FAQs About Canneries, Canning Centers and Community Kitchens -

Questions and Answers About Using a Cannery for Your Home Produce

Commercial canneries, county canning centers and community (or shared) kitchens are facilities where you can take your fruit or vegetables and use their equipment to quickly and easily process your foods.  Make 100 jars of applesauce, salsa, spaghetti sauce, pickles or jam in no time!  Now you can keep the mess out of your kitchen and you don't need to buy any canning equipment!

How much does it cost?
  There is a processing charge (often around of 15 cents per pint or quart jar; $1 per gallon of apple sauce and apple butter). All users also pay an initial annual fee and a per visit fee (I've heard $2 for the latter)

Typical annual fees are as follows:
  • In-county users: individuals $5, civic and church groups $20
  • Out-of-county users: individuals $10, civic and church groups $30
What do I need to bring?
  You will need to bring regulation canning jars with rings and new lids, the food you wish to can, clean dish cloths, and towels. It's best if you bring food ready to cook (e.g., beans already washed and snapped, apples cut and cored).
Where should I park?
  After unloading between the two mobile units adjacent to cannery, park in paved but unmarked lot below the Ag/Industrial Arts wing or in available AHS parking spots.
What equipment is available?
  A blancher, kettles, hot water bath and pressure canners, apple pulper, food mills, utensils, knives, and funnels for filling jars.
I've never canned before. Will someone be there to assist me?
  Yes, the cannery staff is there to answer your questions, show you how to use the equipment, and assist you through the entire process. They cannot do your canning for you or clean up after you. You will be expected to prepare the food and place it in the jars. The staff will operate the pressure canners.
How many jars should I bring?
  For many fruits and vegetables you will get an average of 18 to 22 quarts per bushel of fresh produce. Produce such as peas, greens, beans, and corn averages about eight quarts per bushel.
How long will it take?
  The average stay is between two and three hours. The time will vary according to the type and amount of food plus the help you bring. For instance, cooking down apple butter or tomato sauce takes several hours, but preparing whole tomatoes is much quicker.
Are canning and food preparation classes are available?
  Yes, most canneries offer classes on topics such as "Introduction to Canning", "Safely Processing Beans and Other Non-Acid Foods," and "Heritage Foods."
Why should I preserve my own food?
 
  1. Save money.
  2. Know what's in your food.
  3. Enjoy garden or other locally grown produce year-round.
  4. Reduce the environmental costs of foods produced and shipped across country.
  5. Enjoy a fun family activity.
  6. Create meaningful gifts.
Where can I find more information about canning?
  For 150 specific, simple recipes with step-by-step directions and photos; and general information on canning and food preservation, see this page.