Shortage of canning materials impacts 4-H projects


EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WEHT)- The time spent at home this spring due to COVID made for many trying out their green thumbs. Now as harvest time has come, we’re seeing a resurgence of a tradition once lost to some.

“Once the lid pops you take them out and you can store them in your closet for up to a year,” Amanda Deutsch and her mom find themselves spending a lot of time in their kitchen during the fall.

“I have canned salsa, cucumbers into pickles, and also jam,” Amanda explains.
As a 10 year 4-H participant, she has become a sort of an expert on canning the vegetables she grows in her garden. But this year, the year of a global pandemic, Amanda and her mom, Jennifer, found themselves struggling from the beginning of planting season.

“Our first challenge was finding plants,” Jennifer says.

After crossing that hurdle and putting seeds in the ground, another issue arose.

“I hadn’t really associated that if you’re having trouble finding plants,” Jennifer says. “Eventually everyone was going to have to can or do something with the vegetables.”

So they sifted through their cabinets.

“So we were fine on jars but the salsa mix that we normally buy, there was a shortage on that,” Amanda says. “And there was also shortages on the sealing lids because you can’t reuse those.”

The Deutsch’s like many across the country have stumbled along signs like the ones at the Evansville Rural King explaining they were out of the lids needed to guarantee the freshness of their product.

“It did worry us a little bit but we had faith that we would be able to get it done and we’d have at least a little bit that we could use,” Amanda continues.

After a hunt and traveling around the Tri-State, the pair were able to can their favorite salsa and some jam. But not as much as usual. They had to freeze what was leftover.

Although it made for a harder year of canning, Jennifer is happy to see people taking part in a hobby she and her daughter enjoy, “fresh fruits, fresh vegetables are always the best. So as a dietitian I truly, definitely grateful that people were able to expand and try some new things this year with planting their own gardens.”

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(This story was originally published on Oct. 8, 2020)

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