Learn How to Can and Make New Friends!

San Francisco Bay Area

Interesting. What our Grandmothers and Great-grandmothers often saw as drudgery and a whole lot of messy work is now becoming an incredibly popular trend among this generation's new homesteaders. It's called canning, or putting up (or down or by) or preserving and it's not just women's work any more!

Elizabeth reported on canning from the New York Times article last week. This week, were taking a look at a few of the many exciting canning projects happening in the San Francisco Bay Area. It's an old tradition that women would gather together to help each other put up the harvest. Canning and pickling can be hot, back-breaking work so many hands make light work indeed. These days, men and women are getting into canning and they're doing it for a lot of reasons: to stretch their local and seasonal harvest, to be social with other like-minded people and to have some fun while creating a practical and delicious addition to their pantries.

Here's a few events happening in the Bay Area this summer:

  • For a list of on-going classes in canning, preserving and pickling in the Bay Area, Happy Girl Kitchen is an excellent resource. They even have a cute little movie on how they got started.
  • Yes, We Can has an interesting approach. Calling themselves a community canning project, they will meet three times this summer to can local fruits and vegetables (apricots, pickles and tomatoes.) You can support them by either purchasing a box of canned apricots, pickles or tomatoes or by participating in a workshare where you are on hand to help out and learn something about canning in the process. (The workshare has already sold out, unfortunately. We hope this inspires Yes, We Can to offer more of this fun project!)
  • 18 Reasons has a Jam It Salon with Karen Solomon on June 4th. Bring a taste of your latest canning project or just come along and mingle with like-minded kitchen DIYers.
  • Cultured Pickle Shop, an amazing pickle store in Oakland, doesn't offer classes but a visit to their shop would sure be inspiring. Check out this very informative Chow Obsessives on Alex Hozven and Cultured.
  • The venerable June Taylor will offer conserve classes in Berekley. There is still room in her July and August classes, which are limited to 12 people and involve tasting fresh fruits and conserves as well as making and preserving a jar to take home.
  • Kathryn Lucas of Farmhouse Culture is often in the Bay Area teaching workshops on making sauerkraut. Keep an eye on her website.
  • What canning opportunities are happening in your City? Let us know in the comments and help spread the word to create canning communities everywhere!

    (Image: Yes, We Can)

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Dana Velden is a freelance food writer. She lives, eats, plays, and gets lost in Oakland, California where she is in the throes of raising her first tomato plant.

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