Nelly Hand processes wild fireweed syrup in her kitchen. Photo by Kinsey Brown for the Cordova Times

Registration is open for a five-week online course on methods of safely preserving food. The course will be offered by the University of Alaska Fairbanks Cooperative Extension Service starting Jan. 7. 

The class is being taught by Sarah Lewis, a health, home and family development agent with the Cooperative Extension Service. 

Students will learn the fundamentals of safe food preservation and the general science of food safety and kitchen sanitation. They will get hands-on lessons on how to pickle and ferment vegetables; can fruits, berries and pickles in a boiling water bath; and preserve meat, fish and vegetables using a pressure canner. Classes also will cover dehydrating fruits and vegetables, making sausage and smoking fish.  

Other topics include emergency preparedness, how to start a cottage foods business, and information about harvesting wild plants. 

Live instruction will be offered during a three-hour Zoom session each Sunday at 1 p.m. Students will complete assignments in their kitchens on their own schedules. Assigned readings and other activities will be accessed via the Canvas platform.   

Participants must be 16 or older (unless joining a household adult). The registration deadline is Dec. 31. Registration and more class details are available at https://bit.ly/PAB2024 or by contacting Lewis at [email protected].  

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A course fee of $150 per household or Zoom connection includes one class textbook, which will be mailed to students. Fee waivers are available if requested. Those who wish to become a food preservation educator in their community can complete an exam at the end of the course.   

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