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Town's Canning Center Replaces Hot Kitchens
If you just finished a hot, steamy canning season in your kitchen, you're probably saying, "There has to be a better way."
In central Minnesota, there is a better way!
It's a community canning center where area families bring in their produce and process it with modern equipment. They also get advice from professional canning specialists.
The Wright County Canning Center, located in Waverly, was launched seven years ago with funds from the state's Rural Development Council. It was part of a program for low income families, but the center now is available to people of all income levels.
The original grant was used to purchase equipment for preparing, cooking, and sterilizing all kinds of food. Four to six people can use the center at the same time and process up to 500 quarts a day. It's open 8:00 to 4:00 Monday through Friday.
Equipment includes a steam blancher/sterilizer, atmospheric cooker, several pressure cookers (16 qt.), steam jacketed kettle (20 gal.) and juicer/pulper (100 lbs./hr.) The large steam kettle is used for pre-cooking, condensing, making jam, and rendering lard.
Users make reservations for the day and time they want to come. They bring their own containers and pay a fee of 10 cents/pt. and 20 cents/qt. It's anticipated that about 200 families will use the center this year. Families from Minneapolis and other larger cities come to Waverly to buy farm-fresh produce, then take it to the center to process it.
Though summer and fall are the busy seasons, the center is used 12 months a year. In winter, for example, families use it to process meat, fish, game and baked beans.
The Wright County Center purchased equipment with special state funds and now is financed by federal, Community Services Administration block grants. The fees charged per canning jar pay only for supplies and equipment maintenance. The staff is partly volunteer workers.
For more information, contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Wright County Community Action Agency, Box 38, 480 Elm St., Waverly, Minn. 55390 (ph 612 658-4415).

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1983 - Volume #7, Issue #4