Hey everyone!! Maria here in Williamson: Yesterday we had our second canning workshop of the year, and in my opinion, this one was even better than the first! Each workshop focused on what was in season for the year: the first one the instructor made jelly with local grapes, and also taught participants how to can beef, and at this one Kathy Wellman taught gardeners how to can their own locally grown mustard greens and chicken.

This was the first time that I personally had ever seen meat canned, and while I am still a little bit repulsed by the idea, our gardeners seemed to love it. Since many of them come from low-income families, this is a great solution to buying meat in bulk when it is on sale, and then canning it instead of freezing it. It also seems more feasible because (and one reason I never considered) the electricity goes out here so frequently, and this is a concern to many people who freeze their food because it could cause them to lose it (Especially meat).

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One participant at the workshop was the director of a local mission, Jacobs Well. At the end of each farmers market, when we have produce that we know if going to go bad before any of us have time to preserve it, we have been dropping it off at the Mission. This woman told us that she had been canning much of what we had been giving her so that it didn’t go bad: and was interested in learning to do more so that she could do that with everything we give her. I thought this was wonderful: especially when you consider what type of food food banks typically comprise of.

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Kathy informed the gardeners of different places to buy an affordable canner that will be worth their money, and thoroughly explained why the investment was worth it (she surely convinced me). Next she took us through the processing of washing, de veining, steaming and canning mustard. Finally, she boiled some chicken, and led us through the process of pressure canning chicken!! Everyone got to take home and jar and I ended up making some delicious chicken tacos with them for dinner. Was delicious! canning workshop 2014

Kathy is a wonderful canner. To check out her blog go to http://katscanningtidbits.blogspot.com/ She has a ton of USDA approved recipes on their will full instructions!