Next up in G.A.L.A. & JMB’s monthly Re-skill-ience workshop series is Preserving Your Harvest with Ann Hamilton from the UNH Cooperative Extension takes place on Wednesday, September 2nd at the Kingswood Youth Center. Ann has been a Field Specialist in food safety with UNH Cooperative Extension’s Food & Agriculture team since 1988. Participants of the workshop will learn about the latest research-based methods and recipes, have questions answered, and share experiences about preserving food safely at home, using a boiling-water canner, and using a pressure canner. If time allows, the group will also cover the basics of freezing and drying foods. Participants will gain hands-on experience in making pickles and an apple-pear jam, which means there will be yummy treats to take home!
Since the beginning of time people have has searched for ways to preserve the life of food as a basic means of survival. Before the concept of food preservation developed
humans traveled from location to location in search of fresh foods, a way of living we refer to as hunter gatherer. Food had to be eaten almost immediately after it was either killed in instances of animal meat or not long after harvesting for fruits and vegetables.
Some of the earliest methods of food preservation include freezing, drying, curing, and fermenting, many of which are still used today even though food preservation technology has greatly expanded. Pickling is now among the most popular methods of food preservation, a process consisting of using acids, such as vinegar, to oxidize bacteria in food so it will not cause illness when consumed. Canning and preserving foods with sugar or honey is also popular. Nowadays the technology includes heating, ultra high water pressure, osmotic inhibition and other complex methods.
This Preserving Your Harvest workshop led by Ann Hamilton will focus on pickling and learning how to use a boiling-water canner. Ann has been a Field Specialist in food safety with UNH Cooperative Extension’s Food & Agriculture team since 1988. She works with individuals, farmers and the food service industry to improve safe food handling practices and reduce the risk of food-borne illnesses. In her spare time, she does enjoy canning jams, pickles and applesauce.
Participants of the workshop will learn about the latest research-based methods and recipes, have questions answered, and share experiences about preserving food safely at home, using a boiling-water canner, and using a pressure canner. If time allows, the group will also cover the basics of freezing and drying foods. Participants will also gain hands-on experience on making pickles and an apple-pear jam, which means there will be yummy treats to take home!
Still need a few more reasons why food preservation is a great skill to learn? Here are 10 taken from www.foodpreservation.org:
1. Long-term storage of fresh produce (12 months+) without needing a refrigerator or freezer.
2. Environmentally friendly – using seasonally grown and locally sourced fresh produce, re-use preserving jars, reducing food packaging and reducing food miles.
3. Save money by buying or growing in bulk and seasonally.
4. Flavor! Home canned food won’t contain artificial preservatives, BPA or other artificial ingredients. You have complete control over what goes in your canned delights.
5. Convenience – ready to serve in minutes.
6. Community involvement – both the canning process and sharing with family, friends and neighbors. Teach skills to the next generation.
7. Gifts – nothing beats a homemade jam for a present!
8. Prepare for emergencies and/or illness.
9. Personal satisfaction. Create new flavor combinations that you cannot buy in your local store – learn how to use canned food in cooking dishes (ie marmalade in a stir-fry).
10. Learn more skills like how to use all of the fruit and reduce food wastage. For example: apples – make apple slices (or pie filling), extract juice from the peels and cores. G.A.L.A. and JMB’s Preserving Your Harvest workshop takes place from 6:00pm to 8:00pm, at the Kingswood Youth Center located at Center 565 Center St, Wolfeboro, NH 03894. The workshop costs $15 for admission plus a $5 materials fee for a total of $20 per person. Pre-registration is required at HERE.