Is it OK to use my Grandma’s pickle recipe? What do I do with all these plums? I used the OSU Extension recipe for sauerkraut, but it is too salty. What can I do?

These are just some of the questions the Douglas County OSU Extension Master Food Preserver Volunteers answered last year.

In fact, this group of 51 trained volunteers answered over 1,800 questions from the public, taught 13 workshops on food preservation methods, tested 235 pressure canner gauges for accuracy and contributed over 4,000 hours of service to the community in 2016.

Whether you are new to food preservation, or have been “putting up” for decades, you may have similar questions, and the Oregon State University Master Food Preserver program is here to help.

Certified Master Food Preserver (MFP) Volunteers have received in-depth training on food preservation and safety and provide up-to-date, science-based information to the citizens of Douglas County.

If you are interested in taking a food preservation class, or have questions about food safety and preservation, you can visit our website: for information about upcoming classes, and a full list of publications on everything from canning pickles to what to do if your home freezer stops.

In addition to helping our community, MFP volunteers learn new skills and become a part of an incredible group of individuals. Do you want to join this great group and become a MFP volunteer? The Douglas County OSU Extension Service is currently accepting applications for our annual volunteer training.

Applications can be picked up at our office (1134 S.E. Douglas Ave., Roseburg) or found online at the website above; the deadline to apply is March 17. MFP Volunteer training starts April 5 and includes two half-day orientation sessions and eight full days of training, totaling over 50 hours of in-depth, science-based training in all types of food preservation.

Full day classes will meet every Wednesday from April 19 through June 7. The training is presented in a practical, hands-on manner appropriate for people of different educational backgrounds, learning styles and food preservation experience. As part of the program, volunteers develop skills in working with people, public speaking and build self-confidence while increasing their expertise in food safety/preservation.

Most important, volunteers make an enormous contribution to the health and welfare of people throughout Douglas County through an active local OSU Extension Service. Anyone is welcome to apply; the cost of the training is $150 plus 60 hours of volunteer time in the year after completing the training.

Questions about the annual volunteer training or any of the MFP community outreach activities should be directed to Sara Runkel, Douglas County OSU Extension Service Small Farms and Food Systems Coordinator. Sara can be reached at 541-672-4461 or


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I have left several comments (all are now gone). I had additional info to share. These classes are NOT free. I spoke with Mandi on the phone and she said that they (the classes) vary in price. The cheapest classes (covering tomatoes) are $20 and the most expensive (tuna) $70. Still nothing for people on food stamps (who can't afford these prices). I understand that the cost for the class is based on the type of food covered and the cost of that. But a class just on what foods to buy and how to prepare them shouldn't involve any costs since the people involved are volunteers.


These classes are NOT FREE. Please be aware that the cost varies (according to Mandi). Some classes start at $20 (tomatoes) and go up to $70 (tuna). I still would like to see something offered to people on food stamps. They can't afford these prices.

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