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Yesterday, I bought two cases of mason jars. Why? Because I just got this in the mail from Lark Books: Canning and Preserving with Ashley English, and I was just that inspired. “If you’ve got a stovetop, a big pot, some jars and lids, and access to fresh produce, then you’re all set to get boiling.” The author’s friendly tone puts us at ease right from the introduction. Canning and preserving is a growing movement to bring us closer to our food, to encourage us to eat locally-grown foods, and to enjoy “the freshest, safest, most nutritious fruits and vegetables available.”  With this movement, we need books like Ashley’s that walk us through every step of the process. The book covers jams, jellies, relishes, chutneys, whole fruits and veggies and more. Recipes include nectarine chutney, peach and lavender butter, and beet and sage relish, to name only a few. Portraits of canners and their stories sprinkled throughout personalize the book. Even the texture of the soft, grainy pages feels homey and comforting. (Hence, the two dozen mason jars sitting in my kitchen.)

Canning and Preserving is part of the  Homemade Living series from Lark Books, which also includes the  Keeping Chickens with Ashley English, a book that sounds wonderfully intriguing (now I must know, how does one keep chickens?). Are you just as intrigued? Well, on to…


Leave a comment to this post before Thursday, November 4, midnight EST for a chance to win Canning and Preserving with Ashley English AND Keeping Chickens with Ashley English.


Be sure to have an email or web address attached to your profile or some means of contacting you if win. Winner will be chosen randomly. For this giveaway, US addresses only!!

By Meaghan Mountford

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111 Comments so far

  1. Chelsea M on October 20, 2010 3:02 pm

    I’m just starting to get into at-home food preservation, so I would LOVE to win these!

    I can almost guarantee I would end up with a backyard full of chickens if I read through Keeping Chickens, but it’s just too intriguing to resist!

  2. Emily on October 20, 2010 3:08 pm

    Awesome giveaway! I love making jams and jellies.

  3. Gena on October 20, 2010 3:15 pm

    This book sounds fantastic. I’d love to start making jams and jellies!

  4. Lisa L-VZ on October 20, 2010 3:22 pm

    What a great giveaway! I just learned how to can peaches and pickles like my grandma used to do.

  5. Cassandra G. on October 20, 2010 3:24 pm

    I have seriously been wanting to learn more about canning/preserving AND keeping chickens. What a great giveaway!

  6. Anna on October 20, 2010 3:48 pm

    I could always use more ideas for jam makin! Great giveaway :D

  7. LeAnna on October 20, 2010 4:49 pm

    I would love both of these books. My husband and I are such farmer wannabes.

  8. Brent on October 20, 2010 4:56 pm

    These both sound great to me!

  9. Rosanna on October 20, 2010 6:08 pm

    How wonderful! I’ve always wanted to make my own jams and give them away as thank-you gifts!

  10. Bobbi on October 20, 2010 6:10 pm

    Oh! This is exciting!! I just had my very first canning adventure two days ago! I made homemade tomato sauce, with produce from my favorite local farm market, and crossed my fingers and hoped that I didn’t screw up the canning. The seals seem great, so I’m happy! Tomorrow, I tackle homemade apple butter!

  11. Teri C on October 20, 2010 6:48 pm

    Oh those are/were totally needed earlier this week when I had a jam setting mishap. These are wonderful books! I would totally love them to grace my shelves and my preserving adventures. Did I mention we are planning on our two girls raising chickens this spring ?!

  12. Bobbi on October 20, 2010 7:56 pm

    Canning is one of my new hobbies. I would love to read the books.

  13. Miriam on October 20, 2010 8:28 pm

    Totally obsessed with canning right now! I would love to learn more from this book!!

  14. Michelle on October 20, 2010 8:53 pm

    Awesome giveaway!! We already have a garden and can some of our veggies…would be a great way to learn how to do more with what we grow. And I’d love to know more about keeping chickens too!

