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CAN IT! Foodsteaders Classes Will Teach You How to Make Your Own Jam, Cheese, Preserves & More

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Those abundant oranges dangling from your backyard tree and that stockpile cucumbers from your plot at the community garden don't need to go to waste! Learning how to preserve, jam, and can produce, along with other foodcrafting skills like cheesemaking, are helping turn home cooks into artisans. Since knowing is half the battle, it helps to have a little professional savvy.

That's where the 2012 L.A. Foodsteaders Tour, a series of courses taught by the pros, comes in. Kicking off at the end of the March, "CAN IT!" is a set of classes that offers participants a look inside four of Los Angeles' top (sub)urban farms, kitchens, and food businesses.

A bit more from the Foodsteaders:

All classes are taught by certified University of California Cooperative Extension LA County Master Food Preservers, and include four half-day workshops focusing on everything from gourmet jamming to goat cheese-making at a local creamery (with its own goat herd), to backyard orchard care and raising chickens. (This event is not sponsored by UCCE/LA County Master Food Preservers.) Each session rewards you not only with knowledge you can use for a lifetime but also take-home samples, recipes, canning paraphernalia and a very cool Foodsteader apron!

Here's the schedule of classes:
  • March 31 - CHEF ERNEST MILLER takes on everything to do with Meyer Lemons and shares canning safety tips at The Farmers Kitchen
  • June 30 - STEPHEN RUDICEL teaches cheese making at Mariposa Creamery (the Historic Zane Grey Estate) in Altadena; meet the baby goats!
  • September 8 - CRAIG RUGGLESS hosts you at Winnetka Farms, 3 acres of orchard, chickens, veggies, a greenhouse and more)
  • November 3 - JESSICA KOSLOW hosts at Sqirl. [LAist interview]
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CAN IT! raises funds for the non-profit organization Food Forward, which has harvested over 700,000 pounds of backyard fruit and donated it to food pantries and other agencies serving the needs of the hungry in LA.

You can take the whole series, or just one or a couple of the courses; if you buy all four, you can split the series with a friend to nab some savings. The price is for one class is $130, two classes $240, three classes is $360, four classes for $475.00. Classes held Saturdays from 10 am - 2pm. [Tickets]