Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.
Today I'm going to take you on my journey to learn an important life skill: food preservation. I grew up near the kitchen when canning was taking place but was never invited in. I was invited to pick endless rows of green beans and tomatoes but then was shooed away to play and I was happy for it.
Years later, I found myself living on this hobby farm and growing tired of buying all my food at the grocery. I was learning to garden and wanted to save that produce the "old-fashioned" way. It was time to learn to can. By the time I was ready though, all my relatives who would have been my teachers were no longer able or around to do it. What was I to do?
Honestly, I was a little afraid. I was afraid that I would make a mistake and give someone food poisoning. I was afraid that the pressure canner would explode and kill someone (after all, wasn't that the reason we couldn't be in the kitchen?).
I wanted to learn for many years but never took the step. I finally stumbled upon the opportunity I needed and it came to me in a way that I knew it was do it now or just forget about it. I was talking to another farmgirl with MaryJanesFarm who mentioned she was going to learn and didn't I want to too? I'm so glad I accepted her invitation.
I laugh about it now because I traveled ninety minutes each way, once a week, for five weeks for an all-day class to learn something I should have learned in my Aunt Mary Alice's kitchen. I paid money to do it and I rearranged my work schedule. I was determined to get over IT - it being the fear.
The class was taught with some lecture time and then it was all hands-on...just like in nursing school...
*Watch One* *Do One* *Teach One*
This is an excellent way to learn to preserve foods by water bath or pressure canning method. The one ~*wonderful*~ thing about the class is that it was supportive, action oriented and
I would not have gotten that level of instruction in that kitchen in rural Indiana in the early 1970's. Watch One, Do One, Teach One is an excellent way to learn because it encompasses all the learning styles and then builds your confidence when you actually are able to teach it to someone else.
The program I completed (and yes there is a test) earned me the honor of saying I am a Master Food Preserver and I am so proud of that. I'm also so proud that my pantry is filled with jars of healthy food that I grew myself, prepared myself, preserved myself and will feed my family. The peace of mind is such a gift.
The program was offered through our state extension office and was offered in only a few counties in Indiana. Other states offer the program too.
The program is based on curriculum from the National Center for Home Food Preservation (NCHFP) which was established by the US Department of Agriculture to research safe methods of preserving food. That website is a treasure trove of information related to canning, freezing, drying and fermenting foods. It is my first choice for seeking information anytime I have a question on food preservation. It is easy to submit a question too if you don't find the answer on the website.
The class, the website and my own continuous learning has given me the confidence to gain and grow my skills related to canning and I am happy to teach anyone else to do it too! Please look over all the NCHFP has to offer and consider finding a class in your area. The NCHFP has free lesson plans to teach our children this important skill so get out there...watch one, do one and teach one. You will be so glad you did!
I'm so happy you stopped by to visit today. Tomorrow, I'm posting a review of a book I have been reading The Hope Chest: A Legacy of Love by Rebekah Wilson. I hope to see you then :)
Peace be with you,
Star Schipp Master Food Preserver
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