Enjoy the fruits and vegetables of your garden — and your hunting and gathering — year-round. Local experts share basic techniques that will help preserve the flavor and nutritive value of your harvest.
There are three more classes in Classroom in Bloom’s DirtWorks series. All classes are Saturday mornings from 9 to 10:30 a.m.
Saturday, Aug. 13: Seed Saving. Learn how to save seeds at home with Anaka Mines of Twisp River Seed. Mines will teach basic flower anatomy, how each flower makes seeds, and provide tips and techniques for collecting and cleaning seeds. Learn which crops are easy to collect seed from, which ones are more challenging, and why. Class held at Twisp River Seed, at 47 Bond Lane off Twisp River Road.
Saturday, Sept. 17: Preserving the Harvest. Chef and farmer Cameron Green will demonstrate how she uses her culinary skills to preserve the harvest. Class held at the Willowbrook Farm kitchen in Carlton.
Saturday, Oct. 15: Wood-fire Cooking. Explore the art of using a wood-fired cob oven to bake breads and pizza and to roast root vegetables and meats. Taught by Classroom in Bloom Executive Director Kate Posey and staff. Class held at the Classroom in Bloom garden on the Methow Valley School District campus.
The DirtWorks series is cosponsored by the Methow Conservancy. Fees are on a sliding scale, from $10 to $30 per person. To register or for more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or follow the link on the Classroom in Bloom website at www.classroominbloom.org.
The Washington State University Extension is also offering a series of low-cost classes in food preservation. The classes are for people just starting out and for those who want a refresher to be sure their preserved foods are safe. Classes are taught by Margaret Viebrock, an educator with the extension.
All extension classes meet from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the Okanogan County Public Utility District auditorium in Okanogan.
Tuesday, Aug. 23: No Fear When Using a Pressure Canner. Learn to use a dial or weighted-gauge pressure canner for canning vegetables.
Thursday, Sept. 1: Making Salsa and Canning Tomatoes. Find out what tomatoes are best to use for salsa and how to select and prepare peppers. Learn techniques for making salsa and spaghetti sauce, canning tomatoes and preparing juices.
Thursday, Sept. 22: Successful Pickle Making. Learn the secrets of quick-pack and fermented pickles, pickling without salt and making sauerkraut.
Wednesday, Sept. 28: Jams, Jellies and Pie Fillings. Learn to make jams, syrups, pie fillings and low-sugar fruit spreads.
Tuesday, Oct. 6: Canning Meat, Fish, Wild Game and Soups. Learn how to can meat, fish and wild game. Class will also cover preparing and canning chili, soup and mincemeat pie filling.
Preregister by calling (509) 422-7245 or (509) 745-8531 or emailing email@example.com. There is a $5 fee per class to cover the cost of handouts. For more information, contact Viebrock at (509) 745-8531 or by email.