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Ask Jackie headline

Click here to ask Jackie a question!
Jackie Clay answers questions for BHM Subscribers & Customers
on any aspect of low-tech, self-reliant living.

Jackie Clay

Q and A: Canning bacon grease and saving seeds

Thursday, April 26th, 2012

Canning Bacon Grease

I use bacon grease in frying eggs and sometimes potatoes and making cornbread. I have several jars of it in the refrigerator because my mother fries a lot of bacon and saves the grease and brings it to me. Can the bacon grease be canned up and stored for later use and if so, how long would it last home canned? Thank you for all of your inspiration in trying canning new things that I had always been told that I could not can. I love your canning book and use it quite often.

Polly Henning
Joelton, Tennessee

You can put up bacon grease, just like you do lard. I just heat it up and pour it into half pint or pint jars which have been sterilized. Fill to 1/2 inch of the top and put on a hot, previously simmered lid and screw down the ring firmly tight. The jars will seal without further processing. This will last for years without getting rancid, in my experience. I’m glad you like the canning book! — Jackie

Saving seeds

We are new to self-reliance. Can you tell us the best and most fail proof way to harvest and store vegetable seeds from our garden to use next season? We have a cabin in Ozark mountains of Arkansas and are trying to learn how to live off grid but so many things are more expensive than we can afford. My husband is making his own wind generator and has hooked us to a battery system.

Sharon King
Denham Springs, Louisiana

It is very easy and definitely inexpensive to harvest/store your own seeds. Check out my article Saving seeds, which was in issue 129 of the magazine or is also available online at I know what you mean about needing to live off grid inexpensively. We, too, are challenged with this. I’ve lived off grid VERY cheaply before, by simply using very little electricity, which was provided by a smaller, cheap generator, used a couple times a week. You do learn to conserve and use electricity very frugally! But it’s amazing what you can do for yourself and how happy you are while doing it! Enjoy the path. — Jackie

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