Have you ever wanted to can tomatoes, freeze berries, dry herbs, or pickle cucumbers, beets and carrots? If so, now's the time to look into getting some training so that you'e ready for the 2014 harvest.
If you've never done it before, preserving produce can seem daunting. But, with a little instruction and some basic supplies, you'll find that preserving produce can open up a whole new aspect of your culinary world. There are three main benefits to preserving your own produce.
- Sharing: Preserving food is a wonderful way to connect with friends and family - because, as they say "many hands makes small work." This can be a time where food traditions are built and nurtured. It's also a great opportunity to teach children about where food comes from, food science and food safety.
- Eating locally and seasonally: Home food preservation is a great way to take advantage of the local harvest. Locally grown produce is most affordable and nutritious at the height of the growing season.
- Savings: Preserving food at home can save money, especially if you have free access to a garden, fruit tree or berry bush and volunteer your own labour.
Whether you're just starting out, or simply wanting to bone up on your skills, taking a food preservation workshop is a good idea. Check out the workshop listings at your local community centre, community kitchen or food security organization. If you want to learn how to lead food preservation workshops check out the train-the-trainer workshop listings at the organizations listed below.
Learn how to be a food preservation workshop leader:
Preserving produce can be a truly rewarding activity that gets you up close and personal with your food. It takes a bit of effort, but having great tasting local food stocked up in your pantry or freezer in the dead of winter makes it all worthwhile.
Produce Preservation Program
Greater Vancouver Food Bank: Community Kitchens
US National Center for Home Food Preservation
Canadian Diabetes Association: Food Skills for Families