Community Garden to host home canning workshop


photo courtesy Wikimedia commons
The Hay River Community Garden will be hosting a canning workshop Saturday, Oct. 27, at the Diamond Willow Café.
— NNSL file photo

Can you imagine canning your own cans?Canning and preserving your own food can seem scary, admits Hay River Community Garden president Rebecca Bruser. But she says it’s a great way to save money and stay healthy.

That’s why Bruser is hosting a home canning and preserving workshop this Saturday, Oct. 27 from 3 to 6 p.m. at the Diamond Willow Café, hoping to take the intimidation factor out of the process.

It’s a little bit scary for people that haven’t done it before. There is some reading involved. There are certain amounts of time that things need to remain in the canner or you can get botulism. It definitely takes some learning, which is why I think unless we have group training sessions like this, people will be too scared to try it,” Bruser said.

Bruser said she’s hoping for a turnout of around 15 people.

We’re asking people for a $5 registration fee to hold their spot  and so we’ll know how many supplies to bring,” she said.

The five bucks will go a long way. For the workshop, the group will be making a special antipasto from Bruser’s family recipe that they get to take home when they’re done.

Bruser herself has been canning for about two years, and said she got involved because of her work with the community garden. Once the garden was up and running and producing food, Bruser and the other gardeners needed a way to preserve it so it all wouldn’t go to waste.

There are a lot of ways you can preserve things. You can blanche and freeze things. Herbs you can dry, but canning is a big one for a lot of things. I think it’s one of the best ways of preserving things,” she said.

While the majority of home canners today are over 50 years old, Bruser said the activity is gaining popularity in the environmental movement and becoming more mainstream.

The majority of people who still can are older people who learned it from their parents, or really hard core granola nature types to take it upon themselves to read up and do it. We’d really like to see more people doing it,” she said.

The other major benefit to canning is that it can be a real money saver. Home-grown canned goods can be up to 60 per cent cheaper than grocery store purchases, and a canning kit only costs around $25 dollars, Bruser said.

To sign up for the workshop, contact Pat Burnstad at Joey’s Sweets and Things.