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Catalyst THE COMMUNITY

Childcare survey

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Pieces of our Past

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Stellar Student

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Book Nook

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Nonprofit Listing

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Calendar of Events PG 7 Photo by Richard Worth, Š Worth Photo

SEPTEMBER 2011


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Welcome to The Community Catalyst, where we can grow together Welcome to the first edition of The Community Catalyst! We hope you come to love it. It’s about you, your neighbors, the people you love, the people around you, the people of your community. It’s an opportunity for non-profits to reach out to the communities without expense, to notify the community of services, events and needs. Our intent is to communicate, organize and gather the community together. In these times it becomes even more important to have a strong sense of community, to reach out to help each other, to have an open forum, to dream of a better tomorrow for ourselves, our children, and our grandchildren. We have many strengths. We still have a rural environment. We live in a beautiful area. We have many good people that show up when others are in need. We have huge potential. We

have challenges as well, that will require leadership, vision and participation in and from the community. We need to plan what our future will look like, and how to maintain our rural environment while meeting these challenges. We have good people serving on nonprofit boards that keep the spirit of our rural life alive. Many of our nonprofits provide so much good to our community, but each is struggling to survive. The focus of this magazine is to promote the continuing efforts of these nonprofits, to emphasis the community spirit, to create collaboration among the nonprofits and our citizens to strengthen the community. Our focus is to help bring opportunities, education, communication and a better quality of life to the community. Only a strong community can bring these things about. Your voice is

essential, your actions even more so. So dream with your eyes wide open, of what you’d like to see in five and ten years, because from these dreams comes the vision, from the vision comes the possibilities. And dreams do come true. This newsletter will be published once a month with the intent to draw the nonprofit, business, education, and governmental entities together for the betterment for all our communities. Copies will be distributed throughout the West End. Electronic back issues can also be viewed for free at our web site at: www.thecommunitycatalyst.com. We encourage you to email submissions to publisher@thecommunitycatalyst.com. All nonprofit listings are free of charge. This publication is made possible by the Paradox Strengthening Community Fund. Thanks for reading!

CHILD CARE PROVIDERS NEEDED NUCLA/NATURITA AREA Would you like to care for children in your home? Become a licensed child care provider to fill the shortage of quality care in your immediate area. If you are interested in becoming a licensed child care provider, please call Bright Futures, 970-728-5613 and we will walk you through the process to become licensed. Cathy James, Executive Director, Bright Futures

Childcare Survey for Nucla/Naturita area Do you need childcare in order to work? What is the most you could afford for childcare services? $20-$25 $30-35 Other How many children do you have that need childcare?

What are their ages? Infant 1-2 years old 3-4 years old

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Do you need full day/ half day / after-school care? Full Half After School

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Please email your survey responses to:

Publisher@thecommunitycatalyst.com or fill out and return a paper copy to the Naturita Community Library.


Pieces of our Past: Nucla and its founding By: Marie Templton and the Rimrocker Historical Society

The founding of Nucla, by Minnie Chamberlain On June 4, 1904, ten years after the first survey, water flowed through the ditch to the initial point on Tabeguache Park. Great was the joy in Pinon. This was a great triumph! The first goal had been obtained, the impossible had been accomplished, and the Colorado Cooperative Company had proved to its members and the world that the idea of cooperation was not a pipe dream. On March 20, 1904, a group of men met at Loveland Camp and organized the Nucla Town Improvement Company. After long deliberation and much discussion it was decided to lay out the town at a point in the park commanding the best view of the surrounding territory. By retaining ownership of the land, the company hoped to prevent the incoming of saloons, gambling houses and other undesirable tenants. This company was to have a capital stock of $50,000 divided into 5,000 shares at $100.00 a share. The land was to be held in trust by the company and each share of stock would give the holder a 99-year lease on a business lot or two residential lots. No one person could hold more than one block. Each block contained 20 lots of 42 by 200 feet each. They were granted in order of payment and the leases were renewable. The single tax system was to be used and the tax would be the same on a lot regardless of the improvements. All lots were to be taxed on the location and quality. The entire tax due the state would be paid by the company and pro rata among the property holders according to size and improvements on the property. This system proved to be a fail-

