Extension to offer free gardening, food preservation workshop

Published 3:10 pm Thursday, March 17, 2016

By Angela Hayes | Special to the Advertiser

The Chilton County Extension Office will offer a free gardening and food preservation workshop from 9:30-11 a.m. March 22.

The office is located at 504 First Ave. N.

The workshop could benefit anyone interested in learning about vegetable gardening and how best to preserve vegetables following harvest.

Held by Nelson Wynn and Janice Hall, the class will go over several important topics that will take gardeners from planning to preservation.

Gardeners will be taught how to best pick their gardening spot—including soil testing, irrigation, planting, fertilizing and everything in between.

“We’ve seen an increase in those who want to grow their own food,” Wynn said. “People want to both save money by growing their own food, as well as having the comfort of knowing where it comes from.”

Once crops have been harvested, the importance of knowing how to safely preserve vegetables cannot be overlooked.

During the workshop, proper canning techniques for low acid foods that have to be pressure canned to kill any potential foodborne bacteria such as botulism will be discussed.

They will also touch on the topic of preservation by freezing for those who feel pressure canning is too intimidating.

“If you have a pressure canner with a dial gauge, we will have a tester available to ensure that your gauge is correct.” Janice Hall said. “It is important to have your dial gauge tested every year to make sure that the food you’re preserving is safe from bacterial contamination. We will also be having a more in-depth seminar on canning methods in April.”

While the workshop is free, space is limited, so those interested should call the Extension Office at (205) 280-6268 by March 21 to reserve a spot.