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I have scheduled the first meetings of the canning club I am starting. The first meetings will be be duplicates that allow everyone who is interested to make one or the other (one weekend morning and the other weekday evening). We will take a quick tour through my shop and chat about what everyone has, doesn't have, likes, doesn't like, is interested in and not interested in.... From there we will try to agree on a date for our first group canning event (tomatos in July). We'll do these group canning events in smaller groups of those interested and available for each event. We'll also try to determine the best time for quarterly meetings where we try to get all members to attend and bring their canned goods to show and trade. We will also build a networking circle where everyone is looking for oportunistic ways to aquire items to be canned. We've already had one member offer a u-pick oportunity for 50 cent a pound tomatos (July event). We also have the Superganic Farm guy who will sell us ceritfied/organic veggies to can (September event). We'll do meats, stews and soups in the colder months. I'll keep you appraised as to how the club works out as we proceed.

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What a great opportunity for folks in your area!  Once the word gets out you'll have plenty of people contacting you with extra produce.  Just this week my daughter was in a restarant and had a fellow tell her he has a small family orchard I'm welcome to come and pick...I'm now up to 5 small fruit orchards (not counting my own)!  I manage a small Certified Farmers Market and the growers at the end of the day have some wonderful deals for me (I like the free ones the best).  Once the word got out I canned on a large scale the phone rang off the hook.  Now if I could just *hook* up with a jar manufacturer!!!

Keep up the good work...food preservation is an art form...and with more people like you not a lost art form.

And this is one, just one, of the things I do love about you.  Like I said, you are both my hero and nemesis.
Folks have been calling me about the club and we haven't even met yet. I am up to 15 committed to making the initial meeting and anouther 10 that are on the email list. Yesterday I talked with a guy who is involved in a program called Santa Rosa Argi-plex which will promote local farmers and their produce. I'm not yet familiar with the details but evidently it is a brick & morter initiative and they are thinking about installing some sort of canning kitchen which may or may not contain a commercial canning  machine. He was interested in how many folks might use it if they built it so wanted to stay in touch and monitor the canning club's activity. I also was contacted by the publisher for "Natural Awakenings" (available at many natural food stores) who will attend the first club meeting and possibly do a short piece in her magazine on it. I also got a call from a farmer's market asking if I would come to the market and promote the club. Seems like a lot of interest in a club that is only know through word of mouth!

Looking forward to hearing the updates.  Thank you for taking the lead on this Pat because even when, or if, others take over and add to the party, it will your effort to start this, your knowledge and your commitment to this fun-employed living that has gotten the ball rolling and that cannot be underestimated.  What I know is that not everyone has such inclinations.  Me?  Oh I can write and I can produce a dvd but I am a solitary creature that does not always welcome the opportunity to bring the ranks together or even join in with the ranks that are already there.  I suppose everyone has their strengths but I totally acknowledge how the world needs more of the stripe that you are made of.   Thanks.

 

And Lynda, you are so lucky to have so many orchards ring your bell and luckier still that you know what to do with it.  I love that.  I love when people invite me to pick fruit or harvest excess vegetables. I love making good on the excess and knocking on the doors of my neighbors (many aged and housebound) to drop off the loveliness.  I have one neighbor who grew up in the rural South.  She must be near 90 but still watches the neighbors kids, lots of kids.  She's the one I bring collards, turnips and my pig head to when I just couldn't (couldn't I tell you) use it.  She understands beautiful produce in ways the younger generation does not always.  And more importantly, she will cook it, eat it, enjoy it which bursts my solitary heart wide open.  

 

I guess I realize that we all find community in the way that fits our temperament -- alone in the wee hours of the morning over jamming pots or in orchards making and picking extra to pass on to neighbors or in groups leading the charge for a better way of living.    

Pat -

 

I am in Tallassee, AL (about 3 1/2 - 4 hours from Pensacola).  However, I have been looking for someone (or group) to where I could go and learn how to can food.

 

I have contacted every county extension office within a 2 hour drive from me and cannot find any that are offering classes in canning - UGH! 

 

THRILLED to hear you starting this club ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !

 

We started growing our own food (garden) a few years back due to health reasons.  We currently raise rabbits (meat) and hope to add chickens (meat & eggs); goats (milk); and in a couple of years a pigs (meat) and cows(meat & milk).

