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Ashley Introduces Herself and The Food Preservation Blog

Welcome to my blog! “Who are you?” you may ask? Well, I’m Ashley Lichtenbarger, Minnetrista’s education manager, here to bring canning tips and techniques straight to you. I am also a crafter, canner, walker, and owner of an adorable dog. She’s a Heinz 57—a new breed I came up with just for her! Now, as much as I’d love this blog to be all about my dog, we have other things to talk about…

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I’m here to talk to you about food preservation and all topics that relate to this subject. My personal ties to food preservation go back my childhood, spanning my entire lifetime. I grew up on a farm where freezing and canning were normal summer activities. My family always had jars of tomatoes, peaches, and jellies in the basement, as well as freezers full of peas, beans, and corn. All of this was normal for me, however, it was not something I personally invested in after leaving home until just before I began working at Minnetrista. I began to realize the value in preserving foods at the peak of growing season: the taste is far superior, you can use local produce, and the price is often just right.

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Minnetrista has a strong tie to food preservation. The Ball brothers and their families were known for patenting and making Ball canning jars, and the legacy continues to this day at Minnetrista. The Ball Corporation is the go-to company for food preservation information and materials. Check out their website at At Minnetrista, we work to continue the food preservation legacy that was established by the Ball family.

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There are many fun opportunities to learn about how to keep and store your food so that you will have enough to use year-round. Minnetrista hosts a Canning Experience booth at summer Farmers Market, where visitors can stop by to get a glimpse of preservation techniques and taste yummy recipes. If you’d like to delve a bit deeper into the canning process and learn how to preserve your own food, we have canning workshops once a month—May through November—where you can work with others in a fun setting to try out new recipes and make your very own canned food jar to take home. Check out to register for one of these exciting workshops.

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If you are interested in food preservation, or think it’s something that you might like to know more about, check back in to this blog the first Thursday of every month. I’ll be highlighting different recipes, techniques, and tools just for you. Hope to see you here!  

Feel free to ask any questions about me or food preservation in the comments!