Is there anything better than eating produce at the peak of the season? It’s ripe, juicy and bursting with flavor. Lucky for us, many farms have canned and preserved their bounty so we can eat it all year long. But have you ever wondered how they do it? Believe it or not, you can learn how to preserve the bounty yourself. There are classes across the state that will teach you everything you need to know to have a taste of the fall any time of year.
Put a Lid On It
If you’re part of a CSA, have an extremely productive garden or have a neighbor who does, it’s time to learn how to preserve the season’s crop. Head down to the Ocean House in Watch Hill for their Introduction to Water Bath Canning
class. Just as summer is waning and fall is rearing her cool and crisp head, learn how to slice and dice your way to enjoying the harvest all winter (or year) long. Reserve by calling. $95 per person plus tax and gratuity, includes Ocean House apron and recipes.
Can, Dry, Freeze, Repeat
If you’d like more produce preservation options to choose from, head over to the Food Preservation and Demonstration Workshop at the Cross Mills Public Library in Charlestown. You’ll learn how to can using both a hot water bath and pressure canning, how to properly freeze food for long-term storage and how to dry various edibles. The techniques learned are safe and will ensure your food maintains its high quality and flavor. The workshop is presented by Nicole Richard and Sejal Lanterman from the Food Safety Education Program of the University of Rhode Island. And if you enjoy the workshop, Nicole and Sejal can host a demonstration at any indoor facility that meets the electrical requirements.
Registration required. September 17. 6:30-8pm. Cross Mills Public Library, 4417 Old Post Road, Charlestown. 401-364-6211, www.crossmills.org, web.uri.edu/foodsafety/foodpreservation
Pick and Preserve
Join the masterful bakers at Ellie’s Bakery in Providence for a day of Apple Picking and Preserving. You’ll meet at a local farm for a tour and a bit of history about the orchard. Then you’ll have the opportunity to pick a few bushels before you return to the bakery where you’ll have individualized instruction on how to make farm fresh apple butter and how to preserve it (and any jams) in a mason jar. Reservations required. $85 per student. September 27. 2-5pm. This class takes place in two locations: An area farm and at Ellie’s Bakery.
61 Washington Street, Providence. 401-228-8118, www.elliesbakery.com
Extend the Growning Season
As autumn turns to winter and then to spring, you can keep the productivity of your garden going with a few easy steps. Cluck! RI is hosting a Get Framed! workshop where they will teach you how to build a cold frame. This frame shelters tender shoots, stems and fruits against the harsh cold and will keep you returning to your garden time and time again for fresh produce. Wendy Milne and Wright Deter will host the workshop and teach everything you need to know to extend your own backyard harvest. Pre-registration required. $10 ages 13+. Children welcome with paying adult.
October 4. 2-3:30pm. 399 Broadway, Providence. 401-274-1160, www.cluckri.com
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