Sara Blumenstein, Chelsea Burket, Rob Burrows and Gabe Tilove are the members of the Pittsburgh Canning Exchange, an organization that teaches the art of canning through their signature “canning parties” and end of the season swap, connecting Pittsburgh canners of all ages and expertise and preserving traditions.
“Home canning is something that our grandmas and grandpas and aunts and uncles know how to do but it’s something that maybe fewer people our age know how to do. It’s a really easy way to connect across generations.”
Sara Blumenstein, Pittsburgh Canning Exchange
Canning parties feature local chefs and preservation experts who teach participants how to can from start to finish using locally sourced organic produce. The low-priced parties give those new to the process the confidence and the skills to can on their own. Supported by a Sprout Seed Award of [amt] both the parties and yearly swap build community among canning enthusiasts, providing the opportunity to share a love of homemade food and recipes.
The Pittsburgh Canning Exchange, a project of the Idea Foundry, is a resource for learning how to can, trading home-canned goods, and building a community of home canners. The PCE will help people trade their home-canned goods by creating a web app that will allow people to create profiles of themselves and their canning experience, share information about the food they have canned, propose trades, and review others. Canned food will be exchanged at an annual end-of-season swap featuring demos, speakers, and entertainment to attract both experienced canners and people interested in learning how to can. In addition to the swap, home and community canning parties will serve as venues to build the community of canners, thereby supporting local food systems, preserving traditions, and connecting diverse populations.