Participants complete Master Food Preserver Training at Orleans County CCE

By on May 13, 2019

Eleven participants completed the Cornell Cooperative Extension Master Food Preserver Training course yesterday at the Orleans County Cornell Cooperative Extension. The three-day training was an in-depth, hands-on training covering multiple methods of home food preservation as well as food science and food safety basics. Participants entered the course with a range of food preservation experience, from beginners with no experience to those with decades of experience.

 “My mother canned when I was growing up, and I have canned as an adult using a boiling water bath canner,” participant Julie Baker said on day one. “I’ve also done some freezing and drying of garden vegetables – but no pressure canning!” She and several other classmates were interested in learning more about other techniques, especially pressure canning which people often find daunting. Participants were able to gain experience in the kitchen with hands-on processing using a steam canner, boiling water bath, and pressure canners. There were also demos on how to preserve using a dehydrator and freezing, as well as lessons on fermentation and pickling.

Master Food Preserver Experts Judy Price and Diane Whitten lead the training. They travel from April through October offering these three-day course through host county Cornell Cooperative Extension offices.

“We offer these courses all around the state, and the main purpose is to train the trainer. After they complete the training, the participants can then relay the information to their local communities,” explained instructor Diane Whitten.  

Because the training is only offered through CCE by these two instructors, counties are limited in how frequently they host the course. This particular class had residents of Genesee County and Monroe County who made the commute because their local counties were not offering the training this year.  

“I’m thrilled to see how well our students worked together to learn food preservation skills,“ remarked instructor Judy Price, who has been leading the MFP Training for almost twenty years. “It is our hope that all will continue preserving and teaching others what they have learned.”

Participants were able to select several jars of product to bring home. Recipes included marinated peppers, dilly beans, salsa, apple jelly, strawberry jam, and stewed tomatoes among others. Participants received a certificate of completion at the end of the third day of training.  They can become official Master Food Preservers after submitting log sheets showing practice and proficiency in the various methods of food preservation learned in class.   

“My main take-away from this class is that I’m able to better provide for my family. This class was so valuable to me, and as one of the youngest in the class it just shows that age doesn’t matter!” said Robert Rademacher of Holley.  

The local Orleans County CCE Master Food Preserver volunteers helped immensely during this training – prepping recipes, washing dishes, and sharing their own experiences in food preservation. These volunteers have already scheduled four Master Food Preserver workshops that are available to the public in Orleans County for the 2019 season. The workshops will be offered on Friday evenings from 6 to 9 p.m. Class topics are: Pasta Making on June 7; Jams and Jellies on July 12; Soups on September 6; and Pressure Canning on October 11. Several of the newly graduated MFP participants of the training have already signed on to help with these workshops. Anyone interested in taking these workshops can call 798-4265 to register.  Class size is limited and payment is required.  

Provided information and photos

The 2019 Orleans County Master Food Preserver Training class, instructors and volunteers.

The 2019 Orleans County Master Food Preserver Training class, instructors and volunteers.

 

Participants Donna LaFontaine, Amy Payne, Julie Baker, and Kristina Gabalski work with local MFP Volunteer Eileen Sorochty (second from right) canning green beans.

Participants Donna LaFontaine, Amy Payne, Julie Baker, and Kristina Gabalski work with local MFP Volunteer Eileen Sorochty (second from right) canning green beans.

 

Participants Sheryl Watts, Catherine Johnston and Krissy Heen drain apples and blueberries to make jelly.

Participants Sheryl Watts, Catherine Johnston and Krissy Heen drain apples and blueberries to make jelly.

 

The class was split into three groups that each worked on different recipes in various categories of food preservation. The training was held in the Trolley kitchen at the Orleans County 4-H Fairgrounds.

The class was split into three groups that each worked on different recipes in various categories of food preservation. The training was held in the Trolley kitchen at the Orleans County 4-H Fairgrounds.

A sample of the preserved product made during the class.

A sample of the preserved product made during the class.