Hanover resident Sheree Bremner has visited the local cannery in the Taylor Park Complex two or three times a week since 1997, canning roughly 600 or 700 items a season, a craft passed onto her from her mother.
Sheree Bremner loads a tray of tomatoes into a blancher machine at the Hanover Cannery. The Hanover resident estimates she cans 600-700 items a season there.
According to Bremner, there are advantages to this traditional art of preserving fresh fruits and vegetables.
“It’s just more convenient because you can do a whole lot more at one time,” Bremner said.
She said she does not use any pesticides in her garden, which is nearby off of Route 54. All the food she processes at the cannery is organic and healthier because it does not have any preservatives.
The cannery was built in 1980, in part, to keep Hanover residents from having to travel to Caroline County to can their crops.
Rose Jennings, another Hanover citizen, helped get the facility started and assisted with keeping it up and running. Last fall she died, but those who frequent the cannery will always remember her and have paid tribute to her with a plaque hung up on the wall.
Bremner said Jennings actually introduced her to the local cannery.
At the time the cannery was built, Cannery Supervisor Carol Van Goor, who has worked there for 32 years, said the hobby was very popular and there were six facilities in Hanover County alone.
“One by one they closed,” Van Goor said.
Now there are only 13 in the state of Virginia, Van Goor said, but the Hanover cannery stays busy during its season, which begins July 1 and lasts through Halloween.
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