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Home food preservation is a way to preserve the freshness of homegrown or locally purchased foods. Methods include canning, freezing and drying. Whether you have excess produce from your garden, or you simply want to preserve your own jam, SDSU Extension provides established and trusted research-based food preservation information.


shelves lined with canned goods


Canning is a method used for the preservation of a variety of foods, including vegetables, fruits and meats.

various meals packed in ziplock bags and stored in a freezer


Freezing is an easy and convenient method of preserving food. However, freezing does not kill bacteria, rather freezing slows down the growth of bacteria and enzyme activity- which affects the quality of the product over time.

two whole apples behind a small pile of dehydrated apple slices


Drying or dehydrating is one of the oldest methods of food preservation. Drying removes moisture from the food and slows enzyme activity. Dried foods take up less storage space and do not require refrigeration.

Our Programs

Home canning supplies and canned vegetables arranged on a countertop.

Master Food Preserver Volunteer Program

The Master Food Preserver program provides volunteers with extensive knowledge of safe home food preservation practices, research-tested recipes and up-to-date USDA food preservation regulations.

A variety of fresh fruits and vegetables displayed on a countertop.

Pick it! Try it! Like it! Preserve it!

Pick it! Try it! Like it! Preserve it! materials are filled with tips for selecting, preparing, and preserving a wide variety of fruits and vegetables.

cans of various jams and jellies on a shelf

4-H Food Preservation Project

Food preservation is a way to enjoy fresh-grown fruits, meats and vegetables all year! Many every day foods we eat are preserved by canning, pickling, freezing or drying.