The kick-off to the new canning program at the Downtown Evanston Farmers’ Market was such a success that the market received an additional $500 grant to expand the program. The “Discover You Can – Learn Make Share℠” program began on June 8, 2013 with two canning workshops teaching participants how to preserve jams and jellies.
As part of a grant to the City of Evanston, the Farmers Market Coalition (FMC) and Jarden Home Brands supplied the Downtown Evanston market with the materials needed to host free instructional canning programs in June, July and August. The program also has a bi-monthly incentive program based on the number of shoppers who complete registration slips to get more information about canning and Jarden. Evanston’s Downtown Market was the first 2013 bonus prize winner of $500 because during the first reporting period, shoppers completed 286 registration slips. The grant money is being used for "Spud Club," the new children's program that will debut this summer at the market.
The next canning workshops will take place on Saturday, June 29 and will focus on preserving jams and jellies. The July 6 and 27 workshops will concentrate on tomatoes and participants will learn to make fiesta salsa, while the topic of the August 3 and 17 workshops will be pickled vegetables. All workshops take place at 9:00 and 11:00 a.m.
First-timers and experienced home canners are discovering new recipes that they can share with family and friends, as well as new ways to serve their favorite canned foods. Workshop participants receive printed recipes and giveaways, such as spice packets, and are entered into a raffle to win larger prizes. Because some recipes can be made without boiling water, all ages are welcome to attend. Children should be accompanied by a parent.
“This program is inspiring people to find a healthy, new passion that they can share with others,” said Market Manager Myra Gorman. "Canning is a great way to capture the bounty of healthy fruits and vegetables that we will be craving next winter. It’s also a wonderful way to support the dozens of farmers who supply produce to the Downtown Evanston market.”
The Downtown Evanston Farmers’ Market is located at University Place at Oak Avenue in Evanston. Shelter is available, so workshops will be held rain or shine. Market hours are 7:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. every Saturday through November 2. Parking is free at the adjacent 1800 Maple garage with ticket validation at the City of Evanston tent. For more information, please call 311 or visit www.cityofevanston.org/market.