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Project Spotlight: Food Preservation

Have you planted a garden but had so much produce that you can’t get it all eaten and don’t know what to do with it?  Did you know that it can be frozen, dehydrated or canned?  By using any one of these three options you can keep your family fed all winter long!


  • Exhibitor must be enrolled in Food & Nutrition project.
  • All recipes, procedures, and times followed must be according to current USDA and/or National Center for Home Food Preservation recommendations.
  • All food preservation exhibits must be labeled with a 2” x 3” label. Labels to include county, name, and grade, and product, style of pack, processing method (boiling water bath or pressure canner), date, processing time, date processed and source of recipe. Pressure canned items indicate dial or weighted gauge and how many pounds of pressure used.
  • Jars must be heat-tempered glass canning jars.
  • All jars must be sealed.  Leave screw bands on two pieces jar lids.  Jellies and jams must be covered with lids.
  • Use pint jars for fruit, vegetables, and fish; one-half pint jars for jams and jellies; 2- 1 pint jars or one quart jar for pickled products.
  • Jellies and jams must be processed in boiling water bath according to USDA and/or University of Minnesota food preservation publications, available through the Extension Office.  Note: Paraffin is not acceptable.
  • No artificial food coloring should be added to entries.
  • - Dried foods may be stored in glass jars, self-sealing plastic bags or airtight plastic bags. The quantity of dried foods should be: fruits and vegetables - 1/2 cup or more of each, herbs - 1/4 cup of each in whole leaf form, 3 strips of meat (i.e. venison or beef jerky).
  • Preserved within the past year.

Head Space heights for canning:

  • 1/4" headspace for Jams, Jellies, Marmalade, Chutney, Spreads & Butters
  • 1/2" headspace for Pickles, Tomatoes, Fruit
  • 1" headspace for Vegetables (not pickled)
  • 1" - 1 1/2" headspace for Meat, Poultry, and Fish

Exhibit suggestions:

Suggested exhibits include one (1) jar or one (1) bag of product:

  • Vegetables or fruits
  • Jams, jellies, preserves, low-sugar spreads (no frozen)
  • Pickled products (fermented or added acid, including pickles, sauerkraut, relishes, salsa).
  • Meats, poultry and/or fish.  (Fish must be in pint jars.)
  • Dried vegetables or dried fruits.
  • Dried herbs.
  • Beef or venison jerky.
  • Food science experiment or educational display.