Joanna Radford, Horticulture Agent in Surry County, passed along this valuable information…
In the past many folks have been interested in attending the “pickle school.” This is a training for people who would like to turn their garden products into a value-added product. The school is designed to certify people who would like to preserve low-acid foods such as salsa, tomato juice, canned tomatoes, green beans, pickles, relish, chow chow, etc. The training is actually called Better Process Control School. This school is intended for and directed at the level of operating supervisors of acidified foods processing and packaging systems in acidified food establishments. The course includes instruction on acidified foods. It will qualify commercial operators of plants producing acidified foods (fresh packed pickles, acidified peppers, pickled eggs, salsa, etc.) to meet the requirements of the umbrella GMP and the specific GMP for acidified foods (21 CFR Part 114).
[Below is] an email I received from Virginia. They are offering this school soon AND the price is much LOWER than what I have ever seen it in N.C. (It has been $450 in NC). It is also closer than the ones I have seen offered in Asheville, N.C. It will work for N.C. growers/cooks.
The [Better Process Control School] is considering Wytheville or CrossRoads in Galax as a location…the cost would be about $200 for the 2 or 3 day class…She needs a firm committment from 10 people before she can move
forward with the planning. Will you send this out to your networks so
we can judge the level of interest? Please let Michelle at Independence Farmers Market know if you are interested. You can contact Michelle at 276-655-4045 or at independencefarmersmarket@