The publications in this collection do
not reflect current scientific knowledge
or recommendations. These texts
represent the historic publishing
record of the Institute for Food and
Agricultural Sciences and should be
used only to trace the historic work of
the Institute and its staff. Current IFAS
research may be found on the
Electronic Data Information Source
site maintained by the Florida
Cooperative Extension Service.
Copyright 2005, Board of Trustees, University
PRESS BULLETIN 189
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
AGRICULTURAL EXPERIMENT STATION
THE SMALL CANNING FACTORY
By C. K. McQuarrie
One of the many problems that confront the fruit and vegetable growers
of our State is the profitable utilization of the surplus fruits and vegetables
that are left on hand at seasons when the markets get glutted. If a small
canning factory was in each community, the loss that annually occurs by
allowing surplus products to go to waste could be avoided. This loss every
year amounts to at least twenty-five per cent. of the product.
A canning outfit should be in every community of the State where fruits
and vegetables are grown. These outfits are of all sizes, from the small
$5 cannery that can be used on the kitchen stove with a capacity of from
three to five hundred cans per day, up to the cannery costing about $100
with a capacity of three to five thousand cans per day. In communities
where fruit growing and trucking are conducted on an extensive scale a
community cannery can be operated to the best advantage, and in some
sections of the country, particularly in Texas and .Mississippi, it has been
found to be more profitable to can the products of the farm than to ship
them. This is especially true where there is not enough of any one product
to ship in carload lots.
The cash .return from one of these outfits is worth considering. The
home-grown products are of a higher grade than any that are shipped in,
because the home-grown material has not been subjected to a long haul
before marketing. A local cannery, if conducted properly, will be a paying
investment from the start. It is worthy of consideration that during the
shipping season large amounts of fruit and vegetables are shipped on the
chance of getting good prices on a falling market, and often do not bring
enough money to pay charges.
Among the truckers and fruit growers of the South, what is known ns
the "Home Canner" has been used by progressive men for a number of
April 20, 1912
years, with pronounced success. Texas has led in this line, having a "Home
Canners' Association" with branches scattered over the fruit and trucking
sections, whose members are league together for the purpose of buying
supplies (such as cans, solder, and shipping cases), in large quantities, and
also to see to the shipping and marketing of their products to the best
advantage. This Association reports that there is never enough of a supply
from its thousands of members to satisfy the demand. The product is
superior to the ordinary canned goods, and there is no trouble in disposing
profitably of all that is produced.
This home canner cannot as yet compete with the factory as a source
of large quantities of canned goods. It is in the special line of a high-grade
product that its possibilities lie.
Expense and Returns
The expense of running one of these small canneries is that of labor, and
supplies of cans, solder, labels, etc. The size of the cannery should be
regulated to suit the quantity of material likely to be available in one day.
The small cannery for the kitchen range is suitable only for domestic use.
The cannery with furnace costs from fourteen dollars up, according to
capacity, but just as good work can be done with the smaller ones. The
largest outlay will be for cans, but by buying in crates of 500 cans, the
three-pound cans cost just 212 cents and the two-pound cans 2 cents each.
A bushel of tomatoes will fill 16 three-pound cans, and give also three two-
pound cans of tomato juice. These three-pound cans are worth on the
market one dollar a dozen, and two-pound cans of juice sell for soup-making
at 50 cents a dozen. The gross value of a bushel of tomatoes when canned
is one dollar and forty-six cents. Charging for cans, labels, and labor,
there is a net return of about one dollar for each bushel canned.
Another crop .that lends itself readily to canning is string beans, and
vlile not as profitable as tomatoes, enough money can be made to warrant
the grower in canning his surplus beans.
Fruits of all kinds, and especially berries, can be profitably canned. A
bushel of blackberries will fill sixty two-pound cans, which sell readily at
eighty cents a dozen. The hundreds of bushels that are allowed to go to
waste every year in the State could be turned to a profitable use by means
of a home cannery.
The labor for this work need not be of an expert character. The
stringing and snapping of beans and cow-peas; the peeling of tomatoes; the
coring and slicing of pears, and other necessary work can at least be easily
done and quickly learned. Full directions for canning all fruits and vegetables
accompany every outfit wherever bought.
State papers please copy.