Mid-Season Check-in: Discover You Can: Learn Make Share
By: Liz Comiskey Posted On: July 28, 2013
For the third year, Farmers Market Coalition member markets across the country have participated in the Discover You Can Learn Make Share program, sponsored by Jarden Home Brands (the makers of Ball ®Brand Fresh Preserving Products). Each market offers canning education programs throughout the season, which has been a great way for markets to increase attendance, while helping farmers move more produce. The stipend and materials provided by Jarden Home Brands has provided the resources to run canning workshops and demonstrations, and many markets are taking it to the next level – hosting local chefs and celebrities, children’s programs and other creative canning-activities. Here are just some of the stories we’ve heard of this summer’s events:
- The Greater Springfield Farmers Market (MO) wanted a creative backdrop for their canning workshops, so they turned to the Missouri Art Education Association’s Art Educator of the Year, Angie Myers. Under her direction, several Greenfield High School Art Club members designed and painted a mural for the market to have as a canning workshop backdrop. This 12’ mural depicts a home kitchen 100 years ago when the blue Ball® Perfect Mason Jar was introduced.
- The Lancaster Market (NY) had a great pectin giveaway! Four cases of pectin were handed out, and customers were encouraged to report back about their home canning adventures. New canners reported back with their successes, and were very appreciative of free product. The gift of free pectin started many customers on strawberry preserves with fresh strawberries from the market! The market has been asked to give canning workshops for other organizations around town, including a new nearby farmers market opened by the Seneca Nation of Indians.
- The Minnetrista Farmers Market (IN) has set up a weekly ‘ask the expert’ canning booth at their market, as a result of continued interest following their hot-water bath and pressure cooking workshop in June. The booth is a great way to remind people about canning as an option and provide the opportunity for customers and vendors to share recipes and advice.
We can’t wait to see what the rest of the season brings, as the creativity and enthusiasm of markets and customers continues to make the Discover You Can Lean Make Share program a huge sucess.
Markets that aren’t participating in the program don’t have to miss out on the canning fun. National Can-It-Forward Day is August 17th – providing a perfect opportunity to schedule a workshop at your market! National Can-It-Forward Day is dedicated to celebrating the season’s best fresh produce through fresh preserving. Home canning extension classes, consumer groups and farmers markets nationwide will participate by offering canning demos teaching millions how to savor the best summer produce through home canning. FreshPreserving.com will host a live webcast of a canning demonstration (starring a celebrity canner)!
Will your market introduce canning to your community this year? FMC would love to hear stories and see photos and videos of your canning adventures this summer. Please feel free to post to our Facebook page or send us an email!