Free canning demo is April 27

Apr 23, 2013
Photo by: Donated photos David and Becky Elliott

The Community Kitchen, 98 Pisgah Dr., in Canton, will host a free canning demonstration from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, April 27. This the first in a series of canning demonstration to help people stretch budgets and take advantage of grocery store sales and garden harvests.

Canning everything under the sun has become to David and Becky Elliott a game of delicious frugality.

“It’s healthier eating,” said Rebecca Elliott. “I know what’s in it.  There’s pride in doing it yourself.  And it cuts down on the grocery bills.”

In March the Elliotts entered an entrepreneur competition at Haywood Community College.  Their project was called “Can” I Help You?" It promoted the art and economy of canning with the goal of teaching others how to become more self-sufficient.

“Once you have the materials in hand, it’s your time,” David said of a person’s investment.

And Rebecca added, “But you don’t even need a canner. Jars can be reused and you don’t even need a garden.  It’s taking advantage of good deals from the grocery store or the farmer’s market.  You can also share garden produce with friends and neighbors."

Married 27 years with five children, the couple knows how to stretch a budget. “For years I didn’t work outside the home, but what I did in the home saved as much money as I could earn,” Rebecca said.  While David was working as a long-distance trucker, Rebecca stayed at home with their children that now range in age from 25 to six years of age.

“I’ve set a challenge before of not spending a dime for a month,” said Rebecca. “I’ve canned my whole life. When I was a little girl I helped my mama in the garden. I put the peaches in the jars because my little hands would set the peaches in real pretty.”

Once David met Rebecca, it wasn’t long until David had the canning bug.  His specialty is pickled okra.

Like many people, David was laid off from his job two years ago and he’s been staying busy gardening. Now he’s back in school fulltime to become a nurse.

One thing about canning, however, is that it’s best if you’re enjoying what you’re doing.

“If it’s work to you, you may do it but you won’t enjoy it or stay with it,” Rebecca said.  But if you enjoy it, you’ll love it and get a lot of pride from doing it.

Those interested in attending the demonstration, are asked to call Beverly at 593-9319 or The Community Kitchen at 648-0014.

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