  15. Christin Harris on October 20, 2010 8:56 pm

    I love canning and my husband has been trying to talk me into getting chickens…. maybe this will convince me:)

  16. Kaylin on October 21, 2010 6:49 am

    Oh my goodness!!! I need these books! I have always wanted a chicken coop in my backyard and a huge garden where I could grow enough food to can and eat all winter (instead of buying frozen bags of veggies). Thanks for the opportunity!

  17. ga447 on October 21, 2010 6:59 am

    thank you for this giveaway. I love preserving and need new recipes. Preserving make great gifts and when January comes around you can have a great moment of great taste.


  18. Tara on October 21, 2010 7:31 am

    My husband is obsessed about keeping chickens in our city backyard. And bees. Think we might need to move somewhere with more land!

  19. Paula on October 21, 2010 7:58 am

    This could be very helpful for me :)

    have a nice time!

  20. Mia Valcarcel on October 21, 2010 8:19 am

    This book looks really interesting.

  21. Adri on October 21, 2010 8:27 am

    I’d love to learn how I can can ;)

  22. Jennifer Chambers on October 21, 2010 9:56 am

    Great timing…I’m actually researching how to get started right now.

  23. Kristin McCarthy on October 21, 2010 10:24 am

    These books are right up my ally! I am falling in love with canning this fall and am interested in raising some chickens too!

  24. Amy on October 21, 2010 11:39 am

    I would love these books as I am a home canner and want to learn all about raising chickens.

  25. Jessica on October 21, 2010 3:12 pm

    Now that the weather has cooled, canning is a great way to kill time inside and make Christmas gifts.

  26. Becky on October 21, 2010 5:12 pm

    I have wanted to learn all about canning for years! Just got home with a couple dozen vintage blue Ball Perfect Mason jars that had been used by my Great Grandmother!!

    I love chickens – actually had 3 lovely hens for a long while.

    Thanks for the chance to win!

  27. Carmen on October 21, 2010 7:19 pm

    We did some canning this summer and just started to raise chickens, but we still have a lot to learn!

  28. Jessica on October 22, 2010 7:48 am

    I have always, always, always wanted to learn how to make my own jams and preserves. This is definitely a book worth checking out.. and definitely a book worth winning!

  29. Stephanie on October 22, 2010 9:12 am

    I would love this…my Grandma and I made 29 jars of strawberry jam this summer. I’m too scared to can without her…the task seems too daunting but maybe this book will help!

  30. Jessica C on October 22, 2010 10:44 am

    Wonderful! I just checked Canning and Preserving out from the library and my husband and I both loved it! I would love a copy!

  31. Mama Magpie on October 23, 2010 7:55 am

    I would LOVE to have these books at home – such great resources!

  32. Catherine Chandler on October 23, 2010 7:59 am

    My best friend just gifted me a jar of her “green tomato and lemon marmalade”! The tomato season in the Northwest was really rough this year, and many people were left with green ones…I had suggested making salsa verde to her, but she found this recipe and it’s delicious! I would love to get into preserving so I could use some of the produce that grows “wildly” (publicly, I guess) around here :)

  33. Tabitha on October 23, 2010 12:10 pm

    My husband (and I) would love this SO much!

  34. Shannon F. on October 23, 2010 4:13 pm

    I agree with Catherine, tomatoes never ripened, bummer….but less canning to do. These books look great!

  35. Anna on October 24, 2010 1:35 am

    I love a good contest. :D I’ve been wanting to learn how to learn the art of canning since I was little! And my mom, I am sure, would love a book on how to take care of chicky-poos! She’s got a little herd herself. Herd of chickens? Group of chickens? Ah well!

  36. Jessica Alvarado on October 25, 2010 7:36 am

    I just did my first round of canning this summer with my best friend. It was so much fun! But the chickens are really what i’m excited about. I worked with a girl who had backyard chickens and she made it sound like fun.

  37. Larissa on October 25, 2010 10:36 am

    This looks great! I love to learn how to make things.

