Cannery FAQ

Did you know the Cannery is open to the General Public?  Anyone can use the Cannery it is a community Cannery operated by Carroll County and has a Cannery Specialist on site to assist and guide you every step of the way. Carroll County is proud to operate this facility seeing that it is one of three that still exists in Southwest Virginia.

Do I have to Know how to Can? 
No- absolutely no prior experience required! Our cannery specialist is on-site to help you in any way you need whether you need help with acquiring produce, selecting a recipe, schedule an appointment, getting together an ingredients list, and on-site day of canning procedures we can help you every step of the way.

Do I have to have my own garden or product? 
We encourage you to bring with you what you have, however if you do not have produce on hand or a garden at home that is not a problem we can provide you contact to get most of the items that you are interested in from a local source.  The Southwest Virginia Farmers Market is next door and we partner with them often and have prices available.

Where do I start? 
We suggest a visit or phone call to the Cannery which is open daily Monday through Friday 7:30-3:30 July 15th - December 15th.  We can help you schedule a date, assist with making sure you have a recipe and all the ingredients you need and sometimes there may be prep work before you come. 

How can I learn more?  
The Cannery is always available for walk-through and most groups that use the Cannery don’t mind and occasional observer we encourage you to visit.

I feel intimidated because I have never canned, is the cannery designed for beginners? 
Absolutely, our specialist can help you step by step, if you are willing to follow simple step by step instructions then there is no reason you cannot learn to can and preserve your own food alongside a trained professional.

Is an appointment required?  
We encourage appointments ahead of time to ensure the equipment you need for your product is available.

Is the Cannery available to groups? 
Yes the cannery host several groups and organizations through-out the season and arrangements can be made by calling or scheduling an appointment.  A maximum of 20 people are allowed on the processing floor. Groups will not be allowed in until their scheduled time, unless the patrons previously scheduled are finished early. This is for safety and health/sanitation reasons, and to allow everyone to be able to complete their process without being pressured.

Do you sell jars? 
Yes, the cannery has both regular mouth and wide mouth pints and quarts for sale.

Can I bring children? 
We do not allow children under the age of 10 in the processing area. We also do not allow unsupervised children under the age of 16 in the processing area. Please inform the cannery operator if you plan to bring children.

What do I need to wear? 
You will be required to wear closed toed/closed back shoes. Wear something comfortable that you aren’t afraid of getting soiled or wet.

What can I bring to can? 
You may can most anything - however, a recipe must be USDA approved and appropriate guidelines and canning times must be followed. Please ask the cannery operator when scheduling your appointment if you are not sure if your recipe can be canned. Preparation and processing procedures in the cannery must conform to state food regulations for community canneries.

The canning times are too long and will turn my food to mush? Can I reduce the amount of canning time the recipe calls for? 
No. In order to have a safe and shelf stable product, you must can your product for the recommended time.  Cannery personnel have been instructed to observe recommended procedures and processing schedules.

Can I bring meats to can? 
Yes. You must have an appointment time to can meats.  Raw meats and fresh vegetables cannot be handled on the floor simultaneously due to cross contamination. This means that any raw meats must be handled separately while on the processing floor. There is a different clean up process after meats have been handled. If your recipe contains meat, the cannery operator will guide you in the steps you must follow to be able to add the meat to your product. Please call the cannery for more information.

Do I have to clean up? 
Yes. Individuals are responsible for cleaning ALL work surfaces, table tops, sinks, utensils, buckets, kettles and any other equipment used after each operation. The cannery supplies scouring pads and cleaning agents for your use or you may bring your own. 

Are there benefits to canning at the cannery versus at my home? 
Yes, the cannery is designed for easy clean- up, has commercial equipment available to use such as pulpers, blanchers, kettles in addition to the pressure canners.  Canning alongside someone trained can help ensure that proper procedures are followed for food safety.  Less clean-up at home and can cut your time in half or less in most cases.

If I have other questions who can help?
We are here to help you and wont to see everyone get the benefit out of using this wonderful facility we are always just a phone call away or feel free to visit us on-site.