"..My son has been raised to an urban lifestyle; we planted a few tomato plants a couple of times with variable success, but haven't done significant gardening. I've recently had cause to reflect that he knows nothing about food preservation (and the opportunity that he had to learn something about the subject passed unheeded)."
While farming is a complex skill best learned at the knee of an expert, canning and freezing can be quickly learned by an absolute novice with a copy of Joy of Cooking or, I believe, Fannie Farmer. I know this because the results were delicious and safe, often on the first try. Don't despair.
I would also recommend the Ball Blue Book of Canning. We've used that any number of times and the results are great.
Alton Brown on Good Eats did several shows on canning, jamming and pickling. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints has canneries scattered around the world that are wonderful resources too.There are other community canning groups as well so look around food is a great way to make friends.