  38. Mama Lusco on October 25, 2010 4:27 pm

    I need these books…have a small flock of chickens and I do lots of canning :) mamalusco at ortelco dot net

  39. Sarah @ Dolls And Daydreams on October 26, 2010 7:03 am

    ooowww we had chickens as a child but they never laid any eggs … i’d love to give it a shot, but i’d probably have better luck canning some jam instead hahaha

  40. Patricia Holmes on October 26, 2010 9:13 am

    Well, now that the heat of El Paso Texas is finally dwindling, I am in the mood to figure out how to can some goodies. Good produce is hard to find here and I figure if Momma was able to do this, well than…why not me.

  41. Holly on October 26, 2010 1:37 pm

    Very cool giveaway. I have heard this is the new craze and would love to learn more about it!


  42. sharon on October 26, 2010 9:12 pm

    I would love to win these books, this is one area I could improve – food! I would love to make some personal holiday gifts…Thanks!

  43. Maggie O. on October 27, 2010 6:17 am

    Ashley’s books are an inspiration and I can’t wait for the next two on bees and dairy, but in the meantime, getting my very own copies of Canning… and Keeping… would be so exciting!

  44. Shari J. on October 27, 2010 11:21 pm

    I love to can, preserve and make pickled foods. My neighbor just moved and left us her chickens because she could not have them in the city where she is moving to. I need to know more about these little ladies….and the guy! Please draw my name. Thanks for the opportunity to win.

  45. Mirja on October 28, 2010 5:06 am

    I would love this! Thanks for the giveaway

  46. Rachel S. on October 28, 2010 6:22 am

    It would be a dream come true to win these books! My family and I have ben on a serious mission to get back to basics with food. Canning & preserving fruits & veggies would help us to eat delicious, healthy food all year long! Also, it is a dream of mine to have a chicken coop when we buy a house! I have already started doing research on the topic! Too cool!

  47. Solace on October 28, 2010 9:16 am

    wow, that looks neat. I’d love to learn how to can. After the pumpkin shortage last year…

  48. Naomi Peters on October 28, 2010 10:23 am

    Great giveaway! Hope I win :-)

  49. Connie on October 28, 2010 10:54 pm

    We did some canning this year and now I’m hooked. These would be wonderful books to have.

  50. Claire L Caudle on October 29, 2010 8:47 am

    I’d love to win these books i love making anything i can. It would give me another “String to my Bow”

  51. Heather S on October 29, 2010 4:09 pm

    Oh my goodness I’ve been wanting these books! I’ve read the wonderful reviews around the web and would LOVE to get my hands on them! Thanks for the chance to win!

  52. Audrey on October 29, 2010 8:55 pm

    Oh canning reminds me of my mom. I hope to pass it along to my daughter

  53. Lauren @ten23designs on October 30, 2010 7:09 am

    I would love to win this book… we have plans to start canning this coming year.

  54. kim beldowski on October 30, 2010 4:12 pm

    I would love to have this. I love to can and keep chickens. Crossing my fingers and hoping to win.

  55. lindsay on October 30, 2010 5:05 pm

    We just got our first chickens, and I would love to start canning from our garden next summer. I really hope to win these!

  56. InJuneau on October 31, 2010 3:11 pm

    I love to can and have friends who just started keeping chickens, so these books look like they’d be really useful!

  57. Susan R. on October 31, 2010 8:07 pm

    We canned for the first time this fall and I’m hooked! I’d love to win these books!

  58. HollyB on October 31, 2010 9:00 pm

    One of my favorite memories is my mom canning peaches in the summer and my grandma making homemade jam for everyone. There is nothing better and since I am going to be starting my own garden in the spring, I can’t wait to keep up the tradition.

  59. Elizabeth Renard on November 1, 2010 3:55 am

    Sounds fabulous! Love to do these types of things!

  60. Diana Osteen on November 1, 2010 11:30 am

    I did some canning many years ago as a young woman with my mother, would love to do some again with my daughter, who is now a young woman.

  61. Denise Kay Melbie on November 1, 2010 2:39 pm

    I would LOVE to learn to can and preserve! Every year I grow a big garden of produce and only use up what I can, the rest goes to waste!! So sad, with this book I could eat garden veggies all year long!

  62. Heidi K on November 1, 2010 3:47 pm

    This looks like a fascinating book… I would love to start canning.

