Canning, Pickling and Preserving: A Monthlong Workshop
Not since the days of Victory Gardens have these homely kitchen skills had such currency, thanks to the convergence, presumably, of the gardening craze, the locavore movement, and the economic meltdown. Even last summer, when we all still had robust 401Ks, classes in these three nearly-lost arts were sell outs. Which is why we are getting on it early this year: The time to sign up is now.
Throughout Berkshire County during the month of September, Berkshire Grown, in partnership with local restaurants, food purveyors and other partners, will present Preserving the Bounty: Canning, Pickling and Keeping the Harvest, a series of workshops that will instruct participants in how to get the most out of their gardens and/or the seasonal bounty at the farmers’ markets. Those who learned to can at grandma’s knee should seriously consider taking a refresher before they embark again—food science has progressed and methods have changed dramatically in recent years. At these hands-on workshops, conducted by experts, novices will learn everything from how to buy and/or harvest produce, to proper sterilization and sealing, etc.
All workshop dates, class fees, session leaders, and other specifics, vary, depending on the venue. One constant: Storey Publishing, which is headquartered at MASS MoCA, will supply each workshop with free copies of The Beginner’s Guide To Preserving Food at Home.
“Preserving is becoming popular because people want to eat locally grown food throughout the year,” says Barbara Zheutlin, executive director of Berkshire Grown. “Preserving the Bounty will strengthen the connection between the public and the local farmers and farm-to-table restaurants.”
Nine establishments conduct these workshops, each designed by the host. Participants may sign up for a single session or for as many as they like.
For the particulars on each of the workshops and to sign up, visit Berkshire Grown. We suggest that you revisit the site often, as the details continue to trickle in. Enrollment is limited.