Marianne Uhl on Food Preservation

By Gina Roman

When Marianne Uhl was growing up she watched her mother can a variety of foods but never really paid attention to the preserving process. Later when she was on her own and ready to try the canning process she found out there’s a lot more to it than one would expect.  So Marianne took it upon herself to get some solid training.  In the spring of 2012 she was accepted into and trained by the El Dorado County Master Food Preserver Program to the University of California, Davis, Cooperative Extension. This program is the same organization that trains Master Gardeners.

Marrianne Uhl Demonstrates Food Preservation Techniques

The University of California Cooperative Extension program (under the guidance of the US Dept of Agriculture) has 57 Cooperative Extension offices with more than 200 campus-based specialists and county-based advisors that work as teams to bring practical, unbiased, science-based information to the general public throughout the state. This UC extension service provides support for farmers to grow food efficiently, operates as a steward of the land to help preserve natural areas and farmland, and advocates for healthy communities.

Through this service, the Master Food Preserver program provides free public classes to teach the art and science of safe home food preservation. Volunteers attend classes presented by UC Cooperative Extension and are given the whole range of the science behind food spoilage and causes of food-borne illnesses.  Their specific training runs the gamut of canning and pickling fruits and vegetables, preserving jams and jellies, preserving meats and fish, and freezing and dehydrating food. In exchange for their free education, the volunteers become the advocates to proliferate the healthy information to our communities.

Marianne Uhl, a successful graduate of the Master Food Preserver Program, is bringing, to Sonoma, a wealth of information about food preservation just in time for the upcoming gardening season abundant with vegetable and fruit harvests. Her presentation will be on May 2 at the Sonoma Community Center (in the town of Sonoma) at 7 p.m. and is hosted by Valley of the Moon Garden Club.  Marianne will provide a general overview of the topic including the best tips for food preservation.  She is demonstrating the “safe water bath” canning procedure, will display some canning equipment, and will have informational handouts.  If coaxed, she might share secrets about her award-winning marmalades and jelly.  The Rev. Phina Borgeson, gleening enthusiast of the Sonoma Valley Gleening Project, will be joining Marianne at the presentation. Her project is a perfect match to preserving foods and taking advantage of the abundance of the Valley of the Moon. For more info about the Master Food Preservation Program go to the University of California, Agriculture and Natural Resources website


The Valley of the Moon Garden Club will be providing refreshments, and a garden raffle, after Marianne Uhl’s talk. This garden club, which boasts over 100 members, provides monthly garden speakers, garden tours, community garden support, and a monthly garden newsletter, is enthusiastic to have you join them.  Call George at 707-935-5939, if you have questions or simply come to the May 2nd talk.  

Also note…the Valley of the Moon Garden Club hosts it’s “Spring Plant Sale”, Saturday, April 27, 9-noon at the corner of France and Broadway in Sonoma.

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