  63. Michelle on November 1, 2010 6:31 pm

    Living in Alaska, we live pretty close to the land, but we are looking into buying an old homestead, so these would go to great use!

  64. Amy Adcox on November 1, 2010 11:20 pm

    I just made my first fireweed jam this year, I would love to try more. The book looks like a lot of fun. So are giveaways!

  65. Julie on November 2, 2010 5:55 am

    A great giveaway.

  66. Emily on November 3, 2010 5:56 pm

    I love making jam…and I just tried making pickles this summer. SOOOO good!

  67. Rose on November 3, 2010 6:45 pm

    My Grandmother use to can but I was too young to learn from her. Would love to learn how to now.

  68. JD on November 3, 2010 7:16 pm

    I’ve just started canning this year, jams only so far. I’d love to learn more!

  69. Morgan on November 3, 2010 7:58 pm

    Ooh fun, I want one!

  70. Karan on November 3, 2010 10:19 pm

    The only reason my grandmother agreed to that fallout shelter my grandpa insisted on building was so that she had a nice tidy place to store all the fruits and veggies she canned all summer. It’s a good think she had an alternate plan for the place because nary a nuclear bomb was ever dropped on their farm.

  71. Samantha on November 3, 2010 11:02 pm

    This is awesome! I just bought a canning set and have been searching for a book to guide me in the right direction of yumminess.

  72. Michelle on November 4, 2010 2:30 am

    I would love to have these, I’d would love to start canning! Thanks so much!

    vingirl at gmail.com

  73. Prissy on November 4, 2010 4:26 am

    I’ve had a secret desire to keep chickens for some time now. I can always use help with canning too. What a wonderful giveaway.

  74. Alisa on November 4, 2010 4:37 am

    Canning is become one of my passions in the last few years, but my recipes are very limited. I would really enjoy to expand my repertoire. My ultimate goal in life to to move to a farm and be almost totally self contained. Raising my own chickens would set me on my way. These books are just what I need!

  75. Melissa T on November 4, 2010 4:48 am

    Ooooh! I would love to win these two books! We have some quail already, and next spring, I want to get some laying hens. Thank you!

  76. Rose on November 4, 2010 5:09 am

    I have wanted to learn more ideas for food preservation. I would make good use of this book.

  77. Debbie on November 4, 2010 5:50 am

    I just started canning this year for the 1st time and I love it! Would love to have this book to learn more about it!

  78. Michele on November 4, 2010 6:05 am

    This book sounds like just what I need to actually start using the jars I have been collecting.

  79. Pam on November 4, 2010 6:19 am

    I started canning and making preserves when I was 19, which was in 1977!! My daughter, who has recently blessed me with my first granddaughter, has tried a little preserve-making, and I’d love to pass this book along to her to show her that the tradition is still alive and thriving!

  80. Crystal F. on November 4, 2010 6:55 am

    I’ve always wanted to learn how to do my own caning.

  81. Meredith on November 4, 2010 7:07 am

    I read about canning and preserving all the time but I’m a little hesitant to actually try it. So far I have just been freezing things from my garden.

  82. Darla on November 4, 2010 7:09 am

    My mother-in-law and I put up applesauce, pie-in-a-jar, salsa, tomatoes, and pickles from our gardens. Just in time for my new baby girl to arrive!
    Would love to own these books!

  83. Michelle @ Italian Mama Chef on November 4, 2010 7:11 am

    I would love this book. I never had anyone teach me canning and really want to learn. This sounds like my kind of book.

  84. Linda from Vegas on November 4, 2010 7:29 am

    This would come in so handy as I am about to embark on the adventure of a life time. We will be moving onto our 40 acres in the middle of nowhere and living completely off the grid. I’m going to have a garden and chickens also. bratimus@hotmail.com

  85. Kathleen Silvestri on November 4, 2010 8:30 am

    Hi! I have an adult daughter now home who is searching to share working in a business with me while we have lost our jobs. This sounds perfect – my husband has been looking into chicken coops in the local neighborhood as well – need to discover how big of a coop we would need. This sounds like a great idea for small home based business.
    Kathleen and Randi

  86. Soper on November 4, 2010 9:09 am

    Oh man, I would LOVE to have chickens. Except I’m pretty sure my neighbors would poison them.

