Archive for August 12th, 2010

Food Storage and Preservation Class Syllabus

Sharon August 12th, 2010

This is the the time of year for most of us when everything is ripe and abundant in our gardens and at local farms, and learning to put food up can make it possible for you to enjoy summer in winter, and continue eating locally as long as possible. It can be overwhelming when you start preserving, so if you’d like a friendly voice to walk you through it, please join us.

The class is on-line and asynchronous, and you can participate at your own pace. Every week we’ll have projects involving what’s overflowing in our gardens and markets to get you familiar with the basics of preserving the harvest, and also help you build up food security by building up a reserve of stored food.

My hope is that at the end of the class, everyone will have a plan for how they want to go about increasing their food storage reserves, and will have tried the major methods of food storage. You will be able to watch the jars increase as the class goes on.

Here’s a rough syllabus:

Week 1, August 17 - Introduction to Food Storage, How much, where to put it, and how? Can I afford this? Low energy overview of food preservation methods. Storing Water, making space.

Week 2, August 24: Water bath canning 101, Preserving with Salt, Sugar and Honey, Bulk purchasing, sourcing local foods, finding food to preserve, what food storage can and can’t do.

Week 3, August 31: Dehydration basics, Tools you need and where to get them, Menu making and how to get people to eat from your pantry, Setting up your kitchen for food storage, Storing herbs and spices, Sourdoughs and grain ferments, Preserving foraged foods.

***September 7 No Class, Rosh Hashana and Instructor elsewhere ;-) ***

Week 4 September 14: Lactofermentation; Special needs and health issues; Storing food for children, pregnant and lactating women; Storing medications, gluten-free storage; Basic dairy preservation; Building up your pantry and Managing your reserves.

Week 5, September 21: Pressure Canning; Beverages, Teas and Drinks; Preserving in Alcohol, Coops and Community Food Security; More Menus and Recipes; Root Cellaring and in-Garden Storage.

Week 6, September 28: Season extension, Preserving Meats, Sprouting, The next Steps, Getting Your Community Involved, Teaching others, Food Preservation as a Cottage Industry.

We will try and track the seasonal produce coming in, support each other as we experiment with new techniques and build up our pantries as we go - and have a lot of fun! If you are interested in joining, cost of the class is $150 or equivalent barter. I also have three scholarship spots remaining for low income participants who would otherwise be unable to afford to take the class. If you’d like to donate to the scholarship fund, just let me know - 100% of your donation goes to making classes available to low income participants. Email me to enroll or with questions at [email protected].


Updating the Site

admin August 12th, 2010

I promised you all more time and attention, and that this site would become more farm-focused.  Both things are happening, and you’ll notice that new stuff is popping up here, and old stuff being updated and made new again.  Please feel free to go ‘splorin’ and let me know what you think. 

Also, if anyone would like to barter a bit, I could use some help on the update, particularly setting up the farm store and some other bits and pieces.  Email me at [email protected] - I’d be happy to barter class registration, books or something else!

I was also thinking, speaking of barter, about trying to put up a barter page on this site.  I would need some ongoing help with that, but would you folks be interested if I could manage it?  The page would allow you to post what you’ve got and where you are and either set up in-person exchanges or allow barter-by-mail.  This would enable folks who all have me in common ;-) to get to know who else is in your area, and maybe share resources and do some community building.  Anyone interested?  Anyone have the desire to manage the technical details - this would be one I’d have to put more or less permanently in someone else’s hands, since I’m your average techno-moron.

Anyway, let me know what you think of the redesign and the forthcoming definite and prospective changes.  Is there anything else you’d like to see?  Again, make plenty of allowences for my lack of skill in this area. ;-)