Colorado Springs CSU Extension Office Offering Courses in Food Preservation, Diabetes, and Cottage Management | Way of life

The growing season is right around the corner, and you can always count on El Paso County Colorado State University Extension to offer classes that can help you.

But alongside the lawn and garden webinars, there are more in-depth courses on food storage and healthy eating. And, if you want to make your own treats to sell at farmers’ markets, there are courses to learn about food safety and get certified for artisanal food production.

Here’s a look at some of those offerings, which you can sign up for at elpaso.extension.colostate.edu. Many are free or very reasonably priced.

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• Dinner with Diabetes series.

This health and wellness program consists of classes that help individuals learn strategies to reduce the health risks of diabetes. Four two-hour classes are held once a week and will include video demonstrations, physical activity and instruction on how to prepare healthy food. The free course is intended for people with diabetes and their family members, caregivers and support persons. It will be held from 10 a.m. to noon on Tuesdays, April 20 and 27, and May 4 and 11.

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• Food preservation at home: canning in a bain-marie.

Learn how to preserve your garden harvest or locally purchased produce by canning high acid foods safely. Techniques for mise en place of fruit, salsa, pickles, tomatoes, jams and jellies will be covered. The cost is $10. Classes are online, taking place from noon to 1 p.m. on the following days: April 21 and May 5 (basics of water bath canning), May 10 (marinating), May 12 (jams) and May 19 ( introduction to pressure canning). Pre-registration is required.

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• Cottage Foods food safety certification.

Do you make something that you would like to sell at a farmers market? First, you’ll want to make sure your offering is authorized under Colorado Cottage Foods law. If so, taking and successfully completing this course will result in a three-year certification that meets the food safety training requirements of the Food Act, established and supported by the Department of Public Health and Colorado environment. You will learn about food safety guidelines and the specifics of running a small home-based craft food business. Training includes good hygiene; prevent cross-contamination and cross-contact of food allergens; temperature control for safe food preparation; and store, transport and sell the products. You will receive instructions on product ingredient labeling, packaging requirements, marketing, preparation at altitude and how to take your business further.

Participants who pass the test receive a CSU Extension Cottage food safety certificate to display for customers to see. They are also added to a CSU Extension Cottage Food Producers mailing list, which now has over 3,000 names. Participants receive email updates as well as answers to questions that are posted by members of the mailing list.

The course will take place on April 22 at 10 a.m. The cost is $40. Pre-registration is mandatory before April 21.

Contact the author: 636-0271.

contact the author: 636-0271.