 

Right now I dehydrated and/or freeze all my excess out of the garden to put in our pantry, but would love to be able to can also in a way of preserving for the future.

 

I will be following your updates and am seriously thinking of making that drive to you just to learn this process.

 

Thank you so much!

 

Please keep the updates coming - I will be looking :)

 

* * * Acquired a very large, gold Presto canner & cooker 2 weekends ago and am excited, but don't know how to use it * * *

 

Deb

 

 

I visited the Sanders Beach Community Center today to discuss canning classes using their facility. It would be for the canning club members but would be billed as a class/demo for all that sign up (the club members would just have better notice and understanding as to what was going to take place in the class. They normally split the profit with the teacher and get 25% of a $5.00 fee (hardly worth bothering with in my mind). Anyway, I told them that I didn't need to be paid and that we could charge $2.00 each and donate the entire proceeds to the community center. They were good with all that and agreed to send me potential dates for both weekend mornings and weekday evenings. I told them we would start with a general "how to use a canner (waterbath and pressure)" class and follow up with more specific canning classes where we go over the pre-canning process of making of pickles, meats, soups, tomatos, jams......These classes might also evolve into lacto-fermenting (sauerkraut, kimchi...), dehydrating, sausage making..... If you'd like I could add your email address to the canning club's and you could have a perodic schedule of what we're doing and when in case you want to visit Pcola (just go to my profile and send me the email address). In the meantime, this is a great site to get info.
You're exactly right Harriet. We all have our strengths and it takes a diverse group of different strengths to make a good team. If everyone has the same strengths in the group it doesn't gain much from additional members but if each member brings a unique strength the group just gets better and better with each new member. I'll keep throwing stuff at the wall and you make sure only the good stuff sticks!

Harriet Fasenfest said:

Looking forward to hearing the updates.  Thank you for taking the lead on this Pat because even when, or if, others take over and add to the party, it will your effort to start this, your knowledge and your commitment to this fun-employed living that has gotten the ball rolling and that cannot be underestimated.  What I know is that not everyone has such inclinations.  Me?  Oh I can write and I can produce a dvd but I am a solitary creature that does not always welcome the opportunity to bring the ranks together or even join in with the ranks that are already there.  I suppose everyone has their strengths but I totally acknowledge how the world needs more of the stripe that you are made of.   Thanks.

 

And Lynda, you are so lucky to have so many orchards ring your bell and luckier still that you know what to do with it.  I love that.  I love when people invite me to pick fruit or harvest excess vegetables. I love making good on the excess and knocking on the doors of my neighbors (many aged and housebound) to drop off the loveliness.  I have one neighbor who grew up in the rural South.  She must be near 90 but still watches the neighbors kids, lots of kids.  She's the one I bring collards, turnips and my pig head to when I just couldn't (couldn't I tell you) use it.  She understands beautiful produce in ways the younger generation does not always.  And more importantly, she will cook it, eat it, enjoy it which bursts my solitary heart wide open.  

 

I guess I realize that we all find community in the way that fits our temperament -- alone in the wee hours of the morning over jamming pots or in orchards making and picking extra to pass on to neighbors or in groups leading the charge for a better way of living.    

I posted a note on Craigslist last week describing the canning club and have been getting 2-4 emails each day since expressing interest and asking for details. To date there are about 30 members and 20 committed to coming to the first meeting.

Pat

I wish I lived closer I would definitely be interested.  I am trying to talk my husband into a vacation to Florida to do Disney then camp on a beach.  I wonder if he would go for a "canning" vacation.

 

Lynda - definitely jealous over the orchards - central Il doesn't have much so I am on my own.  

 

I will enjoy listening to all the success this might bring good luck

I added a Pensacola Can Can Club Facebook page today to help keep the Club's members informed of the activities. I'm not very tech-savvy so it's a little crude but I hope to get help from some of the more tech savvy members once we get started.

Pat: If you haven't already done so, let them know about your Pensacola Can Can Club over at

Canning Across America.  They asked for information on clubs and or groups like yours a few days ago...they too have a Face Book page you could share with.

Thanks Lynda. I noified them of the club and linked them to the Club's facebook site.

Lynda Reynolds said:

Pat: If you haven't already done so, let them know about your Pensacola Can Can Club over at

Canning Across America.  They asked for information on clubs and or groups like yours a few days ago...they too have a Face Book page you could share with.

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