Extension Kitchen Construction Complete

Cornell Cooperative Extension of St. Lawrence County recently completed the construction of a commercial demonstration and teaching kitchen at the Extension Learning Farm in Canton.The facility has been made possible with the support of the USDA Rural Business Development Grant program and NYS Workforce Development Institute. Extension has worked closely with members of the agricultural community and governing agencies, including the NYS Department of Health and NYS Department of Ag and Markets, to ensure its viability.

The “Extension Kitchen” or simply, the “Kitchen” will provide a broad platform for Extension’s educational programming in the areas of agriculture, nutrition and youth development, and will also provide local producers with a long-awaited commercial kitchen environment for light food processing and development of value-added products.Extension is proud to provide this service to the community and excited to introduce the Kitchen to the public this summer.The facility boasts a variety of specialized equipment that is not widely available:

  • Two six-burner gas stoves with exhaust hood and fire suppression system
  • Commercial refrigerator and freezer capacity
  • Blast chiller / flash freezer
  • Commercial food dehydrator
  • Large scale commercial vegetable processor
  • Several smaller scale food processors,
  • Large scale commercial juice extruder
  • Commercial potato/root peeler
  • Meat grinder, mixer, and sausage stuffer
  • Large scale Floor mixer with multiple attachments
  • Vacuum sealer
  • Multiple Labeler

Additionally, an inaugural series of educational programs is planned for the summer and fall of 2016. Topics include farm food safety, artisan cheese making, custom meat cutting workshops, and best practices for value added production. A cornerstone of this series will be a Cornell Master Food Preserver program the week of May 16-18, 2017.

Master Food Preserver is a three-day workshop designed as a train-the-trainer program for educators and volunteers to enable them to offer food preservation classes in their community. The program includes the scientific basis of home food preservation; hands-on experience in traditional canning and pressure canning, making jams and jellies, plus pickling and fermentation; demonstrations in freezing and drying; and a discussion of other methods of preservation. Certificates of participation are distributed to those who complete the course, as the first step toward becoming a certified CCE Master Food Preserver. The actual certifications are awarded after volunteer requirements are met by the volunteers, ensuring they give back to their communities and enrich the lives of others.

In Patrick’s tenure as Director, he has witnessed a renewed interest in local foods, healthy foods, gardening and lost skills like canning. It has taken him several years to put your local Extension Association in a place to truly address these needs.Assistance from the USDA Rural Development and Workforce Development Institute has been instrument in making this effort possible.

Contact

Bobbi-Jo Robar
Administrative Assistant
bmr37@cornell.edu

Last updated February 10, 2017