At the fair this year, we had a good number of food preservation exhibitors. I have a concern, though. Based on the recipes given and our altitude in Harvey County, a good portion of exhibitors did not process their food long enough to kill any bacteria. This is a concern because when you go to eat your preserved food, it might have bacteria and be unsafe to consume.
When canning foods at home, adjustments need to be made due to the elevation of where you are. For foods in a water-bath canner, extra time needs to be added, and for foods in a pressure canner, extra pressure needs to be added. Most recipes you find are for elevations of 0 to 1,000 feet; Harvey County is not in that range. Almost all of Harvey County is in the 1,000 to 1,500 feet range; with an exception to one little area that is in the 1,500 to 2,000 feet range.
An example would be if you were canning tomato juice in boiling water canner:
|Jar Size||0 to 1,000 ft||1,001 to 3,000 ft||3,001 to 6,000 ft||Above 6,000 ft|
Basically, you add 5 minutes as the elevation rises. When it comes to using a dial-gauge pressure canner you add 1 pound as the elevation rises and if you use a weighted-gauge pressure canner, you add 5 pounds as the elevation rises.
By following this guideline, you will cook your foods to the right temperature to kill bacteria and keep your family and you safe.