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Extension office to teach canning methods

It is that time of year again, for a canning workshop to held at the Chilton County Extension Office on April 19 from 9 a.m. to noon.

As the name implies, the workshop will focus on teaching the public about safe and effective techniques when canning a variety of foods.

There are two primary methods of canning that will be explained, which include water bath and pressure.

Water bath canning is a popular method used for jams, fruits and jellies.

Jars are submerged under boiling water for about five to 10 minutes, which helps kill any bacteria or other types of mold growth.

Pressure canning is the preferred method for any form of vegetable and can help prevent botulism, a deadly bacteria prone to be found in improperly canned vegetables.

According to Regional Extension Agent Janice Hall, the goal of the exercises is to not only teach canning principles, but also the safety reasons behind why those principles are in place.

“We’re teaching the right canning methods for the right types of food,” Hall said. “Botulism cannot be killed by [boiling] water.”

Hall covers eight counties as a regional extension agent and tries to put on a workshop at least once a year in each county.

“Chilton County is always a well attended workshop,” Hall said.

So well attended, that there has been years when the workshop is offered for a second time due to the interest.

According to Hall, the increase in backyard gardens and the idea of buying local and fresh throughout Alabama has made canning a necessary method for many.

“When you’re growing your own, you tend to have more than you need,” Hall said.

Food that is canned properly can last up to a year.

She will lead a demonstration of a canning process during the workshop, with samples of the end result provided to all in attendance.

Cookbooks that specialize in canning will also be handed out that include recipes that have been tested and approved.

Spots are still available for a registration fee of $5. Those looking to register or with questions can call the extension office at (205) 280-6268 or stop by its location at 504 First Ave. N. in Clanton.