This spring, new and experienced gardeners alike took to their yards, raised beds, planter pots, and garden plots with excitement and anticipation. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic and stay at home orders, many people found respite, relief and renewed optimism by spending some time in the garden. Oregon State University’s online Vegetable Gardening course was offered for free and over 40,000 people enrolled. As a result of all this gardening, folks are realizing they need more methods to safely and effectively preserve and store their bounty of produce. Our food preservation hotline and Ask and Expert question portal have experienced more call volume than ever before. In light of the many food preservation questions we are receiving, I thought it might be helpful to share some excellent resources with folks who may be missing our annual in-person food preservation classes this time of year.
Oregon State University Resources, local and online
- Find upcoming on-line programs, classes, information, and printed resources and recipes at extension.oregonstate.edu/food/preservation.
- OSU Extension Food Safety and Preservation Hotline at 1-800-354-7319 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday through Oct. 9 (hotline usually runs mid-July to early-October).
- OSU Food Preservation Facebook Page at www.facebook.com/OSUExtensionFoodPres.
- Extension Ask and Expert at ask.extension.org/ask.
- Schedule an appointment for Pressure Canner Gauge Testing by calling our office and we’ll set up a time to meet you and test your gauge for free at 541-386-3343.
“Canning Timer and Checklist” App from Oregon State University Extension
This app walks you through the preservation process step-by-step for hundreds of different products. By following along with the app you can make sure you don’t miss a single important step. Download on your smart phone at catalog.extension.oregonstate.edu/pnw689.
Canning Instructional Videos from Oregon State University Extension:
- Water Bath Canning: Fruit Syrup recipe at youtu.be/DjxTdsi_gZ4.
- Acidified Foods: Pickled hot peppers recipe at youtu.be/B0MqSq75fZI.
- Dehydrated Foods: Dried apples and apple fruit leather recipes at youtu.be/f6eT1iwN-4I.
- Strawberry Freezer Jam video at youtu.be/VpbU0rXaygU.
- National Center for Home Food Preservation from University of Georgia
- This simple website is the online hub for the best and latest canning information. There are also resources for safely freezing, drying, smoking, fermenting, pickling, and storing food. Safety is always your top priority in food preservation, so this site is a great place to start to make sure you’re using best practices. Find all of these important resources at nchfp.uga.edu.
“Preserve Smart” App from Colorado State University Extension
This app walks you through a variety of preservation methods depending on your selection of various fruits and veggies. Perfect for farmers market or farm stand shoppers who are buying a lot of product in bulk. Download on your phone at apps.chhs.colostate.edu/preservesmart.