By Special Invitation
All Grow Appalachia participants from Scott and McCreary Counties were invited to join University of Tennessee’s Scott County Master Gardener Class in a special presentation by Fentress County’s University of Tennessee Extension Agent, Lynn Pemberton on canning, freezing, and drying of fruits and vegetables grown in our gardens. We had a great turn out of 64 participants.
Safe Methods of Canning
We learned the USDA’s recommended safe methods for pressure canning and water bath canning. Follow the link below to learn more for yourself.
Here, Lynn had set up and displayed a food dehydrator with some samples of food being dried. She talked about the foods that dry well in a dehydrator and the foods that don’t. We learned how to prep the foods for the process of drying and storing. http://nchfp.uga.edu/how/dry/dehydrator.html
Lynn also gave us tips on making jerky.
How to Make Sauces
Another handy gadget for us to have and use is this strainer and sauce maker. It makes very quick work of turning apples into applesauce, tomatoes into tomato sauce or tomato juice, and fruit into juices for jelly.
This tool is great because it completely eliminates peeling and coring.
One more tool shared was an apple peeling and coring device that clamps on to a table or has a suction mount. It will peel and spiral cut apples or potatoes in perfect uniform slices ideal for freezing or drying.
Freezing food is another great way to preserve our harvest. We discussed the different types of freezers and the proper methods used in freezing foods. One method we learned was the importance in blanching before we freeze our harvest. Using the proper containers to is equally important too. There are recommended time tables from the USDA for storing frozen foods.
All in all we had a very educational class. I believe we all took something new away from this class, from the very beginners to the seasoned experts in gardening. With all the back breaking work we do in our gardens it only makes sense to use the best and safest methods to preserve and maintain the quality of our food. Lynn demonstrated how with the proper preparation, use of correct food storage containers, and recommended methods of preserving our foods we can benefit from our healthy garden harvest year round.