One of our favorite class projects to do during the course of the year is to visit the Jackson County Regional Food Center in Annville, KY and make a great jam or jelly. The Jackson County Regional Food Center provides a rent-able facility for food entrepreneurs to develop recipes and produce value-added food products.
Each year shortly after learning a lesson about label requirements, food safety and handling, and nutrition
al needs for plants and animals; we take a field trip to the JCRFC and do more than take a tour. Since starting this project
in 2013, our students have made several jellies that have taken on the label name Hootin’ Good. We have made apple, blackberry, strawberry, and our hometown favorite Hootin’ Good triple berry. This Each year the type of jelly is selected based on the fruit that was either in season or extra that we could grow or gather.
Over the summer of 2016, my parents had an abundant apple crop. Students during the summer were able to process the app
les into juice that we froze to be used in later projects. Wild blackberries were then gathered and frozen as well. Earlier this month the lessons had been learned and it was time to develop the recipe. We decided to market a double berry jam, that they students have hence named Hootin’ Good Apple-berry. In just a short amount of time students were able to make 26 cases of their Apple-berry jelly.
Students have been involved in the entire process of sanitation, cooking, bottling, packaging, and labeling. Our jams and jellies are often a hit at the Farmers Market. This was a great way for them to see a great process all the while learning entrepreneurship skills.
The JCRFC can help you with more than jelly needs. Their facility has the capability to do almost anything in the value added sense. Other products that have been processed their by area entrepreneurs are barbeque sauces, corn meal, relish, tomato juice, salsa, beer cheese, green beans, breads, jerky, and others. For more information about the JCRFC visit them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/JacksonCountyRegionalFoodCenter/.