Eating fresh produce from the garden is truly one of the pleasures of the season. Fresh salads, tomatoes, peppers and onions highlight the summer table. Sunday dinner with a table full of nothing but corn on the
cob, green beans cooked with new potatoes, onions and cucumbers in vinegar, fresh tomatoes. No main course is needed, just the bounty of the garden. Another important part of the garden was planning ahead to grow enough produce to “put food by” for the winter. Canning was always an important part of summer and fall life at home and on the farm. Aside from more traditional Appalachian families, canning and other preserving methods had been in decline over the past few decades. The convenience of the grocery store and a lack of connection to the farm or to food led to fewer and fewer home canners.
However, that trend has reversed. Not only is home food gardening at the highest level it has been in years, home food preservation is also. People of all ages are starting to can, whether they did it years ago and are finding their way back to home preservation or are learning for the first time. Fermenting and drying are also becoming popular means of preservation. Some people are even planning out their home preservation to reduce or eliminate the need to purchase certain produce items from the grocery store year-round. Home gardeners have a leg up when it comes to fresh ingredients, since they get to grow their own. Sure, you can buy fresh produce at the farmers market for canning. Learn how to successfully and safely use a pressure canner for low acid foods. This hands on learning class is being offered by the WVU Doddridge County Extension Service. The same class is being offered in the morning at 10 am and again at 6 pm at the Extension Office, Thursday, July 10. Please call the office to register for the time that works best for you. (304) 873-1801.