ure. It did prevent speculation in land, as it was supposed to do, but it made it too costly for people to hold lots and many taxes became delinquent on vacant lots. On 15 January 1914 the people voted the single tax out and gave up the lease system in favor of private ownership. They also started talking about incorporating the town at this time. The dream of a cooperative community was not realized. The ditch, which is one of the best water rights in the state, is still owned and operated cooperatively, but the businesses and property of the town and surrounding area have returned to private ownership and control. Now and Then Naturita Government In 1881, a man by the name of Payson built the first cabin in Naturita. That same year a post office was established. It was called Chipeta until September 15, 1882. By the late 1880s there were two houses in Naturita. Payson’s house and a house owned by R. H. Blake. Mr. Blake’s wife, who was of Spanish decent, named the town Naturita, which means “little nature” in Spanish. Later several families settled along the river and the town continued to grow. In 1894 the Colorado Co-operative Company moved several families to Naturita. They stayed for a couple of years until they moved to Pinon. In 1910 Payson and Blake, who ran cattle in the area, laid out the town site. Soon there were several businesses. Payson and Blake started the first store and Myrtle “Grandma” Cooper ran a livery stable and rooming house. In the early 1950s a committee was formed to work on getting

3 the town incorporated. Following are some excerpts from the minutes of those meeting. Meeting October 10, 1951: Subject: Mayor Blake suggested a motion be made to instruct Town Attorney, Ted Brooks, to file certified copies of the record of Incorporation of the Town of Naturita with the Secretary of State. Motion was made by James Laramore and seconded by Owen Lear to do so. A motion was made by Sam Mills, seconded by Homer Vance to establish a general fund made up of donations by the Mayor and trustees, to meet the expenses of the above motion and any other necessary expenditure. Each member would donate $6.00 a month and the Town Clerk would be paid $6.00 a month. Another way to generate funds for the general fund was suggested by Homer Vance. It seemed like some friends of his would like to rent the Town Hall as a place to sleep for the week during hunting season. Homer Vance was authorized to rent the Town Hall to his friends for $10.00 a week. Ordnance #4 dated May 1952, annexed the area laying due west of the intersection of Highways 141 and 97, owned at that time by Woodrow Gripe. Because the original area of the town did not include the required amount of land needed for incorporation, the Town Fathers laid out lots south of Main Street and adjoining the proposed town boundary, starting about the corner of East Second Street and going west to the present west city limit sign. Property owners with land abutting the new lots were offered the first chance to purchase the lots for $10.00 per lot. Even a street running east and west was plotted to allow access to the lots. Because these lots lay on a very steep slope, they were never used by any of the property owners, but did what they were meant to do and that was to get enough area in order to incorporate the town.

The Cattle List: Agriculture’ s Golden Season By Jeri Mattics Omernik

As the days grow shorter and the crops taller, we are nearing that time of year when the whole season’s effort will be translated into dollars and cents. While this time of year brings a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment, it also brings its own unique brand of stress, whether it is getting that last cutting of hay in before the weather hits, or getting the cattle rounded up and the calves sorted off, this time of year usually means long days, short nights and lots of work. Converting grass into greenbacks For those who produce and sell hay, this year’s crop might provide the best return in a farmer’s lifetime as demand far exceeds supply. The lack of hay across the U.S. can partly be blamed on too little rain – or too much, depending on location – along with extreme hot or cool temperatures across the growing season. However, the loss of hay acreage to more lucrative crops has also cut into supply and revved up demand. According to the USDA-Colorado Department of Agriculture Market News Service, hay prices in southwestern Colorado for the week ending Aug. 26, averaged as follows: •Alfalfa

Large Squares: Premium to Supreme $210-230; Good $190-210 Small Squares: Premium $230/ton ($7.00 per bale) •Grass Large Squares: Premium $170-190 Small Squares: Premium $230-260/ton ($7.00-8.00 per bale); Good $200/ton Turning beef into bucks Just as the price of hay has been impacted by drought in Texas and Oklahoma, so, too, has the price of cattle. Many southwest ranchers have been forced to liquidate their herds because they have simply run out of feed or water or both for their livestock. In short, the normal seasonal pattern of beef marketing has been turned on its head. There have been enormous bottlenecks in livestock auctions in the southwest throughout July and August, but that trend is now returning to a more normal level, as most of those who needed to liquidate have done so. Even with the high volumes of beef moving through the market, prices have remained fairly solid, largely due to good news on the export front. As the global economy has strengthened, we’ve seen significant increases in beef exports. In 2010, the U.S. Meat Export Federation reported a 19 percent increase in beef exports; the first half of 2011 was even more robust, logging in a 25 percent gain from 2010. All of that volume has helped sustain prices through the tough sledding in the domestic market.

