Canning Cupboard


Storing Home Canned Goods

It’s important to store your home canned meats, fruits and vegetables properly. Cool temperatures and dark conditions help to retain the color, flavor, and nutrients of your canned goods. You also need to make sure that the shelving will hold the weight of all the glass jars and their contents. They are quite heavy, especially when you put several dozen jars on a shelf. Particle board won’t cut it…and don’t buy any of those pre-fab shelving units made of ‘MDF’ (medium density fiberboard).


Plywood and pine will hold up fairly well as long as you don’t put up long stretches without enough brackets to support the load. I’ve also used the heavy duty plastic shelving units to store my canned goods. But if you are handy, or you’re blessed with a handy Dad (like me!), you can build a really cool canning cupboard that will hold the weight of your canned goods, plus keep the light, dust, and cats off them! I can’t give you instructions to build this cabinet, but there are plenty of plans available online. Instead, I’d like to show off my Dad’s handiwork and the beauty of this wood.


The red pine canning cupboard my Dad made!

Made in the USA by my Dad!


My Dad’s made some really nice things for me. I have two bookcases, an end table, and a stool that he made for me in the past, some of them from my childhood. When my parents came to visit for our 25th anniversary, they brought this awesome canning cabinet that Dad made for us. He built one for their canned goods and then wondered if I would like one too. Well, naturally I jumped on that offer like a cat on a mouse!


This cabinet is very special to me, not just because my Dad made it (although that is reason enough), but also because of the lumber used to make it. The gorgeous red pine (Pinus resinosa) was planted by my Grandma M, along with her parents (my Great Grandma and Grandpa D) and her brother, my Uncle Lyle. My Grandma was a year or 3 shy of 20 when they planted a stand of Red Pine on the land that my Dad later inherited. I remember my Dad climbing into the tops of a few of those pines to cut our Christmas tree when I was young. I loved riding horseback through the shade of the pines, where there was little underbrush.


The pines that they planted are growing old, and many of the trees they planted have fallen or are tipping. My Dad has been harvesting the lumber for a few years now. He takes the felled trees to an Amish sawmill nearby for processing.




I love the color and grain of this wood. Red pines are so named because of the reddish color of their wood. My photos don’t do justice to the beauty of the lumber. I’m so happy to have another piece of furniture made by my Dad, from trees he dragged out of the woods and hauled to the sawmill. To think of my youthful Grandma planting out seedlings makes me appreciate the history of this cabinet. It’s life began well before my Dad fashioned it’s current form. You can’t buy that at the lumber yard.


Have you harvested your own lumber and made furniture from it?


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