On June 27, we held a workshop on canning and preserving your vegetables. We had eleven gardeners present and a guest speaker from the Extension Office in Logan, WV. She brought a projector and showed slides on how to begin and end your canning procedure. She stressed the importance of washing your vegetables and removing all the dirt and bacteria from your vegetables. She stated that everything has to be sterilized and free from all dirt and bacteria. One little spot of dirt can cause your jar to spoil.
She also addressed the importance to boil water and sterilize your lids, rings, and jars. The demonstration on canning with a pressure cooker and hot water baths was very interesting. I personally do hot water baths when I can vegetables. That’s the way I was taught and it might be a little more work, but I prefer this method.
She also talked about canning meat in a pressure cooker and that you have to make sure you have the pressure knob at the right setting for the amount of meat you are canning. She told us about canning stew meat the weekend before and it only took her a couple of hours to process the complete canning. One lady told us how she cans venison (deer meat) and the men in attendance liked this idea. I have heard of canned venison, but I have never tried to can the meat.
She did say that corn, green beans, or any other frozen vegetables that are put in the freezer should be there no longer than one year. However, she did stress more than once that all canning utensils must be sterilized before and after canning.
The Gardeners in attendance were very interested in her program. They really like the way she presented the pressure cooker. Only one lady in attendance used a Pressure Cooker. This was a very good workshop, a good presentation from our Guest Speaker, and a good attendance from our Gardeners.
I was very pleased also, when each in attendance told me how well their gardens were doing. Some have already gotten potatoes, green beans, peas, radishes, and of course lettuce and green onions.