We were meandering around Lowes the other night and I happened upon a display in the garden section of Ball Home Canning equipment, including a water bath starter kit. This is not exactly atypical behavior for smaller hardware stores like Ace and True Value but it is something fairly new for the larger box stores (at least in our area).
The other part of me is concerned that it's going to be "just a fad" ...that it'll hang around for a few years and then people will go right back to their jars of Ragu, Del Monte peaches, and dump-heat-and-serve convenience dishes. I worry that it'll go back out of fashion in a few years, just like knitting and crocheting rather than sticking around.
In any event, if you haven't tried any canning, I sincerely urge you to do so. It's nowhere near as complicated as Grandma made it out to be. Ball released a Canning Discovery Kit this year that's specifically targeted at first-time canners who want to see what it's all about without having to plunk-down sixty bucks for the real Monte. It comes complete with three jars, a jar lifting mechanism and directions. If you have a large stock pot, you'll have all you need to crank-out your first small batch of snappy pickles, tasty salsa, or delicious homemade jam.
Incidentally, if there's interest, I would be happy to do some sort of instructional post or "can-along" event. If this is something you'd be interested in, please comment on the post.