I have always wished that greater numbers of people would be interested in canning, gardening, and food crafts. That is why I started blogging. Thanks to 2020’s Covid crisis my wishes have come true and, as they say, “Be careful what you wish for”.
Millions of people were sent home from work with plenty of spare time to learn new home skills. Throw in food shortage fears, and suddenly backyard gardens have popped up everywhere. Bread baking is America’s new favorite past time, and everybody and their brother is learning how to can.
I really am thrilled with the current enthusiasm about self sufficiency and food preservation. Lately though, I’ve been wishing some of the new members of the canning community would get back to work or watching Netflix. Because this canning revival is causing a shortage in canning lids and, like the rest of the canners out there, I am struggling to stay stocked up on canning supplies.
From what I can tell the canning supplies shortage is being felt everywhere. For the last few weeks everyone I talk to about canning mentions the struggle to stay supplied. The topic has been mentioned quite frequently this Summer in many social media homesteading groups. I recently met my preschooler’s new teacher and was excited to learn that she is also a gardener and canner. A large portion of our conversation at “meet the teacher” was about her search for lids and jars. There is plenty of speculation about the shortage being caused by manufacturing facilities shut down due to Covid concerns. I’m guessing the bigger issue is just extreme demand.
The cost of lids and jars online have shot to ridiculous prices. Amazon currently has Ball and Kerr canning lids listed for over $1.00 a piece. Can we say price gauging? In early June I was lucky to order a case of Orchard Road Lids (no longer available). Even after ordering a full case, I still ended up paying $.52 a piece for the flats. That case has dwindled down to less than 7 boxes, but when I look at those 7 tiny boxes I feel rich. Like me, you might have better luck finding lids online than in your local supermarkets. But buyer beware; some of the lids listed as “canning lids” are actually only intended for dry storage and will not seal your jars.
If the lid shortage continues, I just might have to break down and learn how to properly use Tattler lids. I have a few that I unfortunately did not have great success with. Probably user error. I have never found the need to revisit them and actually learn what I did wrong. That may change soon.
There is also the possibility of breaking one of the cardinal canning safety rules and reusing old lids? I think I would only break that rule under extreme circumstances though. I realize that some of you reading this might be rebel canners that regularly reuse your lids. I can not be so adventurous because I have never been able to remove the lids when opening jars without bending the edges of them. I guess I will just have to hope that demand for lids slows down as everyone gets back to work.
There is plenty of talk these days about things getting back to normal or “the new normal.” It would be really great if interest in self-suffiiency and food preservation continues on and becomes part of the “new normal” for all of the new 2020 backyard gardeners and suburbanite homesteaders. I’m sure supply will eventually catch up with the new found demand. In the meantime, if you are considering partaking in pandemic hoarding, hoard some regular mouth lids and ship them to me please.