Making Blackberry Jelly - The Old Time Way
Pickled Beans And Corn - The Old Time Way

Canning By The Zodiac Signs

Pickles in the Jar

We've already talked about how the Zodiac Signs dictate the time to plant your garden-but what about telling you when to can all that garden goodness?

Granny only worries about the signs being right-if she's making Kraut or fermented pickles (pickled beans and corn). The same for The Deer Hunter's family.

The Deer Hunter and I go by the zodiac signs for pickling/fermenting too. Sounds like it's all hunky dory and settled right? Actually-not so much. Choosing which sign is the right sign is where it gets confusing.

Our families agree-the Zodiac Sign should be in the head for the best results when pickling or fermenting-and you can still have success as long as the sign is above the heart-but never ever below the heart or all your hard work will be for naught cause the produce will rot-or never pickle. But other folks see it totally different.

Just this week I've had 2 people tell me their prefered sign for pickling/fermenting is the feet-because it is the perfect time for pickling and if you do pickle when the signs are higher in the body-your produce will rot or be slimy. So who is right? I tried researching online to see what the general consensus is-but there isn't much information available. 

After seeing the lack of information available on the interenet-I know when folks search for details on canning by the Zodiac Signs in the future-they will find this post. Please help me-answer the questions they'll be looking for:

  • Do you follow the Zodiac Signs when canning everything-or like us just when you're pickling?
  • What sign do you think is the best for pickling? For canning? 
  • If you don't can-does anyone in your family have information about canning by the signs?


p.s. According to the rules passed down in my family-this week is the prime time for pickling. Recipes for Squash Relish and Pickled Beans and Corn are on the way!


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What is the sign now for Pickering? I have a lot of corn. Help????

Donna-thank you for the comment! If you're talking about canning and not fermenting, it doesn't matter which sign you can in. If you're talking about fermenting something-like kraut I would not start the process when the signs are in the loins. My family prefers to ferment when the signs are in the head or at least above the heart. 

Does anyone know what it means if the sign is Lions.. can you can it that sign

Enjoyed your blog, made pickled corn today no clue where the sign may be just hope it turns out, my in-laws and parents gardened, canned, and had dental work done by the signs, lots of truth in the old ways.

Love Love Love your site Tipper!! I keep coming back and checkin in to see what is New (OLD) Makes me feel warm and fuzzy!!
Kraut done by the signs was AWESOME and now pickles in crock tonight Beans and Corn Next week!!
Many Blessings to you and Yours!!

i have really enjoyed reading your blog about canning and pickling by the signs,i was raised in the mountains of eastern kentucky, and this was a way of life when i grew up,but sad to say the wonderful art of canning quilting and etc is becoming a thing of the past in this area.thank you for your blog on this subject.

Susie-we like to can our kraut when the signs are in the head-which will be June 12-13. Most folks agree-you should never make kruat when the signs are in the bowels or lower. If you follow that advice-June 12-23 would all be good days to can kraut. You can go here to read about the phases of the moon:

Have a great day!


Blind Pig The Acorn

Celebrating and Preserving the

Culture of Appalachia

tipper, could you tell me when the sign is right to can kraut this month, and i'd really like to know how you know when the moon is in the light and dark phases, i would appreciate it .

I go by, "Not the Bowels, not the Feet, the Head's the best" when I make my saurekraut. Gonna pickle some peppers today (sign = Secrets but I don't want to wait on the Thighs). We shall see...

Lived in the Smokies for about 20 yearswith country people who know their fixins. Most only can in the head or breast. Go further down, and quality and shelf life sometimes suffer. Never can in the bowels. You might loose a batch. Particularly with tricky stuff like cold packs (pickled but not processed). I know this from experience. I've canning about 30 years. Good luck!

I am going to the mountain of NC this December and will get the information from my aunt and then post. I want to pickle beets today and don't know if I can. guess I will be calling her.

