Tuesday, January 31, 2012

How does your garden can?

In this week's column in Wednesday's food section, I'm writing about Mecklenburg County finally restoring the position of the Cooperative Extension family and consumer specialist. The position was cut in 2004 during a tight budget. But in summer 2010, the county hired Kristin Davis, the state's only family and consumer extension agent with a focus on local foods.

Part of what extension agents do is educate: The Cooperative Extension Service is a service with a long history of providing information. Extension services usually work with universities but are housed in counties, so that all of us can get information we need from universities.

So what classes do you need? If you live in Mecklenburg County, Davis is conducting a survey to find out if you want classes on:
Home canning (waterbath, pressure, pickling, jams and jellies, etc.).
Home food preservation (dehydrating and freezing).
Basic home gardening.
Basic food preparation skills (basic cooking, use of kitchen utensils, food prep and storage).
Nutrition and weight management.
Meal planning and food-budget planning.
Applying for and using Food & Nutrition Benefits (formerly food stamps).
Super Couponing.

You can go here to fill out the survey. Let the county, and Davis, know what you need.

And if you aren't in Mecklenburg but you want to know more about your county's extension service, go to www.ces.ncsu.edu and click on "county centers."