Local foods In addition to the more traditional hay and cattle operations in the West End, there is a growing interest in local foods and developing a local food system—essentially growing and selling more food locally. Ken Haynes, through his organization e3collaborative, has been conducting a feasibility study for developing a regional food hub. The study objectives include: • determining local agricultural resources • defining local consumer trends and demands • recognizing consumer outlet movements • researching organizational models Haynes’ study is scheduled to wrap up soon with a presentation to his stakeholders in September. Long-term, Haynes’ intention is to bring together like-minded individuals, nonprofit groups, specialists and governmental entities to simultaneously reduce our collective carbon footprint, find alternative energy solutions and create progressive new industries and jobs. A pretty ambitious objective, that. In a nutshell, food affects some of the most important issues of our time, including energy, health, security and climate changes. As more and more people recognize the enormous role agriculture plays in all of these arenas, the more interest consumers will have in the industry overall as well as how agricultural policy impacts our culture and our economy.


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Montrose County Health and Human Services West End programs

September is Healthy Aging Month · Focus on preventing falls by making your home and working space safe so you don’t fall and break a hip or other bone. · We offer many immunizations including shingles, pneumonia & flu for all ages. Adult Protective Services · When you first contact us we will either refer you for a faceto-face assessment with a case manager or refer you to other community resources that may better meet your needs. If you’re referred for an assessment, the case manager will come to your residence. Among other areas that he/she will discuss with you are your ability to perform daily living activities, your physical and emotional health and any services you’re currently receiving. The case manager will send a request to your physician for your diagnosis and medications and base their recommendation for long term care on the information provided and your physicians input. If approved, the case manager will verify Medicaid approval. Remember

S B tellar tudent

Brydon Haining

Brydon Haining has been selected as the first Stellar Student because of his diligence, honesty, determination and humor. Brydon is a fantastic student who loves to read, and isn't afraid to challenge himself. He also loves playing football and other sports, and is very excited to be entering the 4th grade and sharing his classroom with a snake! His hope is that he'll get to see Mrs. Phelps feed the snake. His 3rd grade teacher, Mr. Nelson, says, “Brydon Haining is a humble, quiet, goodnatured and gentle soul with a passion for reading and learning. His dynamic personality makes him a friend to all. One of Naturita Elementary's true All-Stars and one of the best I have had the honor to have taught.” Thank you Brydon for being such a dynamic member of our community!

you are responsible for applying for Medicaid! Anyone may call our intake line and make a referral on your behalf. If in doubt, call us today at: (970) 252-7076. State and Federal Public Assistance Programs · Eligibility for acceptance: Varies with each program. Applications are available at Montrose County Health and Human Services, 851 Main St. Nucla, CO, and online at www.colorado.gov/PEAK. This website also includes program information. · Services offered: Programs available include food, cash and medical programs, and associated case management and advocacy services. Also available is the Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP). Environmental Health Services · Inspections of retail food establishments throughout Montrose County are now available on the Montrose County website, www.montrosecounty.net. You can check the last inspection of your favorite restaurant or bar. · Food safety Bringing lunch to school or work requires extra attention to keep food safe. Pack shelfstable items whenever possible. More food products are now available in

individual shelf-stable servings. Keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold. Use insulated containers for hot foods. Use ice packs for cold foods. Some foods can be frozen and allowed to thaw in your lunch carrier. When reheating in a microwave, be sure to use enough time to have the food reach 165*F. · West Nile Virus - Montrose Environmental Health continues to trap mosquitos for West Nile Virus surveillance. So far this year, there have been no mosquitos identified as active carriers in our area. Still, it’s wise to continue protecting yourself and your family. Use Deet-based repellants and wear long sleeves and pants during morning and evening hours when mosquitos are most active. · Rabies - We encourage the participation of community members in vaccinating their warm blooded pets (dogs, cats, ferrets, etc.), reporting any stray animals, and reporting any animal bites or suspect bites to local officials. Rabies is a preventable disease transmitted primarily through animal bites, if gone untreated can be fatal. Currently, more than 90% of cases are transmitted by skunks and bats. In the interest of protecting the health of our community Montrose County Board of Health has passed a Board Order associated with Colorado Revised S t a t u t e C.R.S. 25-4607 Rabies Control.

