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Canning classes offered at local extension office

The Jessamine County Extension Office is offering a three-day food preservation workshop for those interested in turning fresh foods into pantry staples.

Scheduled for 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., July 17 to 19, the workshop will be located at the Jessamine County Extension Office, 95 Park Drive, and is free to the public although registration is required in order to attend.

“Canning has been around for a long time but that doesn’t mean the same methods we learned from our grandmothers are the same methods we need to still be using today,” Karli Jessie, with the Jessamine County Extension Office, said. “We will learn the up to date canning techniques approved by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). All methods taught will be research-based and guaranteed safe.”

This workshop will teach participants the importance of canning, how to process food properly and what the concerns are if food is not processed correctly. Jesse said these techniques are important to learn in order to help save money, reduce food waste, limit sugar and salt intake, follow family traditions, gain a sense of satisfaction and get the result of better tasting food. The workshop will also help participants gain the skills to safely preserve homemade jam, salsa and a variety of fruits and vegetables.

“We want to teach new audiences how to preserve their food properly so they can continue to do so year after year,” Jesse said. “Even if you consider yourself an expert in canning, we want to provide everyone with the most up to date research based information.”

At the end of the workshop, participants will be able to take their canned goods home with them.

“I wouldn’t say one is harder, but more people are comfortable with boiling water canning than pressure canner,” Jessie said. “With pressure canning, there are more steps and more hands-on.”

All low acid foods must be pressure canned to ensure food bacteria is destroyed, Jessie said. Green beans must undergo the pressure canning, although strawberry jam is a high acid food, therefore, it does not have to undergo the same process. This process utilizes a water bath canning technique. Throughout the workshop, participants will learn which foods need to be pressure canned and which foods do not.

“Food preservation allows for you to take ownership of your food,” Jessie said. “You will know exactly what is inside your food and how it was made. To make food preserving even more personable, grow your own garden or visit one of our two Farmer’s Markets in Jessamine County. I believe we saw a decline in food preserving until here recently. Now, more and more people are wanting to know where their food came from, what is inside their food and the nutritional benefit. Canning allows you to do all three of those things.”

For more information, or to register, call the Jessamine County Extension Office at 859-885-4811.