Well, it looks like everyone may be in the mood for pickling. I have carried down our family traditions here in the appalachian mountains. My mother is one of 18 siblings, most have past on but not without passing down their gardening, canning, and pickling by the zodiac signs, and moon phases. I have been at it for 15years myself. Pickle when the signs are in the head and heart. Never below the waste and most definately not in the feet or bowel. I pickle a "three in one" cabbage, corn, and beans layered in quart jars. Fermentation happens in the jars, when done you tighten the lids and water bath process. Love your site!!!

can you tell me if i can pickle pepper now

According to my mother who has been canning in Western NC for over 60 years, she says the following:

Not Good: Feet and Bowels
Good: Any other sign
Best: Thighs

I am canning pickled beans and corn starting tomorrow, August 4th

Tipper I have grew up canning by the signs.
We alwayes checked the signs whe we were canning. We never canned in the bowels, feet, heart, secreats,or the rains. I to have been trying to find out and write down
about this. The moon has alot to do with it too. the moon controls the water in your pickling and in making pickeled beans.
If the moon is rising you will have plenty of water to cover it, if the moon is going
down you will have to add water. The sign
Cancer- the Breast is the best sign for everything it is the most fruitful of all the signs. The head is the best for kraut
because the cabbage will come out firm and snow white.I have done this in other signs
and it does fine. Just make sure that you women Do not Do Canning whe you are on your monthly cycle, this will spoil everything. HAPPY CANNING

We don't can by the signs but I talked to my wife's grandparents and they say you don't do much of anything except pull weeds below the waste...including canning. But they only plant by the signs, not can or pickle

Tipper my information about the signs came from my dad and grandmother and the Old Farmers Almanac. I don't know where the Old Farmers Almanac got their information but it would be worth a little research.

Some things are best done in a particular moon sign and some are best done in a particular moon phase. Again, I don't know where either of these came from.

You know, so much of our Appalachian heritage came from our Irish ancestors so I bet these moon signs came from the Celtic Earth traditions.

Tipper: I've always found it is best to can when you have an overabundance from the garden. I never used any signs, when it was ripe I would save it.

I don't remember any discussion about canning by the signs either. I'm curious to what your readers contribute.
And I can't wait for the recipes.

Always fascinating, Tipper! Love your adventerous spirit! Hope you and your family have a wonderful weekend! :))

I never heard of this one, and will be watching for more information.

I don't let the signs guide my canning but definitely do follow signs for growing and about everything else; fishing, cutting hair, weaning critters, pruning and more.
My Mom always made her kraut by signs.
I really enjoy your blog.

This is a new one for me. I've heard of planting by the phases of the moon, but never anything about canning.

Hi Tipper my granny and pa used the signs to plant and such. My daddy used to castrate calves by the signs and never lost one due to bleeding, same thing when dehorning cows/goats. I have tried to learn the signs but really need someone to learn it from. All my grandparents and parents are gone now. I do have the Old Farmers Almanac online tho. Good luck with your canning, and be careful if you pressure can. Mom always made us kids stay outside when it was on the stove. It never blew up and made bunches and bunches of green beans. Yum. I still like to hear that familiar "pop" under the towels.

Never heard of canning by the signs. I usually can whenever the harvest is in. Can't wait for your squash relish recipe.

Wow Tipper! I have no clue :) Hope you get some good answers!

I've always heard about planting by the signs, but never canning, but it would make sense since virtually everything you do can be done by the signs. I weaned my babies from their bottles by the signs. My dad turned the soil to kill various grasses and weeds by the signs.

I'd guess that the best way to deteremine the best time to can by the signs would be to can some during each change, and document them in a diary so that when you open the food, you can see when it was done and record the results.

Journaling progress and results are about the only way you will remember for the next time. Even though I don't use them, the old ways are most often the best. It's just that modern technology makes fun or them. I think to be 'green' we'll all be going back to the old ways.

This is a wonderful posting about "Canning by the Signs." My mother has always planted her garden by the signs and made jelly by the signs. There must be something to it because she's always successful with her gardening and jelly making.

Hmmm...I have known both sides of my family to plant and do other things by the signs, but I have never heard any discussion about canning by the signs. I will have to ask my mom tonight if my Mama ever canned by the signs. Do you or your girls get your hair cut by the signs?

Pickled beans. Now my mouth is watering.

So Tipper, this whole zodiac thing, does it have to do with moon phases and planets and the pull on the earth? So if you were pickling wouldn't the pull of the planets and all have to do with whether you want to draw something out or pull something in?

It also may have to do with the plumpness of the subject prior to pickling, somethings are just to full already.

By the way, did I tell you that I really liked the piece you did on wildcrafting, herb gathering? Bet has been reading blogs to me while I work in the propagation house and I couldn't remember if we made a comment or not (since she would have been the do-er).

Would you really go gathering more if you had an apron just for that purpose?

Oh by the way by the way, the toms in the hanging pots are doing pretty stinking good, just as good as everyone else. Thanks ever so much again for the pot. Unless something goes horribly a wry later this summer I have already informed Dirt that we will be doing them again only with little drip irrigation lines going to them, they do need to be given frequent little sips of water!

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