It’s the time of year when the days get longer, the crocuses start to bloom, and intrepid gardeners put in their peas. And as our larders from last year grow thin, we start to think about how, what, and how much to preserve from the coming year’s harvest. This projecting business is the hardest part—how many jars of pickled beets do I really need? Why on earth didn’t we can twice as many tomatoes as we did? How is it possible that we ran out of frozen kale? And who knew that the dried zucchini would hold up so well?
Learning strategies for putting up food is more fun in a group. I know I’m still learning—never more so than when I teach. On June 10–12, I’ll once again be teaching a three-day food preservation workshop on the peaceful grounds of the Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, New York. We’ll cover not only the basic techniques of water bath canning, pressure canning, dehydrating, and fermenting, but the ever-so-important questions of how to decide which technique to apply to which foods. We’ll talk about finding reasonable ways to integrate food preservation into our lives and share strategies for estimating amounts.