The classes, which are slated to begin on March 28, will be taught primarily by UC Master Food Preserver Ernest Miller. Miller, a formally trained chef, has years of experience with home food preservation and writes about food preservation in his blog PreserveNation.
Miller is currently the chef at The Farmer's Kitchen, a project of Sustainable Economic Enterprises of Los Angeles. He earned his Master Food Preserver certificate by faithfully attending 13 weeks of classes in San Bernardino County. San Bernardino was the last remaining MFP program in Southern California, that is, until Orange County recently began an MFP program in February of this year.
“As the sole Master Food Preserver in Los Angeles for over a year, I know that there is a tremendous interest in traditional methods of food preservation,” said Miller. “The recent resurgence of gardening has definitely increased interest in food preservation. After all, there are only so many tomatoes you can eat fresh."
The program will run for 12 weeks, meeting in the LA County Cooperative Extension community demonstration kitchen. Eighteen enthusiastic LA County residents who were accepted into the program will learn everything preservation – from canning, fermenting, pickling and curing to smoking, dehydrating and brewing. MFPs will also learn about coping with emergencies and disasters. According to Miller, “Master Food Preservers do teach people how to can and dry food, but one of the lesser-known aspects of the MFP program is teaching people proper long-term and emergency food preparedness. Clearly, the immense tragedy currently taking place in Japan demonstrates the need for people to learn how to prepare for natural disasters, especially in earthquake-prone California.”
Once trained, LA County Master Food Preservers will begin conducting food preservation classes and workshops for the general public. The response to this program has been tremendous among LA County residents. Many food preservation enthusiasts are already looking forward to MFP-led workshops and demonstrations, and are hoping to one day become certified MFPs when future classes are held.
Support for the University of California Cooperative Extension Los Angeles County Master Food Preserver Program has been provided by the Metabolic Studio, a direct charitable activity of the Annenberg Foundation.
For more information about the MFP program in Los Angeles County, please contact LA County Nutrition, Family & Consumer Sciences Advisor Brenda Roche at email@example.com, (323) 260-3299.