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Houston County canning plant lets you process fruits, vegetables for free

It's run by agriculture teachers and students

PERRY, Ga. — One of the joys of summertime is growing a garden.

You can take advantage of a free service in Houston County that will help you process your vegetables so you can enjoy them throughout the year.

Veronica Sanders and Ashley Denton are agriculture teachers in Houston County.

"It gets our teachers in the community, gets our kids in that community," Ashley explained.

In June and July, Ashley and Veronica join 17 other educators and students that volunteer to man a canning plant.

Here's how it works -- you bring the produce, and if you want to can, bring the jars;  if you want to freeze stuff, bring some bags.

When you check in on the sign-in sheet, you will get a number that will go on all your jars and bags to ensure they're yours.

This process can save you time and some frustration.

Credit: Suzanne Lawler

"If you make a mess here, it's OK, because we're here to assist you in using the machinery and clean it up, so it's OK. It's almost like going to a restaurant to eat instead of cooking at home," Veronica said with a chuckle.

The teachers say this kitchen will really heat up soon when corn comes into season, and if you want to bring your kids for an educational experience, that's completely fine.

"What I think it teaches students is a greater appreciation for the farmer to realize where their food comes from and how it's processed. It's not like you go to Publix just to get a can of corn," Veronica reasoned.

The canning plant is located at 1701 Houston Lake Road in Perry.

There isn't a limit on how much you are allowed to can, but you do have to be there with your produce by 11 a.m.

They're open Monday through Friday, but they will have a few days off over the next month and a half.

Ashley says there are similar plants in Dodge and Dooly counties, and overall, there are over 25 in the state.