I think that most people know about the Master Gardener program organized by Cooperative Extension offices around the country. It's a great program: serious gardeners get training in a wide variety of horticultural topics and then share that knowledge with their community through a mandatory number of volunteer hours in the year after the course.
Well, now Humboldt County Cooperative Extension is offering a Master Food Preserver course! You read that correctly. Coop Extension will be teaching a nine-week course starting February 4th and running every Saturday from 9 to 3pm through March 31st. The course will cover jam and jelly making; drying; canning; pickling; freezing; and food safety.
Once students are awarded their graduation certificates, they are required to provide 40 hours of volunteer service teaching preservation skills to the community. Although the letter to potential applicants states that these hours must be performed in Humboldt County, I've spoken with Deborah Giraud and she would be thrilled to have some Del Norte folks do volunteer service right here.
If you're interested in applying for this wonderful learning opportunity, you can find more information and the application forms here. Let us know if you plan to attend -- maybe we can help set up a Del Norte car-pool for the classes!