  87. JULIA on November 4, 2010 9:18 am

    Love to get these two books…thank you

  88. Donna Sorensen on November 4, 2010 9:29 am

    This is such an awesome giveaway that I’d be honored to receive. I’d love to start with jams!!!

    Thanks so much!!!


  89. Sara Lynott on November 4, 2010 9:34 am

    This book sounds great!

  90. Marilyn Tucker on November 4, 2010 9:46 am

    I would love to win this. I am new to canning and could really use it.

  91. Regina on November 4, 2010 9:51 am

    Oh how great -I am prepping to make jam from berries I froze this summer (the garden was prolific) and this is a great reference!

  92. Alexandra on November 4, 2010 10:05 am

    I didn’t learn enough about canning from my Mum, and now I can’t ask her. I’d love to be more proficient at putting food by.

  93. Debbie J on November 4, 2010 10:12 am

    Nothing is better than home canned products! I have been canning for a couple of years, but still have a lot to learn.

  94. Jeanine Schmidt on November 4, 2010 10:48 am

    Another fun winter project. Retirement brings time, finally, for canning, etc. Can’t wait…..

  95. Amanda on November 4, 2010 11:03 am

    Would love to win either of these books! I tried my hand at canning jams & some peaches last year with good results, but I want to learn more! I’m also interested in having chickens, but am not sure I have enough space….

  96. SA on November 4, 2010 12:43 pm

    I just started jamming this year–would love the book to help me can other foods.

  97. Paula Wirfel on November 4, 2010 1:19 pm

    I remember my mother and grandmother spending weeks on canning veggies and jams. I’ve thought about trying it myself, but I haven’t a clue how to start. The canning book sounds like just the thing I need. Keeping chickens…hmmm…I never really thought about that, but since we have almost 4 acres of land, it would be worth trying!

  98. yvonne hurt on November 4, 2010 1:20 pm

    these look awesome…ill keep my fingers crossed

  99. Emily Carter on November 4, 2010 1:31 pm

    Would love to win this book!! YUM!!

  100. Heather on November 4, 2010 2:06 pm

    Beautiful book! What a lovely giveaway. Maybe I will win and be inspired to do some canning which I have ALWAYS wanted to learn how to do!

  101. Juli on November 4, 2010 2:25 pm

    I just started canning this fall when I had to pick 8 bushels of apples off of my tree in the same week. I would love to have the book!

  102. neddie58 on November 4, 2010 2:47 pm

    Please let me win

  103. Danyelle on November 4, 2010 2:47 pm

    I love canning, and am always up for getting new tips and recipes. I am also getting chickens this spring, so both of these books would be a great addition to my library.

  104. nicole on November 4, 2010 3:12 pm

    I would LOVE to win this. If I don’t, I’ll definitely be getting the canning book!

  105. Bettina Groh on November 4, 2010 3:15 pm

    My 42 year old single son has started delving into canning without anyone who knows the tricks of the trade to help him. I don’t know how either! So I’d like to win this for him! We will be visiting him for Thanksgiving and he has already made me promise to bring the kettle, food mill and other assorted things… I don’t know what he has in mind other than apple butter but we will be off to the farmers’ market for inspiration!!

  106. Robin on November 4, 2010 3:55 pm

    I would love to can food, I already make all my own bread and snacks. Just need to learn how….

  107. Becky Fisher on November 4, 2010 3:58 pm

    I’ve not done any canning since I lost my mom — but I’d love to start again. She would can anything and everything :-)

  108. Amy on November 4, 2010 4:52 pm

    My sister and I canned with our mom when we were young girls and loved it. We are older and mom is gone and would love to start canning again, I think this would be the perfect book.

  109. Tracy on November 5, 2010 8:57 am

    Thanks so much for the opportunity – this is great!

  110. Colette on November 6, 2010 9:49 am

    I would love to learn how to can and this sounds like a great guide.

  111. Denny on November 17, 2010 6:51 am

    Love to get these two books…thank you

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