Prolific gardener and canner Bert Revel from Salmon Arm who has won many awards for his fruit, vegetables and famous pies over the years, knows about the shortage of canning jars and lids but managed to buy some before the shortage hit. He also has a collection of jars from year to year. (Martha Wickett - Salmon Arm Observer)

Shortage of canning supplies in Shuswap a side effect of COVID-19

Canning jars and lids in short supply in many places across North America

If you can’t find canning jars or lids for all the fruits and vegetables of your labour, you are not alone.

You and hundreds of gardeners and other home canners across North America appear to be in the same predicament.

At Downtown Askew’s in Salmon Arm, Manager Don Tingey said he thinks it’s unlikely people will be able to find them in any grocery stores now because Bernardin, a supplier in Canada of all things canning, appears to be out. Bernardin also lists Kerr and Ball brand jars on its website.

Tingey said wholesalers are describing the supply outage as ‘long term.’

He surmises that the suppliers probably did not expect such a fast and large increase in the number of people wanting to can, which is what happened in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. Earlier in the season, there was also a jump in the number of people buying plants and seeds for gardening.

Tingey said Downtown Askew’s has been without the standard-mouth lids since March. The wide-mouth ones were gone about a week ago and the jars before that.

He expects some people were able to find jars at thrift shops and garage sales.

In the wake of the jar and lid shortage has come a run on freezer bags, Tingey said.

The popular medium bags, in particular, have been flying off the shelves.

Read more: Seed potatoes flying off the shelves

Read more: Interest in gardening grows in the Shuswap amid COVID-19 crisis

Canadian Tire is also out of canning jars and lids, as is Save-On-Foods. A staff person at Save-On there said there have been many phone calls from people looking for canning supplies, even from Kelowna.

Salmon Arm’s Bert Revel, known locally for his many successes in the vegetable and fruit arena at the Salmon Arm Fall Fair, said he’s aware of the shortage.

He tried to get smaller jars for some canning he was doing, but managed instead to scrape enough together from his own supplies. He also bought some before the shortage hit.

Revel remembers back in the day when the glass Miracle Whip jars were the perfect size for the wide lids, so he and his wife would use them.

“We had to be very careful, they’re not as sturdy as a regular canning jar. But we didn’t have very much breakage from them.”

He also freezes some of the bounty from his vegetable garden, a practice he verifies with a smile by taking a frozen whole tomato out of his freezer and demonstrating how easily the skin comes off when you run it under hot water from the tap.

According to online articles from media across North America, the shortage of canning jars and lids is by no means limited to the Interior of B.C. The same phenomenon is reported to be happening in communities across the United States.


marthawickett@saobserver.net
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

FoodgardeningSalmon Arm council

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Interior Health reports three additional COVID-19 cases in region

The number of cases in the region since the beginning of the pandemic are now at 492

B.C. forestry policy and practices challenged at Shuswap rally

Salmon Arm Rally for the Forests one of 16 similar events held Friday

Interior Health continues to tackle COVID-19

IH president Susan Brown says don’t become complacent about pandemic

Fundraiser set up to help 10-year-old Summerland girl with cancer

Danica Yeoman is undergoing treatment at BC Children’s Hospital

Anglemont firefighters honoured by regional district

Columbia Shuswap Regional District names its fire department of 2019

3 new deaths due to COVID-19 in B.C., 139 new cases

B.C. confirms 40 ‘historic cases,’ as well

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87

The court’s second female justice, died Friday at her home in Washington

‘This is a very difficult sentencing’; Judge delays Okanagan manslaughter trial to next week

The courts heard Friday that Bourque “did not intend to cause harm” but that her actions were “reckless”

Emaciated grizzly found dead on central B.C. coast as low salmon count sparks concern

Grizzly was found on Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw territory in Smith Inlet, 60K north of Port Hardy

VIDEO: B.C. to launch mouth-rinse COVID-19 test for kids

Test involves swishing and gargling saline in mouth and no deep-nasal swab

Young Canadians have curtailed vaping during pandemic, survey finds

The survey funded by Heart & Stroke also found the decrease in vaping frequency is most notable in British Columbia and Ontario

B.C. teachers file Labour Relations Board application over COVID-19 classroom concerns

The application comes as B.C.’s second week of the new school year comes to a close

CHARTS: Beyond Metro Vancouver, COVID-19 cases in B.C. haven’t increased much recently

COVID-19 case counts outside of Metro Vancouver have been level since July

70-year-old punched in the head in dispute over disability parking space in Nanaimo

Senior’s turban knocked off in incident at mall parking lot

Most Read