Valdosta Daily Times

What We Think

June 13, 2013

Canning preserves food, way of life

VALDOSTA — When the going gets tough, the tough getting canning. Valdosta-Lowndes County residents have this opportunity. When gardening is one way people seek to save money, one location helps people save what they garden.

The Lowndes Food Processing Center is open for the next few weeks.

For a small fee, gardeners can bring their fresh produce to the center, placing it in preserve jars and cans, or plastic bags for freezing.

For relatively pennies, customers can wash, blanch, peel and preserve their homegrown produce. Customers also do most of the work, while staff assists folks with the proper use of equipment, canning, and cooking.

You can save your carrots, corn, snap beans, lima beans, squash, potatoes, tomatoes, peaches, pears, pickles, pumpkins, apples, turnips and more. Meats are processed. Stews and soups prepared.

Canning was once a regular part of most farming communities. But as once-traditional agricultural communities have changed through the years, with the rise of supermarkets and national distribution, with the advent of chemical preservatives and refrigeration, the art of canning and preserving has vanished.

It’s time for a return to this old way, and the Lowndes Food Processing Center at Lowndes High School shows the way. Canning: It’s the right kind of green for an economy that’s lean.

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