Archive for April 5th, 2010

Food Storage and Preservation Class Syllabus

Sharon April 5th, 2010

There is still space in my upcoming (starts April 15) Food Storage and Preservation Online class, for those who are interesting. If you’ve wanted to start preserving or building up a food reserve and have no idea how to start, or perhaps you learned to can once upon a time, but want to explore the full range of food preservation options, or you’ve joined a CSA and want to know what to do with all that food you are getting, or cut your grocery bills – this is the class for you. Each class includes a couple of practical projects for you to try out each week.

The class is offered asynchronously online, which means that you go at your own pace and don’t have to be online at any particular time. Cost of the class is $150 for six weeks, or equivalent barter, and I thanks to a generous donor, I have one additional scholarship spot for a low-income participant who wouldn’t be able to join in otherwise. Email me if you’d like to apply.

Here’s the class syllabus. Email me [email protected] to sign up or ask further questions.

Thursday, April 15: Introduction, Food Preservation vs. Food Storage, Getting organized, Sourcing bulk food and preserving quantities, Setting up the Kitchen for Preserving, Equipment you Don’t Need, Equipment You Might Need, Eating what You Store.

Practicum: Planning Your Food Storage, The Menu Project

Thursday, April 22: Low Cost Strategies for Building a Reserve, Community Resources and How to Find Them, Getting Started with Canning. Condiments, Part I Year Round Food Preservation, Menu ideas.

Practicum: Water Bath Canning and Wonderful Condiments

Thursday, April 29: Foodie Food Storage; Special Circumstances, Special Diets; Meals Kids will Eat; Getting Loved Ones on Board, Herbs and Spice Mixes, Teas and Beverages, Introduction to Dehydration

Practicum: Dehydrating and making Spice MIxes and Teas

Thursday, May 6: Bulk and Local Sourcing, Storing Medications and other non-food supplies, Foraging and Preserving Foraged Foods, Teas and Beverages, Introduction to Lactofermentation, Pressure Canning 101

Practicum: Pressure Canning Without Fear and Pickling with Lactofermentation

Thursday, May 13: Planning the Harvest, Food Storage and Preservation as a Cottage Industry, Teaching Others, Storing Water, Root Cellaring and Season Extension, Setting Up a “Root Cellar” when you don’t have one, Preserving in Alcohol

Practicum: Root Cellaring and Making Liqueurs

Thursday May 20: Food Storage and Community Issues, “But Won’t the Marauders Come and Take It?” Food Preservation and Ways of Reducing Food Waste, Menus Part II, Basic Dairying, Preserving in Salt, Wrap Up, Developing Your Battle-Cry.

Practicum: Simple Cheese and Herb-Salts

This class should be a lot of fun – this was my first ever online class, and I’ve now run it almost 10 times, and it is simply a blast! I hope you can join us!

Independence Days Update: Spring In Force

Sharon April 5th, 2010

I know it is going to go away – the long range forecast mentions snow for next weekend, but it is hard not to feel some trust in spring once the daffodils bloom and the peepers are awake.  The blog has been quiet both because we were engrossed the Passover holiday and also because we had a sudden, temporary burst of late spring in very early spring – it hit 80 here on Saturday.  The last few days, besides celebrations and such have been full of things like putting the plants out to harden off a bit, digging, and cleaning out the barn after a long winter. 

The pop up greenhouses are up to cover the first spring greens.  The barn is gradually getting emptied.  New garden beds are being built and old ones are being reframed.  The driveway needs gravel and we need new fences for the goats.  The first baby rabbits were born yesterday, and hens are setting.  The sorrel is up and even the tips of the asparagus are poking through.  The kids are running around naked and spraying each other with the hose.  The clotheline is back up and things are going apace.  Busy, but wonderful.

One of the things that happens in the spring is that everything comes in fits and starts and bursts of chaos – you have a week of weather like this one and have to fit in every thing that needs doing, and then you have a week of enforced inactivity when things get cold and wet again.  Spring is like that – too cold, too wet, too busy…oh, crap gotta get it all done today.   But who can complain.  Sure, the house suffers, but who even goes into the house when it is 75 and sunny?

We’re also going into the end-of-term rush for Eric, which means that he’s preoccupied with other things, so the planning and organizing and primary work usually falls on me (although he rather chivalrously has done all the worst of the barn cleaning and pretends he enjoys it ;-) ).  I don’t mind working alone, though – or rather not alone, because the boys all help.  They love to dig holes, transplant seedlings and plant seeds.  Asher saves every seed he finds.  They also alert me to all the latest changes – the blooming forsythia, the garter snakes coming out of their nest under the porch, the return of the barn swallows. Sometimes they make life easier, sometimes harder, but it is a family affair, this spring madness, and a delight.

Plant something: Seeded: beets, carrots, kale, mache, peas, sweet peas, alyssum, ageratum, chard.  Transplanted mint, thyme, sage, garlic chives.  Potted up many, many tomatoes, eggplant and peppers.

Harvest something – first sorrel of the season, first shoots of Good King Henry, eggs, milk.

Preserve something – nope.

Waste Not: Gave away much food for Passover, cleaned out chametz and fed it to various things, cleaned out barn and used manures to feed garden, used old feed bags as mulch plus the usual.

Want Not: Acquired way too much matzah.  Fortunately, it lasts forever, and how can you even tell if it goes stale? ;-)

Eat the Food: I’m just not giving out matzah recipes this late in the holiday ;-) .

Build Community Food Systems: Nothing much, except for donating a lot of chametz.

How about you?