Learn the basics of home preserving and enjoy garden harvests all year long

DECATUR, Ill. — The garden is planted, and the hope for a bountiful harvest is strong. Green beans, tomatoes, cucumbers, corn, and let’s not forget the many fruits that are all wonderful summer treats. But why should they only be summer treats? Join University of Illinois Extension in DeWitt, Macon and Piatt counties to learn how to safely preserve at home so you can enjoy your garden’s harvest all year long.

There are multiple opportunities to participate in Preserving 101. The Macon County Extension Office will host the classes on July 14 and July 16. The Piatt County Extension office will host classes on July 21 and 23, and the DeWitt County Extension Office will host on July 28 and July 30.

Thursday evening classes will be from 6:30 to 8 p.m. and will focus on hot water bath and pressure canning. Saturday classes will be from 9 to 10:30 a.m. and will focus on freezing, drying, and fermenting. Participants do not need to attend both sessions.

“While fresh tomatoes will eventually decompose, preserving gives them a longer shelf life, “ says Extension Nutrition and Wellness Educator Caitlin Mellendorf. “Maybe those tomatoes are canned into a salsa for a taste of summer in the fall or dried to add to chili in the winter. These classes will increase your confidence in safely preserving at home and explain the steps to get started.”

Participants may register for one or both classes. The fee for one class is $10 or $15 if taking both classes. Register at go.illinois.edu/Preserve101. Contact Caitlin at 217-877-6042 or chuth2@illinois.edu for questions.

SOURCE: Caitlin Mellendorf, Nutrition and Wellness Educator, University of Illinois Extension

WRITER: Maria Lightner, Marketing and Communications, University of Illinois Extension

ABOUT EXTENSION: Illinois Extension leads public outreach for University of Illinois by translating research into action plans that allow Illinois families, businesses, and community leaders to solve problems, make informed decisions, and adapt to changes and opportunities