Food preservation and canning programs

UM Extension will be offering food preservation and canning programs this summer.  To make the most of your garden's delights, it is important to have up-to-date food preservation information.  Processing fruits and vegetables using outdated methods may not give you the best quality and may be unsafe to eat.  The USDA and UM Extension are credible sources to provide information on food preservation to consumers.

The sessions will provide information on how to safely preserve sweet spreads (jams and jellies), how to safely can salsa and fruit and how to safely pressure can vegetables.  Each class will include a hands-on demonstration of equipment and materials and UM Extension publications with recipes will be available for all participants.

The class dates are:

  • Water bath canning - fruit and salsa - Thursday, Aug 4, 2016 - 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Steam canning - jams and jellies - Thursday, Aug 25, 2016 - 6 p.m. ti 8 p.m.

The cost is $15 per person per class to cover food preservation handouts and supplies.  All sessions will be held at the Camdenton United Methodist Church, 340 West US Highway 54, Camdenton.  Registration is required at least one day prior to the date of the class session.  To register, call the UM Extension Camden County Office at 573-346-2644 or email camdenco@missouri.edu.

Soil testing

Don't guess.  Soil tests save time and money.  Soil testing is the best guide to the wise and efficient use of fertilizer and soil amendments, said Manjula Nathan, director of the University of Missouri Extension Soil Testing and Plant Diagnostic Services.  Whether you grow acres of row crops or have a vegetable patch in the backyard, a soil test will provide you with an analysis of nutrients and a set of recommendations for any improvements.

"We frequently get questions from customers like, 'I apply fertilizer every year. How come my plants are not doing well?" Nathan said.

"Most of the time the problem is they never have done a soil test, but have been guessing on fertilizer requirements," she said. "They do not realize that by guessing they are wasting money by over- or under application, and the excess fertilizer can end up in streams, ponds and underground water, polluting the environment."

Soil testing provides analysis of pH, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, magnesium, organic matter percent, neutralizable acidity, cation exchange capacity and nutrient requirements.  For information on test results, see MU publication G9112, Interpreting Missouri Soil Test Reports. Regional specialists also can assist you with additional information and recommendations. Soil testing can be done through the extension office. See Services for details.

Soil testing brochure (PDF)

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