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Food Safety & Preservation

Pickling, food preservationFree Pressure Canner Testing

Don’t forget to have the dial gauge on your pressure canner tested. It is recommended to have this gauge tested every year.

The Portage County UW-Extension offers pressure canner testing at no charge. Please call 715-346-1316 to set up an appointment. Appointments are usually available the same day depending on staff availability. Our office is open between the hours of 7:30 AM – 4:30 PM, Monday through Friday. Testing usually takes between 5-10 minutes.

Summertime is Food Preservation Time – Lunch & Learn at the County Extension Office located on the 2nd Floor of the Courthouse Annex, 1462 Strongs Avenue, Stevens Point, WI 54481 – 12 noon to 1 pm

June 3     FREEZING PRODUCE – Learn tips to preserving fresh green beans, peas, strawberries and other produce for year-round enjoyment.

June 17     MAKING JAMS & JELLIES – Preserve the taste of perfectly ripe fruit in homemade jams and jellies and consider new gift ideas in jellied fruit and vegetable products.

July 1     CANNING VEGETABLES SAFELY – Safely preserve your garden’s bounty of vegetables with canning.

July 15     CANNING TOMATOES & TOMATO PRODUCTS – Whether pressure canning whole tomatoes, canning salsa in a boiling water canner, or even making tomato jam – options abound for safely preserving tomatoes.

Aug 5     TIME TO MAKE PICKLES – Your family will enjoy the taste of summer with safe, high quality quick-pack pickles (and we’ll discuss genuine dills & sauerkraut too!)

Aug 19     DRYING FOODS AT HOME – Wondering what to do with those few onions, tomatoes, carrots or tomatoes sitting in the crisper?  Try dehydrating them to make a flavorful soup base.  And consider dried fruit as your go-to snack for hungry kids home from school.

Aug 26     SUCCESSFUL STORAGE OF GARDEN PRODUCE – Extend the season as long as possible by properly storing your garden’s produce.

Hear the latest updates based on research being conducted at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Portage County Master Food Preserver Program

A Master Food Preserver is a person who takes classes and is then certified by the UW-Extension. A certified Master Food Preserver must volunteer 20 hours of their time to food preservation and safety related issues in the community. Since the programs beginning in July of 2011, 5 people have become Master Food Preservers. The Master Food Preservers have also planned and implemented various programs throughout the year.

Portage County Master Food Preserver Program Brochure (PDF, 96 KB)

Master Food Preserver Q&A

Anyone can call 715-346-1316 and ask specific questions about food safety, or food preservation. Calls will be answered from 7:30am-4:30pm Monday-Friday. Questions may also be emailed to or No question is too strange!

Fresh for all seasonsFresh for All Seasons

Fresh for All Seasons is a volunteer organization created by the Central Wisconsin Resiliency Project in conjunction with the UW-Extension. Fresh for All Season volunteers can and freeze excess produce donated by community members and community efforts like Community Giving Gardens and Plant-A-Row activities. After processing, all the finished products go to local food pantries for year-round enjoyment.

Master Food Preserver Demonstrations & Workshops

As workshops dates become available, they will be posted. For more information call 715-346-1316 or stop by the Portage County UW-Extension Office located in the Ruth Gilfry Center.

UW-Extension Preservation Publications

*Most of these publications are available to view (pdf) or print for free. They can also be obtained at the Portage County UW-Extension for the cost of printing.

Cooking, fresh vegetables

Publications with recipes

Publications that do not include specific recipes

Other Helpful Resources