206 W 4th Street
Duluth, MN 55806
The Cannery fills a need among community gardeners and backyard gardeners alike. Many gardeners work hard and are thus rewarded with a bountiful crop – and abruptly realize they don’t know how to preserve their harvest. Sometimes food ends up going to waste before it can be eaten.
The Cannery offers classes and workshops that teach participants about preserving certain foods, such as tomatoes, cucumbers, or apples, and about food preservation techniques, such as water bath or pressure canning. The Cannery distributes handouts on pickling, making salsa, storing vegetables over the winter, and other recipe and fact sheets at farmers’ markets and other public events, from DCGP’s office, and at Cannery classes. Information and assistance is also available by phone. An equipment lending library makes food preservation equipment available at no cost to people who wish to preserve food at home. The goal of the Cannery is to teach participants how to be self-sufficient. Once Cannery participants have taken a class or two they tend to feel comfortable enough to start canning on their own. We continue to be of assistance by loaning them the equipment they need and providing them with recipes, advice, phone consultation, and encouragement. A definite sense of accomplishment is gained by being able to preserve one’s own food. Participants reap physical, psychological, and financial benefits from the Cannery program.
Seventeen items of equipment were checked out from the Cannery in 2008, with over 160 pounds of food preserved with that equipment. In addition, over 430 jars were given away.
On average the Cannery has preserved over 300 pounds of food a year, through classes, sessions, outreach workshops, and equipment rental. Because of our location in the Damiano Center, we are easily able to reach those that are most in need: people utilizing emergency food services. With the rising cost of food and fuel, there is a growing interest in canning. In the fall of 2008 we began working with Duluth Community Education, in order to reach a wider audience and reduce administrative time.