Home Food Preservation

The growing popularity of vegetable gardening and buying locally grown produce has sparked an increase in home food preservation, such as canning, freezing, and drying. While some home food preservation techniques are more difficult than others, it is important to know how to preserve food safely. Workshops are offered through the University of Rhode Island Cooperative Extension and the Department of Nutrition and Food Sciences throughout the year to ensure that residents know how to properly preserve produce without causing foodborne illnesses. Click here to learn more about growing produce safely. 

Food Preservation Workshops

Nicole Richard, Cooperative Extension Food Safety Specialist with the URI Department of Fisheries, Animal and Veterinary Science, and Sejal Lanterman, Cooperative Extension Educator, at the University of Rhode Island Outreach Center, provide food preservation workshops throughout the year.  We offer:

  • “Hands-on” workshop:  This is a two-session (3 hours each) workshop.  The first session includes an overview of safe canning methods and a hands-on activity using hot water bath canning. The second session includes a review of freezing and drying techniques for high quality and safety along with a hands-on activity demonstrating the pressure canner.

  • Canning Demonstration workshop:  This is a two-hour workshop where we demonstrate how to hot water bath can after discussing important safety information relating to preserving food.

  • Lecture workshop:  This workshop can range from 1-2 hours, depending on the topics covered (i.e. 1 hour to discuss canning, 2 hours to discuss canning, freezing, and dehydrating).

For more information or to find out about rates and book a workshop, please contact Nicole Richard at nicolerichard@uri.edu or call 401-874-2977.  We require a minimum of 10 people to conduct a workshop.  If you want to host a demonstration workshop you must provide an indoor facility that meets the electrical requirements.


Use only the most recent research-based tested recipes by USDA, cooperative extension service at land grant universities, or the Ball® Blue Book (dated 1989 or later). These same principles apply to jams and jellies, salsas, and pickles and relishes. The processing times and temperatures have been scientifically tested and must be carefully followed. Too little time or too low a temperature may not destroy the bacteria, enzymes, molds, and yeasts in the food. For safe, high quality home canned food, it’s important to follow the directions.

Recommended Food Preservation Books

  • Ball® Blue Book Guide to Preserving (dated 1989 or later)
  • Ball® Complete Book of Home Preserving, Edited by Judi Kingry  and Lauren Devine
  • University of Georgia, So Easy to Preserve (mail order form found here)