer!
So many foods are available for only a short period, but preserve very well. Berries and fruits are
great canned and some freeze well also. Many vegetables can be pressure canned or are great
pickled, and freeze well. Herbs can be dried, or frozen in oil.

2. You produce less waste
Canning jars are reusable over and over again. Every time you eat a store bought canned good,
you either produce waste throwing it away, or even if you recycle it, it takes energy to do that.
Can your own and that jar is good until it get chipped or cracked!

3. You can customize your recipes (to a safe extent)
Certain things can’t be adjusted in canning because it makes recipes unsafe, such as the
amount of vinegar or lemon juice you add, but there are countless ways that you can customize
recipes to suit your needs
– Use less sugar and a low sugar pectin
– Try sweetening things with honey or stevia
– Adjust saltiness and spiciness to your preference
– Sweeten pickled goods that are too strong with a small amount of sweetener
– Choose the size of jar you preserve in to be appropriate for how much your family eats,
reducing wasted food

4. It can save you money
– Preserve things you grow yourself
– Buy in bulk at the peak of the season, split it with a friend to possibly save even more
– Go to pick your own places to get the same produce cheaper than at the market
Canning can end up being more expensive than store bought, such as when you buy a ton of
tomatoes to make sauce, so plan accordingly by planting the most expensive produce and
things you use the most.

5. People love it when you give canned goods away!

Which leads me to why you forced yourself to read this whole post – the jam giveaway! In celebration of Earth Day, and to spread the love of canning I am giving away one jar of my rhubarb orange jam (click for the recipe). Please enter by commenting below and telling me what you are doing to celebrate Earth Day. One entry per person, and it has to be a comment on the blog not the facebook page so it’s easier for me to just draw from one pool of comments. Good luck! Contest will close one week from today – April 29th at 9pm Pacific time. And for now, just open to US and Canada please. Thanks!

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