In an effort to train people to teach safe home food preservation classes in their Southeast Alaska communities, the University of Alaska Fairbanks Cooperative Extension Service hosted a series of certification courses around the region in recent months. The Sitka class on May 14-15 at Blatchley Middle School wrapped up the series, which featured several online lessons followed by two-day hands-on classes in Juneau, Ketchikan and Sitka.
The Sitka class was taught by UAF Cooperative Extension Service Associate Director Roxie Rodgers Dinstel of Fairbanks and Sarah Lewis, a Family and Community Development faculty member from Juneau. In addition to several Sitka residents, there also were students from Haines, Petersburg and Juneau in the Sitka class. The series was funded by a grant from the SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC).
During the class, the 10 students learned which foods need waterbath canning vs. pressure canning, had a lesson on fermenting, tested pressure canner gauges, dehydrated fruits and veggies, made jerky, and learned how to find reliable resources to make sure their home food preservation practices are safe.
In addition to teaching classes, some of the students will use their new skills for cottage food businesses and home canning projects. One of the purposes of the class was to certify people in a variety of Southeast Alaska communities on how to teach safe home food preservation classes, so they don’t have to wait for a UAF Cooperative Extension Service faculty member from Juneau, Anchorage or Fairbanks to come to town to teach.
A slideshow of scenes from the two-day hands-on classes is below.