Preserving Apples by Canning

“I know people come together over food in ways they don’t otherwise. I think it’s incredibly good for building communities and friendships. You also know what exactly in your food and where comes from,” Merrilee Olson (left) said.

Genesis Napel, Writer

A single farm’s food waste can range from 40 to 60 percent, according to founder of Preserve Farm Kitchens, Merrilee Olson, in her opening statements. Olson facilitated a workshop on applesauce canning with a group of seven at Shone Farm’s commercial kitchen Nov. 19.

“Let’s talk about the food waste problem in America, especially living here in Sebastopol you see all the apples that end up on the ground,” Olson said. She continued to explain how if we could gather together in a similar fashion to the workshop we could decrease our food waste and teach more people the skill of food preservation.

Attendees ranged in age and experience but all shared the common interest of reducing food waste.

Chelsey Kolbek works for the sustainable agriculture department at Shone Farm and says knowledge about canning and food preservation can turn food waste into food security and value-added products such as canned goods that help farmers generate revenue from often wasted materials.

Sustainable agriculture student, Ellie Whiteley, describes value-added products as a way for farmers to maximize their profit, minimize waste and ultimately feed more people.

Shone Farm students said they would like to see more events like this at Shone and for them to be more incorporated into their agriculture department curriculum.