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Image of jars of fruit preserves on a shelf.
If you've ever wanted to learn the fine art of food preservation, now's your chance! UC Master Food Preservers of Mariposa County are offering a series of classes on the subject. Read on for more info!

UC Master Food Preservers to Offer Training Classes

MOUNTAIN COMMUNITIES — The UC Master Food Preservers of Mariposa County currently serve residents in Mariposa, Merced, Madera, Fresno and Tuolumne Counties. Their volunteers live and reside in those counties and offer demonstrations, workshops, and outreach to these counties. They are a relatively new program, started in 2022. Their program will be holding a volunteer training class from September to November 2023.

Image of a root cellar full of jars of preserved foods. What are Master Food Preservers?

Master Food Preservers are volunteer educators associated with the University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources Division. They educate local communities about safe and healthy food preservation and preparation methods. Volunteers work together to offer workshops, demonstrations, youth events, food donation events and more.

Who Can Apply?

Applications are accepted from Mariposa, Tuolumne, Merced, Madera, and Fresno County residents.
Applicants must be comfortable using a computer and accessing the Internet. Class lessons, quizzes and homework are online; class communication is via email.

This will be a joint training program with lab classes held in Mariposa County. Students must be willing to drive approximately six times to Mariposa or Catheys Valley for the lab classes, which are held September to November 2023.

Image of glass jars full of dried fruit. How to Apply
  1. Watch the one hour informational meeting recording to learn more about the Master Food Preserver Program. The Mariposa, Madera, Merced, Fresno and Tuolumne program has some unique features not found in other programs. Those differences will be discussed in interviews for those who apply to the program.
  2. Complete the 2023 MFP Training Class application.

Applications will be accepted until August 1, 2023.

What Happens Next?

1. Applicants will be reviewed via interviews. Main criteria for acceptance include:

  • Prior community service.
  • Experience teaching, either by giving presentations, writing, or in one-on-one situations.
  • Experience/interest in home food preservation.

2. Request a DOJ Clearance, including fingerprinting.
3. You will be taught how to preserve food successfully using scientifically researched home processes.
4. You will be taught how to educate our community about safe home food preservation.
5. You will be provided with plenty of fun volunteer and continuing education opportunities.

Image of jars of pickled cucumbers. What You’ll Do If Accepted

1. Pay the $250 course fee by August 18, 2021. Full and partial scholarships are available.
2. Attend online classes on specified dates (or watch the recording), as well as the in-person labs on several Saturdays a month.
3. Complete the Live Scan fingerprinting process by August 31, 2023. Forms will be provided in your acceptance packet.
4. Attend monthly program business meetings on the first Thursdays at 5:30 p.m. as often as possible. At this time meetings are online via Zoom to accommodate our five counties.
6. Attend at least one public class hosted by a UC Master Food Preserver Program; either in person or online, by November 10, 2023, as part of your training program.
7. Complete 50 volunteer hours between September 1, 2023 and June 30, 2025. Thereafter, you will be asked to complete 25 volunteer and 12 continuing education hours each year to remain active (July 1 to June 30).
8. Pass an annual food safety reappointment quiz and complete reappointment paperwork.

Check out this great video on home canning for beginners! 

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