'Give and Go 5K' to benefit Holt family

GORHAM — Do you seek out opportunities to be a good samaritan? Might you be looking to take part in a unique event on a summer evening? Do you enjoy being physically active?

If you answered, “yes” to any of the previous questions, consider coming out on Thursday, Aug. 24, to Gorham, for the Give and Go 5K.

This race allows participants to “give” a monetary donation of one’s choosing, which is being collected for the Holt family that recently lost their house in a fire, and then “go” for a walk or jog along a scenic course.

Participants are encouraged to register between 5:45 and 6:15 p.m. at the Edward Fenn Elementary School at 169 Main St. in Gorham.

The race begins at 6:30 p.m.There will be no pre-registration for this race.The course is stroller and pet friendly. Visit Facebook page RunForYou for up-to-date information.

Top food preservation questions

By Ann Hamilton

One of the first workshops I presented for UNH Cooperative Extension was on home food preservation in 1988. Since that time, I have answered hundreds of questions on home food preservation and presented many workshops. The following are some of the top questions asked and the answers.

Why do I have to pressure can low-acid vegetables such as green beans, carrots and beets? Can’t I just process them in a boiling water canner for several hours?

The practice of not pressure canning low-acid vegetables can be deadly. Improperly home-canned green beans, carrots and potatoes have sickened several people and killed a few with botulism poisoning in the past few years. One such outbreak, which sickened 25 people and caused one death, was from improperly home canned potatoes made into potato salad for a church potluck.

The reason to pressure can is the difference in temperature between a boiling water canner and a pressure canner. Boiling water canners don’t go above 212 degrees Fahrenheit. Low-acid vegetables and meat need to reach 240 F to destroy botulinum spores. The only way to achieve this temperature is by processing in a sealed pressure canner that reaches 240 F for the recommended processing time.

Why do I have to process the jars of food such as jams, pickles and tomatoes anyway?

Since the late 1980s, Cooperative Extension has been teaching that open-kettle canning is not safe. Open kettle canning is the process of heating food to boiling, pouring it into a canning jar, screwing on a lid, setting the jar on the counter and letting the heat of the jar “seal” the lid to the jar. This process is not safe because the jars don’t reach the right temperature for the correct amount of time to destroy spoilage organisms, yeasts and molds that can enter a jar while getting the product ready for processing nor do the jars form a good vacuum seal.

It can be dangerous to not process tomatoes and tomato products in a pressure or boiling water canner. The acid in tomatoes and tomato products may be low enough to allow bacterial growth. In addition to processing, tomatoes need to be acidified. Tomatoes that are acidified for canning are done so to prevent botulism poisoning and other bacterial concerns by a combination of acid and heat. To ensure the safety of whole, quartered, crushed or juice tomatoes acidify by adding 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or ¼ teaspoon of citric acid per pint. For quarts use 2 tablespoons of lemon juice or ½ teaspoon citric acid.

I have a delicious homemade salsa recipe I would like to preserve and give as gifts. Can you tell me how long to process it?

The recommendation is to use current, tested recipes for all canned foods. The heat processing method required for a safe canned product is determined by the pH or acidity of the specific food being canned. Salsas are a combination of acid ingredients (tomatoes), and low acid ingredients (peppers, onions and garlic). The amount of ingredients and the addition of other acid ingredients, like vinegar or lemon juice, affect the pH of salsa. USDA uses special equipment to scientifically test each recipe to determine the processing method and time. Since your recipe has not been tested for canning and the scientific testing equipment is not available for home testing, processing methods and times cannot be recommended for your recipe.

The same consistent message about home canning has been given by UNH Cooperative Extension for a very long time — follow the latest USDA guidelines and use tested recipes from reputable sources such as any Cooperative Extension office nationwide, USDA Complete Guide to Home Canning, National Center for Home Food Preservation and the Ball Blue Book.

For answers to your home food preservation, contact UNH Cooperative Extension’s Education Center and Information Line at 1(877) 398-4769 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. The center is open Monday–Friday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Ann Hamilton is a regional field specialist in food safety with the University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension located in Carroll County. She can be reached at (603) 447-3834 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. UNH Extension in Carroll County is located at 73 Main Street in Conway village.

Free transportation to Gorham Farmer’s Market

The Salvation Army will be providing free transportation to and from the newly relocated Gorham Farmer’s Market on Thursdays. The Salvation Army van will leave from the public lot in front of the building at 15 Cole St. at: 3:45 p.m.; 4:55 p.m.; 6:05 p.m.; and 7:15 p.m. and is scheduled to drop off at the Farmer’s Market roughly 15 minutes after departure. Return trips to the Berlin Salvation Army are scheduled to leave the Market at: 4:30 p.m.; 5:40 p.m.; 6:50 p.m.; and 9:15 p.m. or the end of the movie being shown. Space is limited for each ride so plan accordingly. For further information contact the Salvation Army at (603) 752-1644.

Public Utilities Commission announces temporary closure of the Residential and Commercial and Industrial Solar Rebate Programs

The Public Utilities Commission announced the temporary closure of the Residential Solar and Wind Rebate program and the Commercial and Industrial Solar Rebate program due to fiscal year 2018 budget constraints and the large number of waitlisted applications.

Funding for these rebate programs comes from the Renewable Energy Fund, or REF. The REF is funded through alternative compliance payments, or ACPs, received from electric providers. Under New Hampshire law, a certain percentage of energy supplied must be from renewable fuels and resources. Electric providers who cannot purchase enough renewable energy or who cannot get it at a reasonable price are allowed to meet this requirement through an alternative compliance payment into the REF.

According to Karen Cramton, director of the Commission’s Sustainable Energy Division, electricity providers file annual compliance payments and reports for the prior calendar year by July 1.

“While we have an approximate idea on July 1st of the funding that may be available for all REF programs,” stated Cramton, “the reports and payments must be validated and a final budget approved by the commission before we know with certainty how much program funding we will have.” The validation process is typically completed sometime in September. “Following the completion of the validation process, fiscal year program budgets are developed and submitted to the commission for approval,” noted Cramton.

The programs themselves may also be changed. Unaudited ACP revenues for 2016, the funding source for the fiscal year 2018 rebate programs, are approximately $3.6 million. The commission may consider changes to the program terms and conditions prior to the programs reopening. An opportunity for public input would be provided before any program changes would be made by the commission.

To stay up-to-date on the status of the rebate programs, visit the commission’s webpage at puc.nh.gov.

Granite United Way seeks local nonprofits for Day of Caring

Granite United Way will be hosting its annual Day of Caring events this September and is currently seeking projects from local nonprofits in each of its regions. This year marks the 25th year of Day of Caring events.

Nonprofits can participate by submitting a project for the more than 2,000 volunteers that take part in Day of Caring, Granite United Way’s signature volunteer movement. Projects can include painting, clean-up, landscaping, and office assistance just to name a few. Agencies must be a 501(c)(3) to participate. Those interested should contact Val Guy by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call (603) 224-2595 x226.

“Each year our volunteer numbers are growing and we are excited to offer more support for our local nonprofits,” said Guy. “The volunteers who take part in the effort remark about how fulfilling it is to give back to a local agency and often they learn something about the organization that they had never known before. I encourage all nonprofits to submit projects for the event.”

The North Country will hold its Day of Caring on Tuesday, Sept. 19. For more information on Granite United Way, visit www.graniteuw.org.