On the Cover: The cover photograph was captured by Richard Worth. Here’s a snippet about the photographer: Remember the TV show The Wonder Years? It was about a boy navigating his teen years, a time filled with firsts and new challenges, successes and failures. I was lucky to spend most of my 'wonder years' in Montrose, and even though I wasn't born there and have lived other places for much longer times, Montrose still has a 'hometown' feel for me, such that when traveling I'll often adjust my route to pass through so I can drive by the old schools, the swimming pool, downtown, along my old paper route - landmarks of my youth. While preparing for one of those trips, my sister suggested tweaking our planned route along Highway 50 to drop south, go past Moab and Arches, and take a drive through Paradox Valley. On Highway 90, the first view of the valley from high up on the western edge was a heart-stopper. It was like discovering a mini-Grand Canyon, but without the tourists. Several times, now, I've made the trip down and through the valley, and in October 2009 we hit it just before sunset. The red faced cliffs are impressive any time of day, but bathe them in sunset's warm glow and, to coin a phrase, they are picture perfect. Would you like to submit a photograph for consideration of publication? All files must be at least 150 dpi and 12 inches by 12 inches large. Submit your photos to Publisher@TheCommunityCatalyst.com


• The Book Nook • By dallas Holmes You've spent all summer babying a bountiful garden through heat, rain, wind and everything else Southwest Colorado can throw at you. Now fall is coming, what are you going to do to preserve your summer harvest? Gardening and preserving go hand in hand in my mind, and at the library we have some excellent selections to help you, whether you've been pressure canning for years, or you're just learning what a boiling water bath is. Ashley English is one of my new inspirations. Her Homemade Living series touches on beekeeping, soapmaking, dairy and cheeses and Canning & Preserving. This is the perfect place to get started. There are simple recipes, step by step illustrated instructions and innovative ways to use what you've preserved. My favorite part would have to be the Portraits of a Canner that are sprinkled throughout. It's refreshing to see people from all different backgrounds and places exploring this lost art. The Self Sufficient Life and How to Live It by John Seymour may seem a little overwhelming at first glance. He covers the basics of seed saving, gardening, animal care and includes traditional skills like beekeeping, fence making and orchard keeping. I use this as a reference when I need help in a specific area, and one of the best sections in this book is on canning and freezing. He explains the best ways to preserve different types of food safely and economically, and uses recipes and plans that don't require a lot of complicated or hard to find ingredients. While this is for a more advanced canner, a lot of the tips and recipes will come in handy to those at any level. The Backyard Homestead is another imposing tome full of good information on every aspect of producing the food you need. It also has an excellent section on jerkies and other ways to preserve meat at home. Mini Farming by Brett L. Markham is my go to guide on everything! He goes over every step of self sufficiency in great detail, and breaks everything down into simple steps that make it more possible to accomplish your goal. His preserving section is one of the best I've come across, again looking at the process from a whole farm perspective. All of these books are available for check out at the Naturita Community Library, along with many others in our cooking and gardening department. There are also many resources available online. The CSU extension has the most up to date information on food safety and handling, as well as correct processing temperatures for our elevation. Have fun with what you read! The first time I read The Cow Loves Cookies by Karma Wilson I could not stop laughing. The second time I read it, I fell in love. The simple watercolor illustrations by Marcellus Hall perfectly accent the lyrical text. The repetition and rhyming help the littlest ones catch on to the story and by the end even the grumpiest tot can't help but crack a smile at the farmer and cow sharing cookies and milk. And the duck? He loves quackers, of course. When I was a child, my favorite weekly activity was going to the library with my grandfather. First, we would go to the park and swing to the sky. Grandpa's give the best pushes, you know. After running and sliding we would quietly walk hand in hand into the big brick building that was my town library. He would head to the right and the adult books, and I would walk off to the left, the children's room, where I knew my favorite Librarian Miss Melinda always had a special recommendation for me. She introduced me to Anne Shirley, Mary Lennox, Francie Nolan, and the Babysitters Club, characters that became my best friends and closest companions. It was a special day when she first handed me Betsy-Tacy by Maud Hart Lovelace. First, the cover was gorgeous, full of lace and curlicues, and girls in pinafores! Miss Melinda knew me well. She knew I loved series of books, where I could become absorbed in another world, and especially another time. Betsy Ray and Tacy Kelly were turn of the century girls who did not shy away from adventure. From climbing the big hill to venturing downtown, they took on every challenge with teamwork and a light hearted attitude, traits I think can serve us well throughout life. I make no secret of the fact that young adult fiction is my favorite genre. And Sarah Dessen is definitely my favorite YA author right now. Her characters are genuine, flawed and easy to relate to. Her stories aren't complicated, but they're realistic. Her latest, What Happened to Goodbye is the story of Mclean and her shifting personalities, but it could be anybody's story, even yours. I never understand how months ago when Sarah Dessen wrote and edited this book, she knew it was exactly what I needed to read at this time in my life. And I think that's what makes her books so special for me. They come along at a time when I need to know I'm not the only one out there that feels this way, I'm not the only one out there who has wondered that, or who has those thoughts. It makes my life less lonely, and I think when you're a teenager, that's all you're looking for.

