Is canning and preserving a neglected art?

Or has it become a healthy attitude among younger or younger at heart gardeners to eat more healthy foods straight from the garden or farmers market. You don’t have to grow your own fruits or vegetables to learn the benefits of canning fresh ingredients for use in cooking later. You might desire more control over what additives are in your food, or you might want to control what pesticides or lack thereof have been used to grow your food.

The Farmers’ Markets are full of fresh produce, as well as road side stands. Gardens are giving us more vegetables than we can possibly use and we’re thinking about buying a bushel of those delicious Clanton, Alabama, peaches. But what will you do if you can’t eat them all in a couple of days. Can them! Maybe you are new to the art of canning or an old pro, you won’t want to miss the Okaloosa County Master Gardener Lecture in June.

The program will cover the art of canning fruits, tomatoes, pickles, jams, jellies, and much more. The basics of water bath canning and pressure canning will both be covered. Learn what tools are absolutely needed and ones that would be nice to add to a wish list. See all the different tools a well as additional information on dehydrating and fermenting. Safety in food handling and processing will also be covered.

Okaloosa Master Gardeners Bill Buckellew and Margaret Stewart will present this lecture. Combined they have more than 50 years of canning experience. Get your questions answered and get ready to dive into the fun and satisfying world of canning and preserving.

The lecture will be held from 10-11 a.m. June 20 at the Okaloosa County Extension Office, 3098 Airport Road in Crestview. All of the Master Gardener Lectures Series are free and open to the public. Call 689-5850 to reserve your seat. The Lecture Series runs monthly from March through September. The class location rotates from Crestview to Fort Walton Beach.