Sunday, October 21, 2012

Putting Up the Harvest Class at The Natural Gardener

Yesterday, Chef Michael Pearce and I gave a class at the Natural Gardener about preserving vegetables.  I'd gotten to know Mike over the years because he was a frequent customer at the nursery, always haunting the veggie house.  Besides being an avid veggie gardener, he's the executive chef for Ben E. Keith foods, designing their menu items and leading them into using more locally grown, organic produce (YAY, Mike!).  One day we got on the subject of drying tomatoes, something both of us were doing at the time, and an idea for a class was born.

Rosina put us on the schedule for October 20th (yesterday).  We talked for an hour to over fifty people about drying, freezing, canning, and making jellies and preserves.  Mike wrote a detailed handout for everyone to take home listing a LOT of great information, demonstrated how to cut the vegetables up so that they pack in the jars best, and talked at length about how to dry different things different ways, how to blanch then freeze most vegetables, and many more subjects.  I brought my pressure canner and antique jars to show and chimed in every now and again about canning, freezing, making jellies and water-bath canning tomatoes and jellies.

I was very excited to see how many people showed up.  It seems this is a subject many are interested in.  I think we'll do it again next year.

Chef Mike and I discussing lids and rings. 

Showing some of my canning equipment.

Chef Mike and I answering questions.

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