Just as flour and yeast were in short supply a few months ago, mason jars and lids have become difficult to find on P.E.I. as Islanders begin to pickle what's left of their summer gardens.
"Mason jars and lids are impossible to get on P.E.I. right now," said Kim Green, owner of Kays Wholesale.
"Every second call is, 'Do you guys have mason jars?' No we don't, and we can't get them either."
Green said her suppliers have told her that because of COVID-19, mason jars won't be available until around mid-October.
"It's certainly frustrating. We've never had this issue. I've been dealing with doing this for 10 years and I've always had plenty of mason jars," she said.
"It's just following that trend of everyone going back to the basics, it was flour and yeast and now it's mason jars."
Canadian Tire and Home Hardware in Charlottetown said they are also out of mason jars.
Valerie Paton of Charlottetown had been looking for mason jars for weeks and her daughter was lucky enough to find some 250-millilitre jars for her at the Canadian Tire in Summerside.
Early in COVID, I decided I needed to know if I could grow vegetables and make my own preserves. — Valerie Paton
Friends also donated some of their old jars, and she ordered new lids online from Walmart.
It was a relief, she said.
"Early in COVID, I decided I needed to know if I could grow vegetables and make my own preserves so I have been preserving everything from my garden," she said.
"So everything from tomatoes into tomato sauce, I'm about to make some salsa, I've made pickled beets, mustard pickles, pickled zucchini, bread and butter pickles and I'm looking at a couple of other things that I'm experimenting with too."
Others, however, have not been as fortunate. Green said pickling spice and pectin to make jam are also in short supply on P.E.I.
Predicting demand for Christmas
Green said she wishes she could have predicted that mason jars would be in demand so she could have ordered more months ago.
"It's almost like trying to be a fortune teller. What's happening? Where is it going to go?"
With that in mind, she's looking toward Christmas when people will be doing more baking, and trying to stock up accordingly.
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