The terms ‘bottling’ and ‘canning’ are often interchangeable, and both refer to sealing food into airtight containers and heating them to kill all bacteria inside.
Canning is far less sustainable due to the one-use nature of the container, but bottling is excellent since containers can be reused, and is easily possible to do in a normal home kitchen.
Bottling is an excellent method for produce with a high acid level, such as fruit.
The high acid level hinders the growth of unwanted bacteria, helping to preserve the contents for a long time.
In low acid produce, bottling is more complicated and may require the addition of natural substances such as Pectin.
Once the produce is ready it is sealed inside a jar or bottle, then heated.
This can be accomplished using solar stove or oven techniques (see energy page) and can be easily accomplished in a sustainable manner.
If you open a home bottled jar and there’s a release of pressure, the food is spoiled. Usually the obnoxious smell will make this very obvious but please don’t trust the food even if it smells OK.
– Allotment gardening.org
Bottling is quite easy and can be accomplished by beginners, but bottling is something of an art form, with many possible methods and solutions for various produce and shelf-life. Many tutorials are available online, if you want to store your home grown food, bottling is a good place to start!