Ozark Outdoors

Food Preservation Camp at Springfield Botanical Center

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Canning jars of pickled vegetables isn’t just a way of preserving food. It can also be a healthy alternative through fermentation methods. For a modest $5 fee, you can learn how at a “Food Preservation Camp on Oct. 7. Class size is limited to register early to reserve a place around the table.

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – As a follow-up to the popular summer food preservation class offered by MU Extension, a “food preservation camp” is being offered for 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 7 at the Springfield Botanical Center.

Lindsey Stevenson, a nutrition specialist with MU Extension, will cover food preservation by dehydration, freezing, pressure canning and pickling. Lunch will also be provided.

“These food preservation methods are all relevant to fall gardens and winter preparation,” said Stevenson. “I do recommend attendance at all three sessions because of the related topics.”

Interest in home food preservation has increased with the farm to table movement according to Stevenson. As part of the food preservation classes, MU Extension provides up-to-date, research-based procedural recommendations, tested recipes, and a hands-on experience that assists the consumer in safely preserving produce and other products.

As part of this fall camp, participants will learn how to pickle, dehydrate, freeze and can food.

The “Pressure Canning Low Acid Foods” portion of the class will start with fresh green beans and attendees will participate in the canning process until the jars are taken from the canner.

The session on “How to Pickle” will teach attendees how to prepare and process dilled green beans. There will also be a discussion on how to prepare and process fermented pickles and sauerkraut.

“Freezing and Dehydrating” will teach attendees how to get the best results when freezing produce. Attendees will also learn what to look for when purchasing a dehydrator, the process of preparing food for dehydration and how to store dehydrated foods. This class is lecture and discussion with sampling.

Registration can be done online at http://extension.missouri.edu/greene or by calling the Greene County Extension office at (417) 881-8909. Pre-registration and payment is required. There will be no refunds to those who miss because of costs incurred in offering the class.

Interested participants are advised to register early because seating is limited to 25 people. Attendees will receive a reminder phone fall one day before the event. Those whose registration includes an email address will also receive a link to download all class materials online as a PDF for free.

Printed copies can be available the day of the camp for an additional fee of $5 per packet.

George Freeman is a veteran journalist and photographer. An award-winning writer, editor and columnist in Springfield, Mo., with more than 50 years experience. His preference is for positive and uplifting stories about people, places, traditions and trends that make the Ozarks one of the most livable regions anywhere. A member of the Garden Writers Association of America, he is a past-president of the Society of Professional Journalists of Southwest Missouri, the Kansas and Ohio AP societies; a board member of Friends of the Garden and a member of the Rotary Club of Springfield. In 1976, he traveled to India as a member of a Rotary Foundation Group Study Exchange Team.

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