5 Pair dallas’ recommendations from the Book Nook with the materials below to get your grow on: Want to learn more about agriculture and food culture in the United States? Check out the following books and websites. The following books also list several organizations, news articles and sources for further research: • "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life" by Barbara Kingsolver • "Fast Food Nation" by Eric Schlosser • "The Omnivore's Dilemma" by Michael Pollan www.eatwild.com www.localharvest.org www.vogaco.org

Colorado Crop Calendar apples (storage to June 1) apricots asparagus beets bell peppers broccoli cabbage cantaloupe carrots cauliflower celery cherries chile peppers cucumbers eggplant grapes green beans herbs honeydew lettuce (leaf and head) onions (to March 15, storage included) peaches pears pinto beans (all year) plums popcorn (all year) potatoes (all year) pumpkins raspberries rhubarb squash strawberries sweet corn tomatoes watermelon


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September 2011 Calendar of Events MONDAY

TUESDAY

WEDNESDAY

THURSDAY

FRIDAY

SATURDAY

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2

3

SUNDAY

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Norwood Farmer’s Market 9 am to 1 pm 1120 Summit • Norwood

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6

7

Montrose BOCC

San Miguel BOCC

Norwood Farmer’s Market

9:30 am • Telluride

9 am to 1 pm 1120 Summit • Norwood

9 am • Montrose

12

8

13

14

15

Town of Naturita Board Meeting

Montrose BOCC

Nucla/Naturita Area Chamber of Commerce

7 to 9 pm 222 E. Main • Naturita

10:30 am • Nucla

Town of Nucla Board Meeting

9

16

10

17

11

18

Norwood Farmer’s Market 9 am to 1 pm 1120 Summit • Norwood

7 to 8 pm 425 Main • Naturita

7 to 9 pm 320 Main • Nucla

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20

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Montrose BOCC

West End Public Schools Board

San Miguel BOCC

9 am • Montrose

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7:30 to 10:30 pm 336 Adams • Naturita

9:30 am • Telluride

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28

Town of Naturita Board Meeting

San Miguel BOCC

7 to 9 pm 222 E. Main • Naturita

9:30 am • Norwood

Town of Nucla Board Meeting 7 to 9 pm 320 Main • Nucla

22

23

24 Norwood Farmer’s Market 9 am to 1 pm 1120 Summit • Norwood

29

30

25


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Nonprofit Directory - Serving the West End Dolphin House - 7th Judicial Child Advocacy Center 735 South 1st Street Montrose, CO  81401 970-240-8655 Provides a safe non-threatening child friendly environment for interviewing child victims, assessments and referrals.

Ace of Norwood Located in the Livery Playhouse Norwood, CO 970-327-4016 Furthering opportunity for the arts and education to the communities of the west ends of San Miguel and Montrose counties.

