Cooperative Extension will resume in-person classes for the public

Posted 2 September 2020 at 6:51 pm

Press Release, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Orleans County

Provided photos: Master Food Preserver volunteers Kevin Bedard and Karen Desjardin during a past Sourdough MFP workshop.

KNOWLESVILLE – As the state begins to reopen, Orleans County Cornell Cooperative Extension has re-scheduled several in-person classes for this fall.

“We really are so excited to be able to offer some in-person options for educational programming,” said Katie Oakes, Horticulture Educator at Orleans County CCE and coordinator of both the Master Gardener and Master Food Preserver volunteer groups. “I think that the public as well as our volunteers have been craving some human interaction and opportunities to learn and teach that take them out of their homes for a brief time.”

• The first in-person opportunity offered at Orleans County CCE will be a Botany Basics class at 6 p.m. on Sept. 14. The class will be taught by Scott Russo, president of the Buffalo Bonsai Society, and will cover the basics of getting started in Bonsai gardening.

Bonsai is the ancient Japanese art of manipulating trees to enable them to reach maturity while staying small (often under two feet tall).  This class will be held outdoors under the Curtis Pavilion.  Cost is $5, masks and social distancing will be required.

• There will also be a 3-part series of Master Food Preserver workshops, re-scheduled from earlier in the summer. The Master Food Preserver program is a group of local volunteers who go through an extensive 3-day food preservation training through Cornell Cooperative Extension, then lead classes themselves to the public using the research-based and trial-tested preserving techniques.

The shutdown put a pause on the entire MFP workshops series this year, but the volunteers are excited to get back to educating the public on food preservation. Each of the three classes below will be offered demonstration-style in the Trolley Building. Masks and social distancing will be required as well.

Fresh pasta is made during a previous Master Food Preserver workshop.

• Home Beer Brewing will be the first in the 3-part series on Saturday, Sept. 26, 9 a.m. to noon. Led by Master Food Preserver and home brewing enthusiast Kevin Bedard, the class will cover topics such as necessary equipment, basic steps, brewing timelines and more.  Unfortunately, a beer tasting is not included in the class, but you will leave with lots of inspiration! Cost: $10.

• MFP volunteer Julie Baker will teach a Garlic class on Wednesday, Oct. 7, at 6 p.m. Learn all about how to grow and preserve this versatile vegetable! There will be some hands-on activities and take-home products made in class. Cost: $15.

• And finally, MFP volunteer Eileen Sorochty will lead her always popular pasta-making class on Wednesday, November 4 at 6 p.m. Eileen will teach basic techniques in making your own pasta from scratch, including unique recipe variations and best methods preserving the fresh pasta.  Cost: $10.

And for those who still prefer to learn online, Master Gardener Erica Joan Wanecski has planned a Zoom presentation entitled “Finding Respite with Olmsted Gardens in WNY” on Monday, Sept. 28 at 6 p.m.  Frederick Law Olmsted designed one of the world’s most famous parks – Central Park in NYC, but many are not aware that he had a hand in designing several parks and gardens across Western New York! Click here to register.

Please contact or call (585) 798-4265 with any questions.

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