The fair will be in full swing when you read this and I’m guessing that many of you have made plans to visit and enjoy special events on the fairgrounds. I realize that for some of you, it’s a family tradition and for others actually a vacation that you plan for every year. Returning to the full fair this year will allow many to reconnect with people that we only see once a year, make sure to take advantage of the moments together. I’m guessing that we will all appreciate the in-person opportunities whether it’s a livestock show, visiting with the vendors or Grange demo. Here’s what’s happening today:
10:30 Meet the Pollinators (and learn how to help them), with Denise Ellsworth, OSU
11:30 Homemade Cleaning Products - Emily Marrison, OSU Extension FCS Educator
12:30 Cow and Goat Milk Cheesemaking - Haley Zynda, OSU Extension, ANR Educator
2:00 Tracing Your Family’s History - Deb Kitko, Wayne Co Public Library
Here’s the link to the rest of the week, there are many additional topics on Wednesday and Thursday that we invite you to attend, as well as the livestock auctions that begin at 11:00 on Wednesday.
While touring the fairgrounds, here are a few things you might consider:
- All foods in moderation. Yes, it is important to eat the right foods and we all need more fruits and vegetables on a daily basis. Our bodies need the vitamins and minerals that colorful foods provide. But if I told you not to eat French fries, donuts or your favorite sandwich, those would be your first purchases on the fairgrounds. Try to balance with your other meals to get the needed dairy, whole grain, fruits and vegetables your body needs. Consider packing a cooler to bring along some of those that will help on the budget as well. Don’t forget to drink water during these hot days too! Remember to only fill your water bottles from approved water sources, not from hoses in the barn.
- Keep food safety in mind. Wash your hands frequently! You may be exposed to many new germs that can be washed away with 20 seconds of “scrubbing bubbles”. Don’t walk thru the barns while you are eating as germs may find their way into your food via the fans.
- Be observant of the food venders. Most of them strive to provide a quality product and maintain a clean environment. Their work surfaces and aprons should be clean and well kept.
- Take your calendar with you or pull out your phone reminder app. When you run into many friends you haven’t seen, then schedule a “catch up date” and you won’t have to say, “We’ll have to get together?”
- Take time to say thank you to the many 4-H volunteers, fair board members and volunteers, security forces and participants who make the fair the wonderful event that it is. The untold hours of preparation it takes to make this event flow can truly not be counted.
For many of us it is an event that we look forward to with great anticipation. The sights, sounds, flavors, and events will echo in our minds long after the last ride pulls out. Take the time to really appreciate all the aspects of the great community that we live in!
On another note, this week I’ve also received many questions on canning tomatoes, so following are a few question/answer responses for your information. Remember to use only disease free, fresh fruit. Do not can tomatoes from dead or frost killed vines. All types of tomatoes can be processed, green, yellow, orange or red, and for best results process the tomatoes within 2 to 3 hours of harvesting.
*Do all tomatoes need to be acidified? Yes- all tomatoes and tomato juice need to have additional acid to ensure their safety. You may use lemon juice, citric acid or vinegar to do this. Check out our OHIOLINE.osu.edu (food, then food preservation) to find the canning tomato fact sheet that will give you the amounts for each.
*May I can whole cherry or grape tomatoes? It is not advised by USDA, but they may be frozen for use in soups and stews this winter
*How many pounds of tomatoes does it take to make 7 quarts of juice? About 23 pounds of tomatoes are needed per canner load of 7 quarts; 14 pounds will yield 9 pints. If you are buying or picking a bushel of tomatoes it should yield about 15-18 quarts of juice. Remember to add acid to your juice as well.
*Do I have to add salt? The use of salt is optional in all canned tomato products. Salt can be used for flavor or color protection of the product.
*Can I process use my grandmother’s spaghetti sauce recipe? If you really want a specific recipe, then freeze it. Only tested, approved recipes should be used to can low acid vegetables and meats. Besides Ohioline check out the National Center for Home Food Preservation web site at the University of Georgia for a great library of tested recipes. It is really important not to alter the tested recipes as it will change the ph. value and thus the processing times.
If you have other food preservation questions, please call 330-264-8722 or e mail me at email@example.com
Melinda Hill is an OSU Extension Family & Consumer Sciences Educator and may be reached at 330-264-8722.
CFAES provides research and related educational programs to clientele on a nondiscriminatory basis. For more information, visit cfaesdiversity.osu.edu.