Area Agency on Aging 300 N. Cascade Avenue, Suite 1 Montrose, CO  81401 970-249-2436 Providing valuable services and information for senior populations.

Basin Clinic 421 Adams Street Naturita, CO  81424 970-865-2665 Division of Montrose Memorial Hospital. Offers general practice medical treatment.

Center for Independence 1-800-613-2271 www.cfigj.org Helping people with disabilities.

Center for Mental Health 1350 Aspen Street #B Norwood, CO  81423 970-327-4449 Offering comprehensive mental health services 8 am to 5 pm Monday - Friday.

Montrose County HHS 851 Main Street Nucla, CO 81424 970-864-7319 Child Care Assistance, Medicaid, food stamps, general assistance, Child Protective Services, and many other public services.

Montrose County Housing Authority 222 Hap Court Olathe, CO  81425 970-323-5445 Assisting with housing for eligible individuals, families and seniors meeting income guidelines.

Naturita Community Library 107 West 1st Avenue Naturita, CO  81422 970-865-2848 www.facebook.com/NaturitaLibrary Thousands of pieces of reference materials, public computers and community programming.

Norwood Chamber of Commerce PO Box 116 Norwood, CO  81423 800-282-5988 Education and assistance for businesses and organizations.

Norwood Public Library 1110 Lucerne Street Norwood, CO  81423 970-327-4833 Open 11 am to 5 pm Monday through Saturday.

Nucla Naturita Area Chamber of Commerce 230 West Main Street Naturita, CO  81422 970-865-2350 Serving the Bedrock, Naturita, Nucla, Paradox and Redvale communities.

Nucla Public Library 544 Main Street Nucla, CO  81422 970-864-2166 Thousands of pieces of reference materials, public computers and community programming.

Rimrocker Historical Society PO Box 913 Nucla, CO  81424 Charged with collecting and preserving artifacts concerning the cultural and natural history of the West End of Montrose County. Dedicated to promoting awareness, understanding appreciation of the past and present.

San Miguel County HHS 1120 Summit Street Norwood, CO  81423 (970) 327-4885 Family Planning, Immunizations, Food Benefits, Medicaid, Child Care Assistance, County Wellness Program, Heat bill payment assistance (LEAP). All services are confidential and provided on a sliding scale base.

Small Business Development Center Western State College of Colorado 600 North Adams Street Taylor Hall 112 970-943-3159 Providing free, confidential business consulting services including legal formation, loan applications, marketing, business planning and access to capital.

Uncompahgre Medical Center 1350 Aspen Street Norwood, CO  81423 970-327-4233 Committed to providing quality, cost effective, accessible healthcare. Services include general healthcare, dental care and special programs with a focus on prevention.

West Montrose Economic & Community Development Organization Publisher@TheCommunityCatalyst.com Encouraging community collaboration for the betterment of our region.

Wright Stuff Community Foundation 1215 Summit Street Norwood, CO  81423 970-327-0555 Providing early and continuing educational opportunities to rural youth and families in southwest Colorado. To include your nonprofit or organization in this free listing, email your information to: Publisher@TheCommunityCatalyst.com


