Time is running out for local residents to sign up for a course centered on preserving food in an economical way.
The University of Georgia Cooperative Extension Office, at 97 Lake Dow Road, in McDonough, will host a “So Easy to Preserve” Canning Workshop, June 19, and June 26, from 6 p.m., to 8 p.m., each day. The cost to participate is $15 per person.
The June 19 session will focus on canning blueberry jelly, and the June 26 workshop will provide instruction on pickling sweet cucumber pickles.
Extension Coordinator Susan Howington will conduct both workshops, which are limited to 15 participants each. She said slots for both classes are filling up quickly.
“The blueberry jelly class, I think I only have maybe three or four spaces left,” said Howington. “The sweet pickles class, I think I still have about seven spaces left in it. ... Everybody’s going to have a chance to make the product, so I want to make sure that everybody can get into the kitchen area and do their part.”
Howington said interest has been high, locally, for individuals who want to know more about preserving food through canning. One reason for this, she said, is because canning helps people to save money on food.
“We get a lot of phone calls asking me to have a class,” she said. “We just want to make sure that everybody that’s canning out there, is doing it correctly ... I think more people are doing small gardens, or buying fruit trees, to have their own fruit. The cost is going to be lower when they go to the grocery store, because they’ve got it right there in their own back yard.”
The coordinator added that canning food items which are in season is one way to ensure quality.
“To me, you can’t get anything better than home-grown food,” said Howington. “You know what’s in it, and it just tastes so much better when you put your own hands on it, and put it all together to make that product.”
She said although the workshops will focus on blueberries and cucumbers, area residents have asked how they can preserve other items through canning.
“Whatever’s coming in the gardens or fruit trees, that’s when people will start calling me or saying they want to do some jellies or jams,” said Howington.
For more information, call the Extension Office at (770) 288-8421.