“They feel just like eyeballs!” said the teenager with her hands buried deep in just-blanched black plum tomatoes. Was she preparing a feature for a haunted house? No, but not a bad idea!

“I don’t eat things like this,” said another. These girls were up to their hoodies in fresh tomatoes, onions, garlic and herbs at the High Rocks Grow Appalachia “Preserve the Bounty” workshop this week.

They joined Grow Appalachia participants in learning about dehydrating, water-bath canning and pressure canning. At the end of the night, jars of preserved whole tomatoes and salsa lined the counters. All the girls, even the ones who “only like Tostitos salsa” were attacking bowls of the stuff with chips.

The empty bowls and their evaluations of the workshop attested that it was“Awesome.”