Home Insteading With Cooperative Extension (Week 60)

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Master Gardener Training Returns This Fall

Katy Shook, Area Horticulture Agent

The North Carolina State Extension Master Gardener program is a training opportunity for interested volunteers. Participants apply for, and participate in a 40-hour training program followed by a 40-hour volunteer internship. Attendance is required and fees apply ($115, includes materials). Classes will be offered in Edenton on Tuesdays from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m., September 14 through December 14. Some classes are remote and local travel is required. Applications will be accepted beginning July 1; to apply, visit go.ncsu.edu/mastergardenerapplication. The Extension Master Gardener℠ program in Chowan-Gates-Perquimans County is coordinated by Area Horticulture Agent Katy Shook. Contact for more information, (252) 482-6585. North Carolina Cooperative Extension is an equal opportunity provider.

Extension Master Gardener_Chowan-Gates-Perquimans_Logo

Canning Season Is Coming… Are You Ready?

Mary Morris, Family and Consumer Sciences

Canning season is fast approaching are you ready? Every year if you are planning to can foods it’s a good idea to go ahead and get some supplies. If you have never canned anything before you can make a small investment and have fresh foods preserved at the peak of their ripeness all year.

Here is what you need to know. Depending on what you are planning to preserve you will need to buy some supplies. But the good news is that you can use these supplies for many years to come.

  • Hot Water Bath Canner– this type of canner is used for jams and jellies, pickles, and any other high acid foods. It usually comes with a rack when you purchase.
  • Pressure Canner– this type of canner is used for any vegetables, meats, sauces that you want to preserve. Low acid foods need to be processed in a pressure canner. Yes, that includes green beans, pressure canning is the safe way to preserve green beans.
  • Canning Jars and Lids– Purchase jars and lids that are made for canning, this time of year you can get these most places and they come with 2-piece lids. With careful use and handling, Mason jars may be reused but will require new lids each time.
  • Misc Tools-Jar Lifter, Jar Funnel, Magnetic Lid lifter, Air Bubble/Head Space Measurer (these usually come in a kit for about $20).

Why Do We Can Foods? Fresh foods are perishable because they contain a high percentage of water. The practice of canning preserves fresh food by removing oxygen, destroying enzymes, and preventing the growth of bacteria, yeasts, and mold.

It is important to follow these proper canning practices:

  • carefully selecting and washing fresh produce,
  • peel according to recipe,
  • hot packing many foods,
  • adding acids (lemon juice or vinegar) to some foods,
  • using acceptable jars and self-sealing lids,
  • processing jars in a boiling-water or pressure canner for the correct period of time.

Fast Facts

-Pressure canning is the only safe method for canning meat, poultry, seafood, and low acid vegetables.

-The bacteria, Clostridium botulinum, is only destroyed in low-acid foods when properly processed in a pressure canner.

-C. botulinum spores survive hours at boiling water temperatures in low acid foods.

For more information on canning methods or questions please call Mary Morris at 252-482-6585 or email: mary_morris@ncsu.edu.

You can also visit the NC State Extension Food Safety website for more information.