Accessing science-based practices for safe-home food preservation (FP) can prevent unnecessary foodborne illness. An Extension program called Grow It, Eat It, Preserve It allows trained Extension agents to teach and advise on FP topics. Meanwhile, the Home & Garden Information Center delivers science-based gardening education, supporting the Master Gardener Volunteer Program (MG), increasing community outreach. MGs conduct the Grow It, Eat It, Preserve It partner program, Grow It Eat It, which teaches residents to grow edible gardens. MGs are not legally trained in FP, and a knowledge gap exists regarding how often MGs are asked FP questions during community events and what resources they provide to clients. An online survey was administered to 1,810 active MGs in Maryland, providing insight on MGs’ current knowledge and community interactions pertaining to FP. A total of 586 MGs responded to the survey. Results indicated that MGs were asked FP questions during community events (65.5%) and often went beyond the scope of their training to provide non-Extension resources for FP. Most MGs were unsure whether FP workshops took place in their county Extension office (65.8%). The survey results can improve cross-programming communication and inform future MG training, marketing, and programming.
Henley, S. C.,
(2021). Assessing Master Gardener Volunteers’ Involvement in and Knowledge of Food Preservation.
Journal of Human Sciences and Extension, 9(1), 6.
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