Community Canning Available in Lowell

Now that strawberries are here, my thoughts turn to rhubarb strawberry jam. And canning in general, actually. We ran out of salsa months ago and are using up the rest of the pasta sauce. Last September I ran a story about local canning classes, but I haven’t seen much for this year-until I heard about the Community Canning offered by Facility Kitchens.

Here is their schedule:

Date Session  times Produce Processes
June 16th Thursday 4:15pm – 9:15pm Berries Freezing – bags
Jams & preserves
June 18th, Saturday 5:30pm – 10:30pm Berries Freezing – bags
Jams & preserves
June 23, Thursday 4:15pm – 10:30pm Berries Freezing – bags
Jams & preserves

and pricing:

Process Unit $per unit
Jams ½ pint          $0.75
Pints            $1.05
Freezing Bag $0.70
Water bath canning Pint $0.90
  Quart $1.00
Pressure canning Pint
Pints $0.88
Quarts $0.95

Since you’re canning with others, and there will be a staff person on hand to help, they say there’s no experience necessary. The goal is to can 25-30 units per person, so for example if you made rhubarb strawberry jam the cost would be around $20. Not bad!  However, you also have to bring

  • Your produce, (enough to make 25 – 30 units, e.g. pints, quarts, bags)
  • Spices, gels, vinegars and any other ingredients you need
  • Jars, and lids and rings
  • The preparation utensils you like (e.g. knives, glass-measuring cups, funnels) Pressure canner, if needed for your production
  • Small food processors

They provide:

  • A big, open, clean, spacious commercial kitchen where you can have fun and put up summer produce quickly, cleanly, and cost efficiently .
  • An 11 burner, 300,000 btu range top for fast, continuous water heating
  • aprons and dishtowels
  • Waste disposal and clean up
  • Sanitizing sink
  • Big stockpots
  • Big water baths with racks
  • Freezer bags and an impulse sealer for the freezing process
  • Attractive labels to add to the beauty of your product
  • Sessions are 5 hours with teams moving through the sessions and a Facility Kitchen staff leader on site to move the production lines.

Truthfully, that sounds like a bargain! Hauling water out to my husband’s beer rig so I can use his burners is kind of a pain.

Do you can? Know of any other community kitchens or classes?

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