By Portia Williams
WURTLAND, Ky. — The University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service is teaching community members how to properly preserve a variety of foods by offering free food preservation workshops across the state. Lora Pullin, agent at the Greenup County Extension Office (GCEO), 35 located at 35 Wurtland Ave. in Wurtland, Ky., said the three-day Food Preservation workshop will be held at GCEO in August.
“This is going to be a three-day workshop, so it’s going to August 4, 5, and 6, from 9:30 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. Basically, we have a team of specialists that focus only on food preservation that travel around the state of Kentucky and Greenup just happens to be one of their stops,” Pullin said. “We are going to focus on the basics of food preservation, and it is not only for people who might be new to food preservation, but to people that maybe have been doing it for years, but some things have changed. So, they can come and see the improvements that have been made, not only to the equipment, but to some of the different things that we need to do differently now.”
According to Pullin, addition to herself, the other workshop facilitators include Peggy Helton, Jennifer Klee.
The three-day workshop will focus on water-bath canning, pressure canning, and dehydrating and freezing. During this hands-on workshop, participants will learn how to can green beans, dry apple slices, and preserve homemade salsa, jams and jellies. She said learning proper food preservation is imperative, and can prevent death.
“It is absolutely, 100 percent crucial. If you don’t preserve food properly in some cases, it can be deadly,” she said. “Especially with foods such as green beans, because you’re dealing with something that has to be pressure-canned at a certain temperature for a certain time frame. So, if you give the organisms inside that jar, and you don’t process it properly, and it doesn’t seal, that is when bacteria begins to form. So it has a nice breeding ground inside of that jar, and if it is not done properly, it can lead to botulism, which can lead to death.”
While the workshop is free, and open to the public, children interested in attending must be accompanied by an adult.
Participants in the workshop will also gain the confidence and experience needed to safely preserve food in their home kitchens. Food preservation techniques from the workshops are based on new recommendations and use the safest methods. By learning how to preserve food properly, residents will protect and maintain the health of their families.
All necessary canning materials will be provided for participants. Additional information is available by contacting Lora Pullin, FCS Agent, at Greenup County Extension office at 606-836-0201 or [email protected] .
Reach Portia Williams at 740-353-3101, ext. 1929, or on Twitter @PortiaWillPDT.