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Colorado State University Extension operates in partnership with the El Paso County Community Services Division to provide non-credit programming to local citizens.

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2021 El Paso County Extension Classes and Workshops

We offer a variety of classes and hands-on workshops in El Paso County throughout the year. They range from consumer education in home gardening, food preservation, and safety to backyard beekeeping. We also offer workforce certification courses in Cottage Foods, Landscaping and Agriculture business development. Check back often to find classes we are offering at locations throughout the county. 

All classes will be located at the Colorado State University Extension Office (unless otherwise specified)
17 N. Spruce Street
2nd Floor
Colorado Springs, CO 80905

Click on each class date to register

Pre-registration required on all classes.

Class Feature

Lunch and Learn Classes

Each webinar will take place at noon on Wednesdays, and will cost $10.  To register, please go to our Eventbrite page:

Don’t worry if you can’t make the live class – we will be recording each session, and will send a link after the class, so you can watch it at your leisure (or watch it again if you watched live).

February 24 – Gardening with Raised Beds

Raised bed gardens can help you garden more successfully. Learn about different ways to build them, soil requirements, watering, and more.

Click on class date to register.

Dining with Diabetes Class Series

What is Dining with Diabetes?

Dining with Diabetes is a Colorado State University Research and Extension health and wellness program that consist of a series of four virtual classes that includes learning, video demonstrations, physical activity and how to prepare healthy foods. The program’s focus is to help individuals learn strategies to lessen the health risks of diabetes.

The program is a series of four 2-hour classes that are held once a week. Classes consist presentations on healthful food choices, tasty and healthy familiar foods, and video demonstrations of cooking techniques, using artificial sweeteners, reduced-fat foods, herbs, and spices.

Program Objectives

• Increase knowledge about healthy foods

• Present healthy versions of familiar foods and taste testing of recipes

• Demonstrate new cooking techniques

• Provide basic information regarding diabetes and nutrition

• Provide opportunities for sharing and learning from one another

Who can participate?

The program is designed for people with diabetes and their family members, caregivers, and support persons.

Cost is free with a limited number of registrations.

Dates: April 20, 27, May 4, May 11 (Tuesdays, 10:00am to 12:00pm)

Produce Safety Alliance Grower Training Course

The PSA Grower Training Course is one way to satisfy the Food Safety Modernization Act Produce Safety Rule.

Who Should Attend?  According to the Produce Safety Alliance, any “Fruit and vegetable growers and others interested in learning about produce safety, the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule, Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs), and co-management of natural resources and food safety. 

Date: February 25 and 26, 2021 (Thursday and Friday) – Online

Pre-registration required. Registration closes on February 12, 2021 at 10:00pm. No refunds.

Click on class date to register.

Home Food Preservation: Water Bath Canning

From preserving your garden harvest to putting up locally purchased produce, canning is a great way to preserve the season’s bounty. With rising levels of food insecurity, canning is not only important but can serve as a solution to food challenges. Unlike baking, home canning requires knowledge of the science behind food preservation. In this introductory class, participants will learn about the risk of botulism, an overview of proper techniques, and a review of the proper tools for canning.

After attending this class you will be able to safely can high acid foods such as fruit, salsa, pickles, tomatoes, jams, jellies and more. 

Pre-registration required. Registration closes on March 16th at 5:00 pm. No refunds.

Date: March 17, 2021 (Noon-1:00pm) – Online

Date: April 21, 2021 (Noon-1:00pm) – Online

Date: May 5, 2021 (Noon-1:00pm) – Online

Click on class date to register.

Cottage Foods Food Safety Certification – Online

Now offering online training to acquire a 3-year certification. Training provides information in:

  • Foods permissible in the Colorado Cottage Foods Act
  • Ingredient labeling requirements
  • Basic Food Safety
  • Temperature control for food preparation
  • Storage, transport and sales
  • Special considerations for food preparation at high altitude

Date: March 3, 2021 (Wednesday, Noon-3:30pm) – Online

Date: March 29, 2021 (Monday, 5:30pm-9:00pm) – Online

Date: April 22, 2021 (Thursday, Noon-3:30pm) – Online

Cost: $40.00 – 3-year certification

Click on the date to register for the class.

