Good Evening Everybody. Lori here from McDowell County, West Virginia. This months installment has some good stuff going on.

We really enjoyed the regional meeting last month in Williamson, and learned quite a bit. One of our participants, Lisa went with us this time, and she came back full of ideas. We are looking to possibly add a ZUMBA class to our programming. Lisa just happens to know a certified instructor that needs a place to do the classes, and we just have a place that needs an instructor.

August 30 and September 7th were our healthy cooking classes. WVU Extension did this two day class for us, and we had a blast. During the first class, we made pumpkin pancakes with whole grain flour and we made a frut salsa. THe pancakes were really good as was the salsa. At the end of that class, each participant got a bag of groceries that included all the ingredients that we used. For the second class we made low-fat fruit parfait, crock pot lasagna with ground turkey and fruit infused water. Again the food was good, the infused water not so much but that was because it didn’t get to sit long enough. At the end of that class we received the ingredients to make each of these items, measuring cups and spoons, water infusing bottles, pot holders, and a bunch of healthy recipes. WVU even has a part of the healthy cooking program that provides a trip to the grocery store and 25 dollars for each participant to spend. We are working on setting up a day for that.

This class also included a segment done by a lady from Uni-Care to help people with the changes coming in their health insurance. There was a part that dealt with low impact exercise, and another part about mental and physical health that is tied in with a healthy diet. 2 two hour classes turned in to 2 three and a half hour classes. The participants were really interested in the things that were talked about and asked a lot of questions. The instructors were awesome.

Jennifer Graham the cooking instructor is planning on buying some of our fresh pork and our canned goods for their Farmacy day, which is totally awesome.

One of our participants brought us one of the big white pumpkins she grew this year. We will probably be turning that into pumpkin butter, or maybe pumpkin rolls.

White Pumpkin

We’ve been doing quite a bit of canning. We have done over 100 jars of Apple Butter, about 30 jars of Blueberry Apple Butter which is delicious. So far we did 8 jars of pickled Okra, 8 jars of Mustard Pickles and 10 jars of Bread and Butter Pickles. We have so many veggies to get canned we work a lot of overtime.

I met a lady today that is going to come teach a pressure cooking canning class for us. I am so excited bout this because we haven’t been able to find anyone in the past. I know the basics, but i don’t feel comfortable enough with it to teach others with out blowing up the building.

Elly will be coming to visit us again and will get to see some of the participants’ gardens. She will also get to talk with the folks from Southern Highlands that are part of the program. That should be interesting.

Tomorrow I have a meeting with a crazy lady from Florida that is helping us write a letter for a possible grant from a college in Florida. I am not sure of the details on that yet. Once I figure out what that’s all about I will share that info. All I know at this point is they are looking for an organization in the area to help expand programs center around self-sufficiency, and possible create a couple more jobs.

I believe that’s about covers it for this time. Thanks for reading. I will leave you with a few more pictures from our cooking classes.