The Pittsburgh Urban Gardening Project

The Pittsburgh Urban Gardening Project is a nonprofit organization dedicated to educating people in ways to live healthy, sustainable lives.  We plant, grow and harvest fruits and vegetables around Pittsburgh with the goal of turning city streets into healthy eats.


Make your pasta sauce, salsa, brine (for pickles) ...etc.  If pickling, please make sure that the vegetables that you are canning are very clean.  Any residual dirt from the garden can jeopardize the sterility once you've sealed your jars and allow bacteria to grow inside the sealed containers.



Sanitize the mason jars that you will be using (along with the lids) by placing in boiling water for ~10 minutes.



Fill the sanitized mason jars with the pasta sauce, salsa, brine/pickling vegetables...etc.



Clean the rim of the jar to ensure that no sauce, salsa or other debris will be in the way when screwing on your lid.  If the seal on the lid is not perfect, air from the outside can enter the "sealed" jar, jeopardizing the sterility and allowing bacteria to grow inside the "sealed" containers.



Place the lid on your jar and screw on tight.  Once the lid is tight, place the jar back into the boiling water for 7-10 minutes (depending on size of the jar).  During this process, any remaining bacteria inside the jar should be killed.



Remove jars from the boiling water and place in a cool area of your kitchen, dining room or house and wait to hear the "ping" of the mason jar lid as the contents cool off and the lid seals.  DO NOT push on the lids while the jars are cooling.  They should seal on their own to ensure shelf stability.  If any jars do not seal on their own, repeat step 5 above.



1.    If you store the finished product in non-refrigerated conditions and the lid begins to bulge upward and outward as if the pressure inside the container is higher than the pressure outside the container, discard the contents of the jar.  This means that the sterility of the contents have been compromised & bacteria has grown inside the container.


2.   If, upon opening a jar, the contents fizz out as if you opened a can of soda that has been shaken up, please discard the contents.  



Norma Jean’s BBQ Sauce

1 cup sliced onions
1 cup ketchup for sweeter bbq sauce or smoked San Marzano tomatoes for smokier bbq sauce
1 cup or less water
2 tsp salt
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
~1/8 cup brown sugar (1/4 cup if using smoked San Marzano tomatoes)
2 tsp dry mustard

1 tsp paprika

Cook on low heat it has reached your desired consistency