Food Preservation

How Canning Preserves FoodsThe high percentage of water in most fresh foods makes them very perishable. They spoil or lose their quality for several reasons:

  • growth of undesirable microorganisms-bacteria, molds, and yeasts,
  • activity of food enzymes,
  • reactions with oxygen,
  • moisture loss.

Microorganisms live and multiply quickly on the surfaces of fresh food and on the inside of bruised, insect-damaged, and diseased food. Oxygen and enzymes are present throughout fresh food tissues.Proper canning practices include:

  • carefully selecting and washing fresh food,
  • peeling some fresh foods,
  • hot packing many foods,
  • adding acids (lemon juice or vinegar) to some foods,
  • using acceptable jars and self-sealing lids,
  • processing jars in a boiling-water or pressure canner for the correct period of time.

Collectively, these practices remove oxygen; destroy enzymes; prevent the growth of undesirable bacteria, yeasts, and molds; and help form a high vacuum in jars. Good vacuums form tight seals which keep liquid in and air and microorganisms out. 

Canning College Workshops

Each year, Canning College Workshops are held for residents of Wilson County.  These workshops are designed for the first time home canner that has a desire to learn the basics of preserving foods like fruits, vegetables and pickles. 

Pre-registration and pre-payment of the workshop fee is required.  

The Canning College workshop size is limited to ten (10) participants due to the nature of the workshop.  Each participant will experience hands-on tasks in the kitchen and be able to duplicate the recipes conducted during the workshop.  Participants will be able to take home various items that they can in each workshop.  The Canning College Workshops are divided into two workshops.      

Frequently Asked Questions:

When are Canning College Workshops Held? 


How do I register for the Canning College Workshops?Extension Office located at 925 East Baddour Pkwy. in Lebanon
How much does the Canning College Workshops Cost?

Workshop costs $30 per participant for each class or $50 per participant for both classes.  The fee goes to purchase supplies for the workshops and maintain cooking equipment for the workshops.  Please make checks payable to UT Extension.

Who teaches the Canning College Workshops?

Shelly Barnes, Family and Consumer Sciences Extension Agent teaches the Canning College Workshops.  Shelly has attended training courses with the University of Tennessee Extension and maintains her training as needed. 

How many workshops should I attend?

Agent Barnes recommends that first time home canners attend both the Tuesday and the Thursday workshop.  The Tuesday workshop covers the Water Bath Canner and Fruits and the Thursday workshop covers the Pressure Canner and Vegetables.  Valuable information will be learned during each workshop.  There is no need to duplicate the workshop series since the information is the same after a participant has completed both Workshops 1 & 2. 

For more information, fill out box at top right of page to contact Shelly Barnes.

Wilson County Food Preservation Info

Food Preservation

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