Safe At-Home Food Preservation Methods

Save money, eat healthier, and enjoy better tasting food by preserving your fresh Farmers Market finds at home!


The Fort Collins-Loveland Farmers Market has compiled a list of approved methods for safe food preservation with links to resources to help you through each process.


Canning is the process of placing your food in jars or cans and heating them to a temperature that kills microorganisms and inactive enzymes. As the jars/cans cool, a vacuum seal is created. There are two at home canning methods: water bath canning and pressure canning.

  • Water Bath Canning is a shorter, lower-temperature canning process that is ideal for high-acid foods like fruits and fruit juices, jams/jellies, salsas, vinegars and more.  Check out this guide for step-by-step water bath canning instructions.
  • Pressure Canning is best used for low-acid foods like vegetables, meats, poultry and seafood. The pressure canning process heats contents to 240° to kill bacteria and is also recommended when mixing high-acid foods with low-acid foods. Check out this guide from step-by-step pressure canning instructions.



Almost any vegetable can be pickled, but is best done with FRESH veggies.  “Quick Pickles” also known as refrigerator pickles, are simply vegetables that have been pickled in a vinegar, water, and salt (sometimes sugar, too) solution and stored in the refrigerator. While Quick Pickles do not develop the same deep flavor of fermented pickles, they only require a few days in the brine before you can enjoy them! What’s more, Quick Pickles do not require canning when refrigerated. Check out this Quick Pickling Guide.



Freezing is a much less time-consuming method of preserving your food and if you freeze your produce at the their peak, they’ll retain many of their vitamins and minerals. Although the freezing process may seem like it requires nothing but basic common sense, here are a few tips and tricks to ward of freezer burn, stop food from sticking together, and more.



Drying is the simple process of dehydrating foods until there is not enough moisture to support microbial activity. If adequately dried and properly stored, dehydrated foods are shelf stable. The two easiest (and safest) ways for drying food are with your oven or with an electric dehydrator appliance. View this guide for step-by-step instructions using both methods and how to properly store your dehydrated products.
The Fort Collins-Loveland Farmers Market is in full swing this September and each market location has tons of produce just waiting to be stored for you to enjoy later this winter!