Permaculture Princess Podcast

PPP 13: Food Preservation and Foraging with Robin Harris



Today, I am introducing you to a very beautiful friend of mine! She is a fellow believer, a homeschooling mother , a musician extrodinaire, and a garden-growing professional! Ok, she’s not actually a garden professional, but she could be! Her family is an inspiration with their great work ethic, intentional community and their attention to researching topics and learning truth. They knew about permaculture and started using its principles, way before it was cool! There are so many things we could talk about, but today we are focusing on food preservation. Robin preserves much of their own food through canning, freezing, and fermenting…they even make a dandelion soda pop, which I will absolutely ask her about! So, stick around and listen in as I introduce you to the canning expert, at least for today, Robin Harris. 


In This Episode You’ll Learn:

  • About various preservation methods, such as canning, freezing and fermenting.
  • Different garden and foraged foods and what foods are best preserved in specific ways.
  • A look into foraging and preserving wild mushrooms.
  • A Dandelion Soda Pop how-to.
  • How a big family is beneficial to a homestead, and how the roles work specifically to gardening and food preservation.
  • Where to begin, how to get started with canning, freezing and fermenting.


Resources Mentioned/Used:

  • Canning:
    • Water-bath Canning: For lower acidic food. (No pressure canner needed)
    • Pressure Canning: Higher acidic food. Pressure Canner needed.
    • Leda Meredith of the Spruce Eats explains the difference between these 2 canning methods,
    • One is boiling water bath canning, which requires no special equipment beyond the canning jars. The other is pressure canning, which requires a very specialized piece of equipment called a pressure canner (no, that’s not the same thing as a pressure cooker)….All low acid a.k.a. alkaline foods must be processed in a pressure canner, not a boiling water bath… It means that any unpickled vegetable, including vegetable soup stocks and all animal products, cannot be safely processed in a boiling water bath. You need a pressure canner for them.

    • Foods Robin cans: Tomato sauce, Pizza Sauce, Ketchup, Marinara, Stewed Tomatoes, Green Beans, Applesauce, Salsa, Pickled Relish, Beets, Jelly/Jam, Maple Syrup, Dried Beans
  • Freezing: Blanch vegetables first and then cool and place in freezer bags. Vacuum sealer will keep the veggies fresher longer.
    • Foods Robin freezes: Garden Veggies (Green Beans, Corn, Zucchini, Leeks..) Cut fruit for pies (Apples, pears, etc)
  • Fermenting:
    • Foods Robin ferments: Pickles, Kombucha, Kimchi, Sauerkraut (cabbage)
  • Wild Mushrooms:
    • Chicken of the Woods Mushroom
    • Pheasant Back Mushrooms
    • Drying mushrooms in the sun will increase the vitamin D content in the mushroom.
  • Dandelion Soda:
    • Recipe:

Dandelion Soda

Make Dandelion Root Tea. (Dry Dandelion root, then roast over heat until it becomes brown and fragrant. Add water and bring to boil, let sit for 30-40 minutes)

Use 1 Gallon of Dandelion Root Tea

Mix 1 cup of maple syrup

Add carbonation (Various methods for this, can be done over time or with force carbonation)

More Canning Recipes from Robin:

Pizza Sauce

  • Difficulty: intermediate
  • Print
Pizza Sauce

22 lbs tomatoes

3 cups onions, chopped

6 cloves garlic, chopped

1/4 cup olive oil

2 Tablespoon dried basil

1 Tablespoon dried oregano

1 Tablespoon dried Thyme

1 Tablespoon dried black pepper

2 Tablespoon salt

1 Tablespoon honey

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper

Lemon juice

Wash, core, and quarter tomatoes. Cook until soft. (about 10 min.) Put 
through a food strainer.

Cook onions and garlic in oil. Put a few cups of the strained tomatoes 
in a blender, add the onions, garlic and oil. Blend. Add back to tomato 
juice. Add the rest of the ingredients.

Bring to a boil. Cook down to pizza sauce consistency.

To can: Add 1 Tablespoon lemon juice to each pint jar. Fill to 1/2 inch 
headspace. Process in steam canner or water bath for 35 minutes.

Pickled Beet Stems

  • Difficulty: intermediate
  • Print
Cut beet stems to the length that will fit in a pint jar, and pack them in.

1 cinnamon stick broken

1/2 Tablespoon allspice berries

1/2 teaspoon whole cloves

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon pickling salt

1 cup water

1 cup cider vinegar

Stir to dissolve and bring to a boil. Let simmer for a minute.

Strain the whole spices out and pour the hot liquid into the jars.

Put clean sterile lids and rings on jars and process is steam canner or 
water bath for 30 minutes.

Ready to eat in two weeks.

Stewed Tomatoes

  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

4 quarts chopped, peeled and cored tomatoes

1 cup chopped celery

1/2 cup chopped onion

1/4 cup chopped green pepper

1 Tablespoon honey

2 teaspoons salt

Combine all ingredients in a large saucepan. Cover and cook 10 minutes, 
stirring to prevent sticking. Ladle hot vegetables into hot jars, 
leaving 1-inch head-space. Process pints 15 minutes, quarts 20 minutes, 
at 10 pounds pressure in a steam-pressure canner.

For More on this Topic See:

  • You can contact me via the contact page and I will get you in touch with Robin, if you have any questions!
  • Another podcast I really enjoyed, especially regarding fermented foods was, Theresa Lowe’s Living Homegrown Podcast, when she talked to fermenting expert, Karen Diggs.



This show is brought to you by ME, my brother and my super supportive family! If you would like to support this process, please consider sharing financially with my support squad.

Intro/Outro Music by Scott Holmes, “A Wee Tipple”

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