Nothing beats fresh produce in season, whether you pick it from your own garden or orchard, or you buy it from a local produce market. It makes sense to take advantage of the flavor and nutrition value of the many fruits and vegetables available. Fresh produce is the most economical when it is in season as well.
Throughout history people have preserved produce in times of plenty in order to have food during the winter. Today we don't have to preserve food for winter; because it is readily available at our local grocery store year round. However, many people still preserve foods through canning, freezing, and drying methods. The reasons are somewhat different today than in the past. While it isn't a necessity to preserve food, many people enjoy making specialty products, or they enjoy gardening and want to utilize the bounty that results from their efforts. Some people prefer the flavor and quality of their own home preserved products. They enjoy the control they have over what is put into their foods. Also, if you don't include the cost of your time, home preserved foods can be less expensive than purchased foods.