How did folks can vegetables and keep them over the winter before freezers and canning jars?
There were differing methods of preservation, depending upon the resources of the family and the climate. For example, green beans could be stored in a barrel or keg, layered with large quantities of salt. When the container was full, the beans were covered with a board, and the board was weighted. The salt would pull the moisture out of the beans, then make a brine. The beans were then taken out to use and soaked and rinsed several times to remove the salt. Root crops such as carrots, beets, parsnips and potatoes could be covered with sand or earth in the cellar until used. Since these can sprout easily, they were watched and the sprouts cut off. Turnip sprouts were used as salad greens. Onions were strung up and dried.