Louisiana strawberries are plentiful this time of year, just in time to purchase strawberries for the annual 4-H Strawberry Fundraiser! For the past 7 years, the East Carroll LSU and Southern University AgCenter have been offering joint food preservation workshops for adults and youth to enjoy. This hands-on workshop covers canning safety, types of equipment, food safety, and boiling water bath basics and ends with jars of delicious homemade strawberry jam.
The food preservation workshops started in 2016 after the annual 4-H Strawberry Fundraiser, which provides financial assistance for underserved youth to attend camps during the summer. After purchasing strawberries, residents were interested in learning how to preserve their eight pounds of fresh Louisiana strawberries. Thereupon, Family and Consumer Science agents began teaching a series of basic canning methods to adult volunteers. 4-H volunteer Elisha Lucas was one of the first adults to attend this workshop, and she has been leading the community workshop for the past six years with assistance from the AgCenter. “We want to teach new audiences how to preserve their food properly,” Lucas said. “Even if you consider yourself an expert in canning, we want to provide everyone with the most up-to-date research-based information.”
"My favorite part of the workshop was the hands-on learning and the thorough directions. I felt very comfortable making jam for the very first time, and I feel confident that I can now make it at home too."
"I enjoyed adding various ingredients to the strawberries, and to see the end result of my hard work was truly amazing. Making the jam was a fun process, and the taste of the jam was even better."
Based on evaluation feedback, the food preservation workshop is here to stay! The East Carroll AgCenter plans to continue offering this workshop to equip future generations with the necessary tools to enjoy delicious, nutritious food year-round.
After participating in the LSU/SU AgCenter’s food preservation workshop, 90% of participants are confident in their ability to preserve food at home safely. 88% of participants know how to make strawberry jam. 96% of participants understand that freezing and canning are ways to make food last longer.
The LSU AgCenter and the LSU College of Agriculture