You can learn new skills and become more self-sufficient through a food preservation certificate course and homesteading classes being offered this spring by the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Niagara County.
Food preservation certificate course
Certified master food preservation experts will host a three-day master food preserver class from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, May 2-4 at the 4-H Training Center, 4487 Lake Ave., Lockport.
This comprehensive training program will go beyond the basics and teach participants how to safely preserve food.
Participants will be guided through hands-on demonstrations of all food preservation methods recommended by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Students will learn the scientific basis of food preservation, get experience in both boiling water bath and pressure canning of a variety of products including jelly, tomato sauce, pickles, meats and vegetables.
Participants will also work with freezing methods, dehydration of fruits and vegetables and making jerky.
The class will end with an exam and all students who score at least 85 will obtain a Master Food Preserver certificate from the Cooperative Extension.
No prior canning experience is necessary to enroll.
The instructors will be preservation experts Judge Price and Katherine Humphrey.
The cost for the program is $375 per person. All materials, including a 265-page handbook and lunch each day are provided.
The class size is limited.
Pre-registration is required. The deadline to register is 4 p.m. Monday, April 10. Sign up online or call 716-433-8839.
The homesteading classes this spring will take place at the 4-H Training Center, 4487 Lake Ave., Lockport.
Class sizes are limited.
You must pre-register and pre-pay for each class. To register, use the online payment option on the event you wish to register for on the Cooperative Extension events page, call the office at 433-8839 or email Amanda Henning at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thursday, April 6: From 6 to 8 p.m., students will get a chance to learn how to make mozzarella cheese using a few simple ingredients for a fee of $20.
Thursday, April 20: Instructor Brenda Graff will teach students about how to plan pollinator gardens from 6 to 8 p.m. This class will have a fee of $15.
Thursday, May 18: Instructor John Farfaglia will cover gardening in small places from 6 to 8 p.m. The class, which costs $15, will teach you how to plant a garden in a small yard or apartment patio.
Thursday, June 1: Make mozzarella cheese will be offered from 6 to 8 p.m. for a second time. The fee is $20.
Tuesday, June 20: Introduction to beekeeping will be offered for $15 from 6 to 8 p.m. Beekeeper Dave will introduce participants to the tools and information needed to set up a backyard beehive.