Free Kimberley workshops for food preservation

Learn about dehydration, canning and more at fall workshop series.

Everyone with a garden would like to see this when they open the pantry. Free Kimberley workshops will show you how.

A number of Kimberley people enjoyed the Growing Communities Project offered by Wildsight and coordinated by Jessica Windle this past summer. The focus of the program was the edible garden and all the wonderful things Kimberley gardeners are doing to grow vegetables in this particular climate.

The fruits, and veggies, of their labours will be the topic of several upcoming workshops offered by the Growing Community Project. Windle will be facilitating these Food Preservation Workshops which will take your through dehydrating, canning, pickling and more. And the workshops are all free.

The workshops are being held at McKim School and anyone interested is invited to register through COTR Kimberley. Call 427-7116 ext 3752 or email kimberley@cotr.bc.ca

Windle says the workshops will be very hands-on and aimed at making the skills of food preservation less intimidating.

The first workshop is tomorrow, Tuesday, September 18, 2012. It’s title is Dry It – You Might Like It.  It will run 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. at McKim.

Thousands of years ago, man began preserving food through dehydration.  It began with drying meat and berries to last through the winter; now dehydrating is a culinary art of its own resulting in delicious teas, fruit leathers, and even whole meals to be rehydrated on a weeknight (or in the backcountry).  This workshop will look at different methods and types of dehydrators to make sure you get the most from this year’s local harvest.

Next up on September 25 is If We Can, You Can, again  7:30-9:30pm at McKim School

Armed with some inexpensive equipment and a bit of knowledge, canning doesn’t have to be difficult.  Yes, it can be a lot of work, but in this group workshop many hands will make light work.  The workshop will look at the different types of canning equipment and where to get it, then we’ll work through two great recipes for preserving the gardener’s most cherished harvest – the tomato.

Windle is particularly excited about this one as her mother will help her facilitate.

“She’s coming over from the Okanagan. She’s a pretty experienced canner.”

On October 2, pickling and fermenting will be the topics.

Fermenting is a method of food preservation as old as time, with traditional dishes found around the globe.  Fermented foods are gaining renewed popularity due to their digestive aiding properties.  This workshop will look at a simple recipe for making a popular and healthy condiment – sauerkraut.  Additionally, it will look at the newer method of pickling food in a canner.

And on October 9 it’s time for Apple Fest.

This workshop is all about the apples.  We’ll celebrate the end of harvest season and use various methods to preserve the bounty of fresh local apples.  A commercial size apple grinder and press will make gallons of delicious juice, while the dehydrators will be humming making healthy winter snack food.

Register soon for these free workshops as Windle says they are filling up fast.