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Jul 8, 2009 04:48 PM

Canning workshops in SF Bay Area

I have been wanting to get into canning and found a great organization called Yes, We Can that has people sign up and learn / participate in the canning, then come and pick up their items the following week at a party. This sounds like so much fun but it is completely booked solid. I'm wondering if there are other canning groups or workshops like this that I can consider attending, preferably in San Francisco, East or North Bay and would be grateful for any insight before those luscious berries of summer get away... :) Thanks!

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  1. I haven't taken any canning classes from these folks but here is a list...

    Happy Girl Kitchen: http://happygirlkitchen.com/workshops
    Institute of Urban Homesteading: http://www.sparkybeegirl.com/iuh.html
    Urban Kitchen SF: www.urbankitchensf.com
    Love Apple Farm: www.growbetterveggies.com

    2 Replies
    1. re: mochimunchie

      Santa Rosa Junior College http://www.santarosa.edu/instruction/...
      has course in August 7th at Shone Farm in Forestville/Healdsburg. Also try Relish School in Healdsburg

      1. re: mochimunchie

        Thanks. This is a great list. I'm going to look into the groups and see if one of them is a fit.

      2. anneliesz, you may want to take another look at Yes, We Can. Although the apricot jamming class has passed, they have a cucumber pickling session in July, and tomato canning in September. I believe they are both still open, I just signed up for the tomato class.

        3 Replies
        1. re: Ilovevino

          Are you sure? Because when I looked, the only thing available was tomato pickup--not the actual canning.

          1. re: sfbing

            I called Yes We Can yesterday and the only opportunities left were to sign up to pick up the product at the parties for both the tomatoes and cucumber. She did say that they may add another session in October or November. I'm going to check out the list from mochimunchie and see if anything is more readily available. Good luck! :)

          2. re: Ilovevino

            llovevino...as you can see from the other posts...the classes were in fact sold out for all. what you bought was a share ticket which gives you a set number of jars to be picked up after the class. i agree it was confusing. after seeing your post i emailed Talia Dillman and she confirmed that all the "work shares" tickets were sold out in may for all classes. sorry.

          3. re: the classes...I looked all over the bay area last night and could not find any other than what was posted. Cynthia from Love Apple farm (eatbetterveggies.com) states her class is full but if emailed she may consider adding other classes. Also June Taylor has an upcoming canning class.

            June Taylor Baking Co
            2207 4th St, Berkeley, CA 94710

            1. another thought...I realize canning is daunting if you've never done it. However, in rereading your original post...if jam or fruit is what you are interested in learning...there are many books that are quite good on the subject. it is easier than (more forgiving) than tomato canning. if you need some suggestions of books let me know. I've been canning all my life and want to support your interest in learning.

              June Taylor Baking Co
              2207 4th St, Berkeley, CA 94710

              4 Replies
              1. re: cakebaker

                Thanks so much for your response cakebaker. I definitely want to learn how to can (all different kinds of things). I could get a book, so thank you for that recommendation but would enjoy meeting other people interested in canning. I like meeting new foodies. :) I'll check out June Taylor's class as I watched her "Obsessives: Marmalade" video earlier this morning.

                1. re: anneliesz

                  anne...ok found another option...checked out "cultured pickle shop's" site (berkeley) and they are not offering classes at this time..however...Kevin emailed me back and said they do at times allow volunteers to come in for the day and help out..thus giving hands on experience to canning know how. this would be more appropriate to tomato canning but all canning experience is good. his number is 510 540-5185 or email info@culturedpickleshop.com
                  in the meantime, i'll get together a book list for you. hope this helps

                  Cultured Pickle Shop
                  800 Bancroft way, Berkeley, CA

                  1. re: cakebaker

                    This totally helps. I called June Taylor and she's got two openings left for the August preserve class. I may have to wait and take her class later when able to splurge accordingly. I'll check in with Kevin at Cultured Pickle Shop. Thanks again for all your feedback and insight. :)

                    1. re: anneliesz

                      anneliesz...another alternative i just found. the SF sur la table has a class on aug 1 that was just added so is empty. they are doing a nice variety of items that i think you'd like. Barbara Dimas is the instructor and she's the culinary director. not too expensive...less than june taylor and more than free.

              2. You really may not believe me, but you can just start canning any day, without taking a class, just as you once baked your first cake and roasted your first chicken. Think of it in steps: first you can make some strawberry jam in a saucepan or a skillet, and pour it into a jar in your refrigerator. Look up recipes on the internet til you find one that sounds plausible to you. The jam'll keep for a few weeks before it gets perhaps a spot of mold on the jar lid, and you'll likely finish it before then. You can make a little batch of pickled green beans, likewise stick it in the fridge. When you get a handle on how to follow a jam or pickle recipe, then you can buy a few canning jars, stick a round cookie-cooling rack into your biggest spaghetti pot, and can away. It is intimidating more because you don't know much about it yet than because it is difficult or inherently dangerous. You probably have tools in your kitchen already that will work fine while you find out whether you enjoy doing it. I've attached a link to a jam-making lesson on video that's pretty straightforward. Just go for it!


                2 Replies
                1. re: heidipie

                  Thanks for posting that. I've been canning up a storm lately, and it really is just that easy. I've got 44 jars of jam in front of me as I'm writing this. :)

                  I realize there's something to gained from meeting other people in a class, but canning is something that is easily learned by oneself, at home.

                  I recommend the book "Putting Food By," which discusses all sorts of food preservation. Also, every box of pectin comes with recipes and complete directions for making and canning jam.


                  1. re: heidipie

                    I thought I was the only one who put a round cookie cooling rack at the bottom of her stock pot! Basically, I think heidipie (as usual) has good advice. The one thing to remember is to start with things that are pretty fool-proof and safe (jams or pickles), and not the kinds of things that are more susceptible to botulism (veggies).