Garden Season: Adventures in Canning

This post is sponsored by Wayfair, but all opinions are my own.

Gardening has become a summer tradition at our house! Our garden grows every year, and the vegetables we are able to harvest are always amazing. This year, I spent many a summer night canning our bounty so that we are able to enjoy the fruits of our labor all year long.

We’re also actively composting for the garden, and we’re hopeful that next year we will have even more compost for our soil. Our Miracle Grow composter has been incredibly easy to use. We had a hard time selecting the perfect composter but this 54 gallon tumbler has been everything we’ve needed. We purchased our composter from Wayfair, and it’s been one of our favorite garden purchases.

Garden: May 2019

The Heritage of Food Preservation

My family roots lie deep within the foothills of West Virginia, where canning is less of a hobby and more of a necessity. For generations, my family has canned the fruits of their summer gardens to keep their cupboards stocked during the harsh winters. I can remember as a little girl helping my grandmothers and aunts can during summer visits.

Once we started growing our own summer garden, canning was something instinctively I knew I needed to do. For the most part, canning has come easy to me. In fact, I’ve won a few ribbons at our county fair for my canning items.

Sweet Relish

Sweet relish is incredibly simple to make, I make one batch every two years. I begin the process by washing all of the cucumbers I plan to use. Although, all of my produce comes from my backyard, we do use a light pesticide and you’ll want to make sure all food you preserve is pesticide free. Once I’ve washed the produce, I then use a mandoline slicer to dice the cucumbers into small slivers.

I place the diced cucumbers into a bowl with 1/4 cup canning salt and place the mixture into the refrigerator for two hours. While the cucumbers are chilling in the refrigerator, I sterilize the jars I intend to use. I prefer to make the relish in small jelly jars for portion control. The jelly jars are the perfect size for a cookout or dinner and ensure that our relish doesn’t go to waste.


After the mixture has chilled for two hours, I drain the excess liquid. I then place the sliced cucumbers into a large nonreactive saucepan (not aluminum!). I then combine the cucumbers with 2 cups sugar, 2 1/2 cups white vinegar and a packet of Ms. Wages’s pickle relish mix with the sliced cucumbers. I bring the mixture to a boil and then let it simmer for 10 minutes; stirring occasionally. Remove from heat.


Ladle the hot relish mix into the sterilized jars. Make sure to leave a 1/2 inch headspace. Wipe rim, and cap each jar as it is filled. Process the jars using the water bath method for 15 minutes.

Once the jars have been processed remove them from the canner and let cool. The relish is ready to serve in 24 hours.

Did you love the canning items I picked out? You’ll love these kitchen and tabletop accessories from my friends at Wayfair.

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Amanda is a native of Richmond, VA. She enjoys writing, blogging, traveling, shopping, and spending time with friends and family.

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