Tuesday’s Tips — OC Master Food Preserver

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 irmagaard@mac.com 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.

13 thoughts on “Tuesday’s Tips — OC Master Food Preserver

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  1. I’m so bummed to have missed it!!! I teach canning, gardening and cooking classes and it would’ve been great to get more knowledge. Feel free to e mail me @ my regular address.
    BTW-I love your blog! Glad I stumbled upon it.

  2. Hi, Can you let me know more information too? I am sending out applications for OC Fair 2011 Judges…Like Chef Debbi say’s it’s hard to find the Master Preservers! You can also get in touch with me at rfontes@ocfair.com I’m the Culinary Coordinator for the exhibits department.

  3. Hello- I was certified MFP at Los Angeles circa 1997. The L.A Program was ended shortly thereafter. Recently I discovered online that a San Bernadino MFP is re-starting the L.A. Program in March, this year. I would urge anyone in the O.C. who wants to get certified ASAP (and is willing to make the drive) look into this.
    After I am re-certified I would love to wander down to you-all find out what’s cookin’.

  4. Hi Barbara,

    I’d like to find out about the OC Master Food Preservers program for 2012, but can’t find any info about them online except this post. I wrote to irmagaard@mac.com a few days ago and have not received a reply.

    Would you have any updated information about this program? Has it been discontinued in OC? Perhaps the best hope for OC residents is to get on the waiting list for the next LA MFP program?


    1. Hi Lynda,

      The University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE) oversees the Master Food Preserver program as well as the Master Gardener program. The Master Food Preserver classes (12 weeks) will begin in February. Send an email including all your contact info to: hotline@uccemg.com if you want to apply for a spot in the class. Applications will be sent out in the fall — not sure when yet.

      They will be posting a little more info on the website (UC Master Gardeners of Orange County – http://www.uccemg.com) in the next 2 – 3 weeks.


      1. Thank you, Barbara! I appreciate your help, and I hope that it will help others looking for this program.

        I just received a reply yesterday and have sent Irmagaard my information to be on the mailing list for the February 2012 start.

  5. Hi,
    I am interested in applying to the OCMFP class. My understanding is that one will begin in September, 2012. What do I need to do to apply or at least begin the process?

    1. Hi Lea – you should call the UCCE Master Gardners of Orange County and ask to be put on the list to be sent the application for next year’s class as this year’s class has been selected. The phone number is 714-708-1606. Let me know if you run into any problems.


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