With gardens and orchards producing more than gardeners, families and their co-workers can possibly eat fresh, a local nonprofit, church and Extension Service expert are teaming up to offer an enticing deal: You bring the produce, recipe, jars and lids; they'll provide the facilities and know-how to preserve summer's bounty to enjoy all winter.
The Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon's Interfaith Food and Farms Partnership, is hosting a series of canning sessions from 5 to 8 p.m. each Thursday through Oct. 1. The first is tonight, and registration coordinator Sara Power said Wednesday that there's still room.
It works like this: Participants bring their produce to the community kitchen at First United Methodist Church, 1165 N.W. Monroe Ave., along with their own recipes, ingredients, jars and lids. Power, a graduate of the OSU Extension Family Food Educators Course, provides technical assistance.
"We want our kitchen to benefit the community," explained Power. "And we want to support local food access year-round."
Power coordinates free cooking classes through Ecumenical Ministries for low-income people at the church's community kitchen. Upcoming topics include homemade pizza by FireWorks Restaurant chef Intaba Liff-Anderson on Sept. 17, and cooking for diabetics and diabetes prevention by registered dietitian Carol Walsh on Oct. 7.
Power also organizes a program known as "Jammin' for the Hungry," a volunteer-run effort to make jams and jellies for local food pantries. Power and helpers have produced more than 1,500 jars of preserves in the past year.
To register for canning sessions or cooking classes, call Power at 541-231-6772.