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June 13, 2013

Lowndes Canning Plant open for summer

VALDOSTA —  Lowndes County Schools food processing center and canning plant is open for business. The center is run by agriculture teachers Quinton Hadsoch and James Corbett, with the assistance of students Jacob Jodrey and Justin Pierce.

The canning plant has long been a part of Lowndes’ history. Originally located where Lowes currently sits, the site was moved to its current location after Kmart purchased the property.

Each year, the food processing center and canning plant has helped agriculture students gain work experience and a better understanding of food processing.

Hadsoch said, “The center allows students to gain a working experience of the plant. All of the students here are ag students hoping to go into the ag industry, so we are teaching them food processing which is an important skill to have in that field.”

Filled with all of the equipment a person could need for canning and food processing, the plant offers their customers a chance to have their food processed quicker and easier than at home. The facility has boilers that can cook large amounts of soups, jellies, stews, boiled peanuts and more, which can be canned and saved for use during the year. Canning services are available for a range of products. The facilities are available for canning in #401 cans and glass jars. Cans are provided by the plant and the cost is included in the processing charge. They also have an industrial grade juicer that can juice tomatoes, berries and much more. Customers should bring knives, clean cloths, non-iodized salt and other condiments as needed.

Pierce has been helping at the center for two years. He is very thankful for the chance to work there for part of the summer.

This is Jodrey’s first year working at the plant “It gives me good work experience and helps keep me busy during the summer. It also is something new to learn.”  

Prices for the center are listed below:  

Canning is $.62 per can. Shelling and blanching are $3 per bushel. Just shelling or just blanching is $2 per bushel. Peach peeling is $2 per bushel. Jarring is $.20 per jar, with the customer providing jars and lids.

 The center also asks that any patrons wishing to can peaches must bring one gallon of white vinegar and also sugar to make the syrup. The center recommends a medium syrup, which requires two cups of water per one cup of sugar.

This summer, the plant will be open until July 13, with the exception of July 8 and 10, on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. The plant opens at 7 a.m. and all customer products must be processed by 2 p.m. Anyone is invited to use the services offered at the center, not just Lowndes residents. The canning plant has seen vistors from Texas, New York and many other places. Everyone is welcome.

 Lowndes County Schools food processing center and canning plant is located on the northwest side of Martin Stadium, by I-75. It is at the north end of Lowndes High School’s student parking lot and the south end of the main LHS building.

For more information, call the canning plant at (229) 245-2252.

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