There seems to be many explanations for the interest surge, some of which include better control over the foods you and your family eats, wanting to be more green, and individuals want to experience working the soil. All of these explanations make each of our lifestyles more self-sustaining.
I had a good response to my food preservation booth at the Farmer’s Market in Sopchoppy in February where I offered advice on the latest research-based food preservation technique. I showcased my new initiative on food preservation training opportunities and received a very positive response. Now I want you to consider your involvement.
Canning, freezing and drying are the three main methods of preserving food. The methods you choose will depend on whether safe guidelines for that method are available for a particular food and which method best suits your needs.
No longer can we feel safe with using grandma’s recipe without some close scrutiny as to whether the procedure continues to be safe. Why the concern? Over the years research has perfected the preservation techniques, soil conditions have affected the vegetable and fruit acidity levels and fruit and vegetable varieties have been modified to provide a more consumer-friendly end-product. One example is the tomato which has been modified to be less acid to better satisfy the consumer. This results in different preservation techniques to raise the acidity level to insure that a water bath canning procedure is adequate.
I have marketed my spring classes as being “party oriented”. I want people to have a hands-on experience so that they have more confidence with the processes. Instead of my picking a date and time, I am asking interested Wakulla County individuals to coordinate a session where I will bring everything necessary to teach the techniques. Come up with several possible dates and times (morning, afternoon or evening) and contact me.
If you are interested, find 4-8 people within your friendship circle, your church family or your social club and schedule a session. I have had several people contact me and they don’t have the four people necessary to make my minimum number. I am putting a list together of these people so don’t hesitate to call as an individual and I will try to hook you up with a group. These are the “parties” I am offering:
• Let’s have a Salsa Party!!! This will be an opportunity to practice preservation techniques utilizing the water bath method.
• Let’s have a Jams/Jelly Party!!!
• Let’s have a Canning Party! This will be an opportunity to practice preservation techniques utilizing a pressure canner.
Someone will need to offer their home or other facility and I will bring everything needed except a stove (can’t be a glass top stove). I charge $5.00/participant to assist in covering the expenses. If finding a location is a difficulty, we will utilize the UF/IFAS Wakulla County Extension Office kitchen. Each participant will go home with a better understanding of preservation methods and a canned item. I anticipate the session will be from 60 to 90 minutes.
Extension Agent II
UF/IFAS Wakulla County Family and Consumer Sciences Agent