Teaching youth about food preservation

Food preservation is a great way to enjoy produce all year round. The Put It Up! curriculum helps teach youth about food preservation.

Gardens are planted and that means fruits and vegetables will be available soon. It is a good idea to start thinking about what you might do with your extra produce. The National Center for Home Food Processing and Preservation, University of Georgia Cooperative Extension and Clemson Cooperative Extension have developed the Put It Up! Food Preservation for Youth curriculum. This free curriculum is designed for 4-H leaders or Extension staff to teach youth the proper techniques for preserving food.

The Put It Up! curriculum is broken down into six different units: Can My Tomatoes, Make My Jam, Make My Pickles, Freeze my Fruits and Veggies, Dry My Fruit and Can My Vegetables. Each unit comes with a facilitator’s guide and step-by-step instructions. It also has a list of supplies needed and other activities you can do with youth while they are waiting for boiling or drying. The curriculum explores water bath and pressure canning, freezing and drying foods. At the end of each class, students can receive a certificate of completion.

Michigan State University Extension also provides classes all summer to help adults learn the skills of food preservation. Their classes, along with additional information, are posted on MSU Extension’s Food Preservation website.