By Zachary Parker staff writer
Local non-profit Harvest of the Heart Gardens held a Christmas Cannery class last Thursday at the Gilmore House where attendants were taught how to make and can goods for the holiday season. Led by Canning Director Sharon Douglas, the class offered a chance to make many different holiday treats, including a cranberry-orange conserve with raisins and pecans, two different types of fudge, and a mustard sauce – all of which attendees got to take home afterward. “It was awesome,” said Douglas. “We had a really nice turnout, and everyone had fun. It really felt like home.” Harvest of the Heart Gardens has recently begun hosting more classes of this nature, offering the public a chance to learn how to prepare and can vegetables, jams and jellies, and other types of gifts. These classes are open to the public, and are all free to those who are under the national poverty standard, are disabled, or are financially disadvantaged with children. Due to the success of this class, the non-profit plans to hold many more classes of this nature in 2015. “We had eight people attend the class Thursday,” said Douglas. “We had music and a Christmas tree, and the whole thing was very festive. A lot of them wanted to sign up for the next class!” A schedule for next year’s classes is already being made, and will consist of a variety of different topics including reoccurring classes that will teach the basics of canning different types of vegetables, pickling, and general food preservation. According to Harvest of the Heart Gardens’ Director Dina Tuminelli, the non-profit hopes to get more people involved in canning and preservation. “We really want to encourage people to get involved in canning,” said Tuminelli. “We are giving them the skill set to do this as well as the inspiration to try new things and revive this old art in our community.” The classes are being scheduled to begin in January 2015, and more information on these classes can be found online at Harvest Of TheHeartGardens.org or by calling the Harvest of the Heart Gardens at (706)-557-7602.