Preservation: Canning Tomatoes and Tomato Products

Written by P. Kendall • Colorado State University Cooperative Extension • www.ext.colostate.edu • Reprinted with permission • All rights reserved Tomatoes are the most widely home-canned product in the United States. They also are one of the most commonly spoiled home-canned products. The canning processes recommended in this fact sheet are the result of USDA research on safe home-canning procedures for tomatoes and tomato products. Tomato Acidity Although tomatoes are considered a high-acid food (pH below 4.6), certain conditions and varieties can produce tomatoes and tomato products with pH values above 4.6. When this happens, the product must be canned in a pressure canner as a low-acid product or acidified to a pH of 4.6 or lower with lemon juice or citric acid. Research has found several conditions that can reduce the acidity of tomatoes. These include decay or damage caused by bruises, cracks, blossom end rot or insects, and overripening. Tomatoes grown in the shade, ripened in shorter hours of daylight, or ripened off the vine tend to be lower in acidity than those ripened in direct sunlight on the vine. Also, tomatoes attached to dead vines at harvest are considerably less acidic than tomatoes harvested from healthy vines. Decayed and damaged tomatoes and those harvested from frost-killed or dead vines should not be home canned. To ensure safe acidity in whole, crushed or juiced tomatoes, add lemon juice or citric acid when processing in a boiling water bath. Add 2 tablespoons of bottled lemon juice or 1/2 teaspoon of citric acid per quart of tomatoes. For pints, use 1 tablespoon bottled lemon juice or 1/4 teaspoon citric acid. Acid can be added directly to the jars before filling with product. Add sugar to offset the taste, if desired. Four tablespoons of a 5 percent acidity vinegar per quart can be used instead of lemon juice or citric acid. However, vinegar may cause undesirable flavor changes. Process Carefully to Avoid Spoilage The most common reasons for spoilage in home-canned tomato products are underprocessing and incomplete seals. Tomatoes that have not been processed long enough to destroy molds and heat-resistant bacteria may spoil during storage. One of the common spoilage organisms, Bacillus coagulans, is very heat resistant and causes flat-sour spoilage. The jar lid may still be sealed and the product may appear normal, but the tomatoes will smell sour because of lactic acid produced by the growth of B. coagulans in the product. Never use tomatoes or tomato juices with off-odors. Molds can grow on the surface of improperly processed tomato products and may eventually reduce the acidity to a point where botulism-producing spores can grow and produce a deadly toxin. Because even minute amounts of botulism toxin can cause fatal illness, discard without tasting any canned products that show mold growth on the surface. Discard them where they cannot be eaten by other people or animals. The processing times in this fact sheet are designed to ensure sufficient destruction of bacteria and molds. Where appropriate, processing recommendations for both water bath and pressure canning are given. In general, a pressure canner results in higher quality and more nutritious canned tomato products.

Prepare Jars and Equipment Standard mason jars are recommended for home canning. Be sure all jars and closures are perfect. Discard any with cracks, chips, dents or rust. Defects prevent airtight seals. Wash jars in hot, soapy water and rinse well before using. Prepare metal lids as manufacturer directs. Prepare pressure canner or boiling water bath for canning as directed in fact sheet 9.347, Canning Fruits, or 9.348, Canning Vegetables. Prepare Tomatoes Select fresh, firm, ripe tomatoes. Do not can soft, overripe, moldy or decayed tomatoes or tomatoes harvested from dead or frost-killed vines. Green tomatoes are more acidic than ripened tomatoes and can be canned safely with any of the following recommendations. Wash tomatoes well and drain. Dip in boiling water for 30 to 60 seconds or until the skins split. Then dip in cold water. Use a sharp knife to cut out the stem and all of the white core beneath the stem. Peel off the skin. Trim off any bruised or discolored portions. For tomatoes packed in water, leave whole or cut in half. Add 2 tablespoons bottled lemon juice or 1/2 teaspoon citric acid to prepared quart jars. Use half this amount for pints. Add 1 teaspoon salt per quart to jars, if desired. Fill prepared jars with raw tomatoes to 1/2 inch of jar tops. Add hot water to within ½ inch of jar top. Close Jars and Process After jars are filled with food, remove trapped air bubbles, adjust the headspace, and clean the jar tops before processing. To remove trapped air bubbles, insert a nonmetallic spatula or knife between the food and the jar. Slowly turn the jar and move the spatula up and down to allow air bubbles to escape. Add more liquid if necessary to obtain the proper headspace (see recipes in Table 1). Wipe the jar rim with a clean, damp paper towel to remove any food particles. Place pretreated lid on the jar. Turn the screwband fingertip tight. The jars are now ready to process in a boiling water bath or pressure canner. See 9.347 for information on canning in a boiling water bath canner, or 9.348 for canning in a pressure canner. After processing, carefully remove jars from canner and place on rack, dry towel or newspaper. Allow jars to cool untouched, away from drafts, for 12 to 24 hours before testing seals. To test jar seals, press flat metal lids at the center of lid. It should be slightly concave and not move. Remove screwbands. Label sealed jars with contents, canning method and date. Store in a clean, cool, dry, dark place. Reference The Complete Guide to Home Canning. Agriculture Information Bulletin No. 539, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Extension Service. 1994. For more information: visit: http://www.ext.colostate.edu/pubs/foodnut/09341.pdf


The Community Catalyst Sept 2011