Week 16: Pickle extravaganza

We dedicated this week to learning food preservation techniques to process the bounty of our gardens into nourishing treats come wintertime.

We had the honor of having Jess, the Vermont Community Garden Network’s Executive Director, lead a hands-on canning workshop for both of the Community Teaching Garden classes.  Jess has been sharing her preserved food with VCGN staff for many years – from pickled beets, to habanero and carrot salsa, homemade ketchup, and juniper berry cherry jam – Jess is skilled in the world of canning.

Students brought in harvest from their gardens – mostly zucchini, summer squash, and cucumbers, but also a few peppers, string beans, and culinary herbs.  After an introduction on the canning process and a Q & A to respond to students’ worries about canning, Jess divided us up into several teams to wash, peel, chop, measure, stir, boil and prep all the necessary ingredients for making refrigerator pickles (the quick version that doesn’t require a boiling bath) and canned pickles (with cukes and mixed vegetables).

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Cucumber, summer squash, hot peppers, dill, carrots, and onions harvested from CTG gardens and ready to be preserved.

Students received an easy to follow handout with guidelines and recipes for canning vegetables.  We share that resource with you here – ctgcanninghandout-2016.

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The yellowish-tint to the brine comes from a few pinches of turmeric powder added for flavor…and color!

 

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