Resources for this program are provided by county agents directly. The link to this program requires login credentials. If you are interested in this series, please contact your county agent.
Home canning, freezing, and drying continues to be popular methods of preserving foods at home. Reasons for preserving food include having control over the ingredients in one’s food, becoming more self-sufficient, or to save money. Regardless of the reason, it is important that safe preservation methods and tested recipes be followed for the prevention of food-borne illness and spoilage. For example, nearly 29% of the 326 confirmed cases of botulism between 2001 and 2017 have been linked to foods preserved at home. A recent survey of current food preservation practices from individuals participating in AgriLife Extension workshops found that among those who had preserved food in the past, more than 60% had utilized one or more unsafe methods.
Preserving the Harvest is a program series that teaches individuals how to preserve foods using tested recipes and research-based methods. The program combines a didactic component with “hands-on” activities which allows participants to learn and practice the preservation skills under the supervision of an Agent. This helps assure that participants leave knowing how to preserve food safely. The program consists of 9 sessions which can be customized to meet clientele needs. Session titles include Canning Basics, Freezing Fruits and Vegetables, Jams and Preserves, Canning Tomatoes and Salsa, Pressure Canning, and Making Jerky. Food preservation programs have historically been delivered in-person so participants had the opportunity to complete the hands-on component. COVID-19 led to the delivery of these sessions online supplemented by videos that demonstrated the skills normally featured in an in-person workshop.
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Today Master Gardeners are active in all 50 U.S. States and eight Canadian provinces. The heart of the Texas Master Gardener program is the dedicated, passionate volunteers who are willing to share their knowledge with anyone interested. 2019 Edition.