Public Info

Free Food Preservation Courses Offered this Spring 

people canning
Photo courtesy of Rutgers NJAES.

Union County, NJ – Union County residents will be offered a series of free online courses on food preservation at home in April, May and June, courtesy of the Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Union County. The Extension is supported in part by the Union County Board of County Commissioners.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has raised interest and awareness of home cooking and gardening among Union County residents,” said Board of Commissioners Chairman Alexander Mirabella. “We are proud to support the Extension in its efforts to educate the public on food safety and food preservation, helping residents to make the most of food they grow and prepare at home.”

The series, called “RU Ready to Preserve Food at Home?,” consists of specialized sessions conducted by experts with the Department of New Jersey Family and Community Health Sciences at Rutgers University. It will run on Thursdays from April 15 to June 10. Each week will see experts discuss a different subject area. Courses include step-by-step instructions, what is the right equipment to use, and best practices.

Pre-registration on Zoom is required for each session. The courses are as follows:

April 15 – Freezing: Learn to freeze fresh vegetables and fruits and get tips for freezing other foods for later enjoyment.

April 22 – Canning in Boiling Water Canner: This method is for fruits, tomatoes, jams/jellies and pickled products. Learn how to safely can food in glass jars.

April 29 – Pressure Canning: This method is for vegetables (such as beets, carrots, corn, green beans); poultry, seafood and meat or foods that contain these ingredients.

May 6 – Jam, Jellies and Spreads: Capture the flavor of summer in sweet or savory spreads processed in a boiling water canner. Speakers will also discuss freezer jams.

May 13 – Pickles: Learn to pickle a variety of vegetables and fruit and then can in a boiling water canner. Speakers will also discuss making refrigerator pickles.

May 20 – Tomatoes and Salsa: Be ready to can, freeze or dry NJ tomatoes! Learn each of these methods, plus how to make and can salsa.

June 3 – Preserving Herbs: Capture the flavor of summer herbs by freezing, drying or making vinegars. Also included are pesto and flavored butter.

June 10 – Dehydrating: Many foods dehydrate well including vegetables, fruits, herbs and meat jerky. Learn techniques for safe and high-quality results.

Visit to learn more about New Jersey Family and Community Health Sciences and their upcoming events.

The Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Union County has offices at the Union County Complex, located at 300 North Avenue East in Westfield. For more information on all Extension programs, including Master Gardeners, Master Tree Stewards, and 4-H youth development please call the Extension at 908-654-9854 or visit

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For all Union County programs and services visit, call the Public Info Line, 877-424-1234, email or use the online Contact Form.

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