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Put Food By: Food Security Starts in Your Own Kitchen

Juicy ripe peaches, snapping fresh green beans, sweet raspberry jelly, and crunchy dill pickles. Nothing tastes better than home-canned foods, especially in the dead of winter. In addition, a well-stocked pantry is a big first step toward ensuring that your family always has access to plenty of healthy food.

However, safely canning fruits, vegetables, jellies, and jams requires a bit of knowledge, a solid amount of time, and a small investment in equipment.

Starting Saturday, July 18, you can learn how to safely preserve the local harvest in a series of four Saturday workshops sponsored by Washington State University Snohomish County Extension. All workshops will be held in the Extension offices in McCollum Park at 600 – 128th St S.E. in Everett.

WSU Whatcom Master Food Preserver Susy Hymas, and best-selling cookbook author Mary Ellen Carter, will share their knowledge and passion for preserving nutritious, local foods in the series. Each two-and-a-half hour workshop will be held twice each day, starting at 9 a.m. and again at 1p.m.

July 18: Basic Canning: Learn the basics of canning equipment, skills, and about canning food safely, with a fruit canning demonstration.

Aug. 1: Canning Specialty Items: Learn to safely can specialty items such as jams and tomato or fruit salsa, with demonstrations of both.

Aug. 15: Pickling: Learn how to safely can pickles, with demonstrations of pickling green beans and quick cucumber dill pickles.

Aug. 29: Pressure Canning: Learn how to safely pressure can low acid foods such as vegetables, seafood, and meats, with a demonstration of canning vegetables.

Pre-registration is required and class size is limited. The workshops are $25 each, or save $20 and take all four for $80. To register, download the form at and mail with your check, or contact Karie Christensen: (425) 357-6039, e-mail

Instructor Susy Hymas is a nutritionist and coordinator of WSU Whatcom Master Food Preserver and Safety Advisors. She loves to share her passion for preserving the local harvest to enjoy all year long.

Instructor Mary Ellen Carter is a best-selling cookbook author, cooking instructor, and a Master Food Preserver. She enjoys doing small batch “boutique” preserves, and experimenting with exotic combinations of fruits, vegetables, and spices.

For more information on the workshops, contact Kate Halstead,, (425) 357-6024.


Of related interest

Food Safety in a Minute – A series of podcasts from Washington State University Extension helps answer questions about food safety. Each “Food Safety in a Minute” podcast offers listeners a handy, easy-to-apply tip.

Media Contacts

Kate Halstead, WSU Snohomish County Extension, 425-357-6024