Seed to Salsa Series – Online

The Seed to Salsa Series is a three-part series.

We will take you on a journey through your home garden and kitchen.

Along the way, you will learn tips and tricks regarding planting, growing, and caring for your own SALSA GARDEN.Your journey and hard work will culminate with a class in which you will LEARN TO MAKE SALSA using your homegrown(or market-purchased) goodies!

The classes are being taught by Colorado State University Extension – El Paso County professionals with decades of combined experience in growing and preserving food.

You may sign up for all three classes at once and receive a “frequent flier” discount, or you can sign up for individual classes that interest you.

The 2021 Seed to Salsa classes will include:

  1. March 9: Getting Your Salsa Garden Started (indoor seed starting and growing tips)
  2. July 6: Growing Concerns and Troubleshooting For Your Salsa Garden
  3. August 24: The Fruits Of Your Labor – LET’S MAKE SALSA!

Click here to register!

Pre-registration is required. Registration closes at 9:00 am on the day of the class. Refunds are not available.

Home Food Preservation: Jam Technique Class

This Jam Technique class will teach you how to make and preserve flavorful jam. Feel confident and proud to give your homemade fruit jam to friends and family. You will learn tested and researched based techniques to safely process and can jams. Covers water-bath canning basics to ensure safe preservation. 

Date: March 16, 2021 (Noon-1:00pm) – Online

Date: May 12, 2021 (Noon-1:00pm) – Online

Pre-registration required. Registration closes on March 15th, 2021 at 5:00 pm. No refunds.

Home Food Preservation: Pickling Technique Class

The Pickling Technique Class will teach you how to pickle vegetables, fruit and summer relish.  You will learn tested and researched based techniques to safely pickle.  Covers water-bath canning basics to ensure safe preservation.

Date: April 7, 2021 (Noon-1:00pm) – Online

Date: May 10, 2021 (Noon-1:00pm) – Online

Pre-registration required. Registration closes on May 9th at 10:00pm. No refunds.

Food Safety Works Certification –
Online/Self-guided: Free

The Food Safety Works safe food handler certificate training teaches entry-level food workers how to safely handle, prepare and store food. This certification is taught online and is self-guided. Participants with a passing score receive a safe food handler certificate valid for two (2) years.

Benefits for Food Service Workers:

  • Increase in confidence and motivation to handle food safely.
  • Improve knowledge and awareness of ways to prevent foodborne illness.
  • Valued by employers.
  • Great incentives towards job promotions.
  • Benefits for your business.
  • Take pride in being proactive in preventing foodborne illness.
  • Increase consumer confidence – show that you value safety.
  • Increase employee pride and teamwork in serving food.
  • Increase likelihood of improved inspections.

Once registered, participants will receive a confirmation email from Eventbrite which will have the website address and password to access the Food Safety Works Certification materials. You can download presentation slides, watch training video, and access link to exam. Once exam is completed and scored you will receive an email with your certificate valid for 2 years.

Registration is on-going and class can be started and completed anytime for FREE.

Date: Anytime

Pressure Canner Gauge Testing

Testing your pressure canner dial gauge annually is vital in keeping your pressure canned products safe. Gauges that read high cause under-processing and may result in unsafe food. Low readings cause over-processing.

You can purchase your pressure canner gauge testing with or without The Complete Guide to Home Canning USDA Book.

Brands that can be tested: National, Magic Seal, Maid of Honor, and Presto

After you have purchased a ticket you will be contacted to schedule a time for testing at the El Paso County Extension Office located in Colorado Springs.

Date: Anytime

Keeping ahead of COVID-19

This rapidly evolving coronavirus (COVID-19) has imposed an unsettling, fluid situation upon our community and its businesses. While the team here still aims to maintain a “business as usual” approach, we are making a number of significant changes to our operations to account for a situation that is far from normal.