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Wilburn: Learn how to preserve all those fresh veggies
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Food preservation classes

When: 9-11 a.m. June 17
Where: Extension office, 734 E. Crescent Drive, Gainesville

When: Noon-1 p.m. July 14
Where: Spout Springs library, 6488 Spout Springs Road, Flowery Branch

Food preservation exhibit

When: 8-9:30 a.m. June 16
Where: Hall County Farmers Market, corner of East Crescent Drive and Jesse Jewell Parkway, just off Interstate 985 at Exit 24

All events are free. For more information, call 770-535-8290.

Hall County Extension will be offering two free food preservation classes on up-to-date resources for canning, freezing, drying, jelly making and pickling. This month's class will take place from 9 to 11 a.m. June 17 at the extension office. The same class also will be offered from noon to 1 p.m. July 14 at the Spout Springs library.

The class will provide you with information on food preservation brochures, books, Web sites, online courses and DVDs. Everyone attending will receive a packet of information.

So whether you are a beginner or experienced food preserver come join us. Please call 770-535-8290 by June 16 to register.

‘So Easy To Preserve' books

The University of Georgia Cooperative Extension is pleased to offer a fifth edition of its popular book, "So Easy To Preserve."

This beautiful book contains the latest U.S. Department of Agriculture recommendations for safe food preservation. "So Easy To Preserve" is a 375-page book with more than 185 tested recipes, along with step-by-step instructions and information for both the new and experienced food preserver.

Chapters cover topics such as preserving food, pickling, making jellies, freezing and drying. This edition also has 35 new tested recipes and processes, in addition to a new section with recommended procedures for home-canned salsas.

The books are $18 and are available at the Hall County Extension office. Please call ahead to make sure we still have copies on hand. Remember for safety sake, especially when canning low-acid foods such as green beans and vegetable soup, you must use up-to-date, tested recipes.

Home food preservation Web site

If you have access to a computer, you have the most up-to-date, research-based information on food preservation right at your fingertips. Simply go to www.homefood and you will find information on all types of food preservation, from how-to presentations to recipes for strawberry preserves.

This Web site is maintained by food specialists at the University of Georgia Cooperative Extension. You can learn the basics of food preservation through a free tutorial series, and there are also slide shows on making tomato-pepper salsa or freezing fruits and vegetables.

Test your canner

It is not quite summer, but we are getting more produce variety at the Hall County Farmers Market. Be on the lookout this month for beans, beets, potatoes, cabbage, carrots, green onions, lettuce, broccoli, cucumbers, summer squash, cauliflower, leeks, turnips, English peas, snow peas, snap peas, kale, kohlrabi, garlic, herbs, June berry, raspberries, strawberries, fresh bread, honey, handmade soaps, cut flower arrangements, annuals and perennials.

The farmers market is open 6 a.m. until sellout Tuesdays and 7 a.m. until sellout Saturdays. The earlier you get there, the better the selection.

Come out to the market from 8 to 9:30 a.m. June 16 and check out my exhibit on food preservation. I'll have free recipes on canning, freezing, jelly making and pickling. I will also be offering free accuracy testing of dial gauge pressure canners. These canners should be tested each year to ensure safety of your canned foods. Simply bring your canner lid; it only takes about five minutes.

If you are unable to come, call my office at 770-535-8290 and make an appointment.

Debbie Wilburn is county extension agent in family and consumer science with the Hall County Extension. Contact: 770-535-8290.

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