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After an 11-year absence, extension agents with New Mexico State University's Cooperative Extension Service are reviving a program aimed at helping people become master food preservers.

The New Mexico State University Cooperative Extension Service has revived its master food preservation program statewide. The program will be offered in Silver City Tuesday, August 8, 15, 22, and Sept 5.

Interest in food preservation is popular among New Mexico residents. The six classes in the series discuss topics such as water bath canning, jams and jellies, pickles, salsa, fruit and tomatoes, pressure canning vegetables, and freezing and drying. The cost of the workshops is $150 for volunteers who offer to teach after the workshop, and $200 for those just wanting the education. Students can take home some of the foods they've preserved.

Nancy Flores, an extension food technology specialist at NMSU's College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences, said the courses are important because many consumers are receiving information online for food preservation methods that may not be safe.

Extension agents "are the best source for methods for canning, dehydration and freezing that could be used for home preparation," Flores said. "We reviewed methods and did hands-on processing of pressure canning of green beans and green chile, and waterbath canning of salsa, diced tomatoes, jams and jelly. Additionally, we dried beef jerky, pineapple, strawberry leather, bananas and green beans, and froze strawberries."

For more information on food preservation classes and to reserve a space in the class, call the extension office at 388-1559.

Live from Silver City

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