Thursday, February 19, 2009

Canning - In The News

Yesterday my father and I attended a home canning class at the OSU Extension Center. As many of you know, my dad is a long time organic gardener and I grew up around an atmosphere that included planting, cultivating, tending, weeding, composting and harvesting. Although my mother was a master gardener, it was my father that did the canning when we had an over abundance of fresh produce. He was also a master bee keeper and he created quite an impressive eco-system within the one acre on which I grew up. Unfortunately, I was too young and immature to have a real appreciation of the blessing of all of that being part of my childhood. Now as an adult, I find myself drawn back to these roots and have a desire to learn and understand more about those things that are just second nature to my father.Of course, canning is not raw, but there is an art to it that intrigues me. I believe that raw, fresh, organic, locally grown produce is nature's very best nutrition, but I also understand that canning for the winter months certainly can have it's place, especially when one has cultivated a thriving garden of their own. I particularly like to dry certain fruits and vegetables at low temperatures which really helps to maintain the enzymes and nutritional value of these foods. Freezing is another method of preserving food's integrity, if you have adequate freezer space available.

Raw food is my passion, yet I find myself drawn to the entirety of the slow food movement. It was interesting to find out that the demand for yesterday's class was well beyond the centers expectations. Due to the overwhelming popularity of this topic, OSU Extension Center will be offering additional classes throughout this growing season. If you live in Green Country and have interest in learning more about canning or the other fine educational opportunities offered through OSU, please visit their website.
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