This week I ran across what might be the best kept secret in the food canning and preserving world. And if that’s too grand for you, I’ll take it down a few notches and say that I didn’t know about Master Food Preservers and I’ll bet most of you don’t either.
What is a Master Food Preserver? It’s a person who’s educated in food preservation and is certified by a university agricultural extension. In exchange for this low-cost education MFP’s are expected to volunteer about 30 hours a year in the program’s community outreach which provides the public with up-to-date information on food safety and preservation through lectures, talks, one-on-one instruction, information booths at farmers markets and other county events.
Many, but not all, university agricultural extensions offer yearly classes (search Master Food Preservers + your state university). In Orange County (California) the program being developed by the OC Master Gardeners is just getting underway with the first class starting in February 2011. This initial class will be to “train the future teachers” who will then teach the public classes that will start in 2012. So if you want to learn all about food preserving and be a part of developing this great program, contact firstname.lastname@example.org for an information sheet, application and interview date. All applications must be received by October 31.
If I weren’t eyebrow deep in a million other things, I’d be sending in my application too. As it is, I’ll just have to wait for the classes in 2012.