|Jenny's Red Currant jelly|
This summer and fall, the Local Food in the Kitchen workshops series will show locals how to preserve seasonal food from the peak of the harvest for the long Kootenay winter.
“There is plenty of local food available in the East Kootenay” said Cranbrook Food Action Committee’s Shannon Duncan, ”but it can be hard to eat local over the winter without the knowledge to turn seasonal food into preserved food.”
“And no one wants to eat the same thing all winter” added Wildsight’s Jessica Windle, “but with traditional techniques like fermentation, you can make a huge variety of tasty and nutritious preserved foods from simple ingredients.”
Local Food in the Kitchen workshops will cover six areas of food preservation: dehydrating, canning, pickling, making drinks, fermentation, and meat preservation, plus foraging in the wild for local ingredients. The series, put on by Wildsight and CFAC, runs on six evenings from , with sessions in both Kimberley and Cranbrook.
“The workshop series is an exploration of traditional and modern techniques to transform seasonal, local food into nourishing foods for the pantry.” said Windle. “Preserved foods - the only way that our ancestors could feed themselves consistently - are such an important part of many cultures. So many of the flavours from around the world that we love come from preserved foods and we are starting to rediscover the health benefits of traditionally fermented foods.”
“But preserving food doesn’t have to be complex” added Duncan, “and our workshops will give people hands-on experience so they can start preserving at home.”
The workshop series follows the seasons, with each workshop focusing on preserving local food that’s in season at the time of the workshop, so participants can leave inspired to start preserving immediately. The series runs evenings in Kimberley and evenings in Cranbrook, from . The workshops schedule is broken into summer and fall sessions:
1. Foraging & Dehydrating: Respectfully foraging for berries and herbs. Dehydrated backpacking meals.
2. Canning the Sweet Stuff: Canning fruit and jam.
3. Pickling: Beyond Cucumbers. Garden veggies you can pickle.
4. Homemade Vinegars & Drinks: Apple cider vinegar, herb-infused vinegars. Teas, decoctions, and infusions.
5. Gourmet Fermentation: Fermented condiments: gourmet relish, chutney, and sauces
6. Meat Preservation: Jerky and pressure canning. Local sources of meat.
Workshop details and registration are online at wildsight.ca/localkitchen or by phone at 250 427 2535 x223. The workshop cost is $20 per workshop or the full series of six for $100. The workshop cost includes supplies, so participants will take something preserved home from each workshop. Participants are asked to register by the before each workshop to help the organizers plan ahead to buy ingredients.
“With the success of the Kimberley and Cranbrook Farmers’ Markets and the growing interest in backyard food gardening, the next step for many is preserving local food so that they can enjoy the harvest all winter” said Duncan.
Funding for this project has been provided by the Real Estate Foundation of BC and the Community Food Action Initiative, in cooperation with Interior Health.