Preserve the Sweetness of Summer


Wondering what to do with that bumper crop of locally-harvested peaches, nectarines and figs you bought at the farmers’ market? If you love summer fruit, consider spending an afternoon preserving those extra bags of produce: then you can enjoy their sweet, distinctive flavor all throughout the year.

Canning and preserving, a craft most of us associate with our grandmothers’ era, is an easy and fun way to capture summer in a jar. If you don’t know how to make jams and jellies, there’s a wonderful group of folks who can teach you – the Master Food Preservers. A public service community outreach program, the Master Food Preservers offer monthly public demonstrations and classes featuring methods for preserving food safely at home to prevent food borne illness.  Many events are free, and if there is a charge, it’s a mere $3 per person. Subjects range from safe dehydration techniques to pickling vegetables; and upcoming events include “The Pressure’s On: Basic Introduction to Safe Pressure Canning Techniques” (July 20th) and “Apples and Preserving the Late Summer Garden” (September 18). Both are free to the public.

All demonstrations are held at the UC Cooperative Extension office at 4145 Branch Center Road, and reservations are not necessary. For more information, check out the Master Food Preserver 2013 demonstration schedule.