Preserving the Bounty in the Berkshires

Preserving the Bounty: Canning, Pickling and Keeping the Harvest

Berkshire Grown’s Preserve Exchange will take place at the Great Barrington Farmers’ Market in Great Barrington on Saturday, October 15th from 11am-1pm. Join other families in a community exchange of home-preserved goods.(Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

With six canning and preserving workshops in August completed and another six to come in September, Berkshire Grown is demonstrating its commitment to the resurgence of the lost art of preserving food. Preserving the Bounty: Canning, Pickling and Keeping the Harvest is a series of fun and educational community workshops coordinated in partnership with more than a dozen Berkshire restaurants, food purveyors and partners.

The workshops teach participants procedures to safely preserve food with hands-on experience under the leadership of local experts. Preserving the Bounty presents demonstrations and information on preserving fruits, vegetables and herbs using techniques including freezing, canning, pickling and drying, as well as making salsas, sauces and ketchup.  In addition to classes on canning and preserving, Berkshire Grown will host a food swap in October.

Berkshire Grown’s Preserve Exchange, a celebration of Preserving the Bounty will take place on Saturday, October 15th from 11 am – 1 pm at the Great Barrington Farmers’ Market. Community members are encouraged to stop by and exchange their home-preserved goods with other home canners. This free exchange presents an opportunity to taste and take home other canner’s recipes and share personal favorites.

September Workshops:

Saturday, September 10th (4 – 5 pm) – Berkshire Co-op Market in Great Barrington will host Let’s Can with Community Cooperative Farm. The workshop will feature zucchini bread-and-butter pickles, sauerkraut and blueberry jam and is free to the community. RSVP at mattn@berkshire.coop or 413-528-9697.

Saturday, September 10th (2 pm) – Hancock Shaker Village in Pittsfield will present a Return and Learn Event: Canning 101. Led by Danielle Steinmann, associate director of interpretation at HSV, the ingredients will be sourced from the CSA at Hancock Shaker Village. The event is free for HSV members or with HSV admission. RSVP at DSteinmann@hancockshakervillage.org or 413-443-0188 x274.

Sunday, September 11th (1 – 3 pm) – Mezze Bistro + Bar and BeeSweet in Williamstown present Preserving with Spirit(s) plus Cocktail Condiments at Mezze Bistro + Bar. Learn about spirit infusions and related cocktails and condiments. Each participant will leave with one 250ml bottle each of infused vodka and bourbon. Must be 21 and over to participate. Led by Lauren Gotlieb, proprietor of BeeSweet, spirits will be sourced from Berkshire Mountain Distillers, produce from Mighty Food Farm and Benson Place plus maple syrup from Sweet Brook Farm. ($$) RSVP at mezzebistro@mezzeinc.com or call 413-458-0123.

Saturday, September 17th (9:30 – 11:30 am) – Sheep Hill (Williamstown Rural Lands Foundation) in Williamstown will present a Preserving the Bounty workshop led by Lee Venolia, board member of Berkshire Grown. Learn how to make and can apple pie filling and create colorful freezer slaw. This workshop is part of Homestead Day at Sheep Hill, taking place from 9 am until 4 pm. Learn about keeping bees, making cheese, preserving the harvest and more sustainable practices you can do at home. Featuring a local foods lunch and speaker Carleen Madigan, author of The Backyard Homestead. ($) RSVP at lre@wrlf.org or 413-458-2494.

Sunday, September 18th (3 pm) – Gala Steakhouse & Bistro @ the Orchards Hotel in Williamstown will present a Pickling Radishes Workshop, an instructional cooking class and dinner to follow. Led by Chris Bonnivier, executive chef of Gala. ($$) RSVP to sales@orchardshotel.com or 413-458-9611 x506.

Sunday, September 25th (1- 3 pm) – Heirloom Meals in Stockbridge will present a canning workshop featuring homemade ketchup. Led by Carole Murko, founder of Heirloom Meals. ($$) RSVP Carole@heirloommeals.com or 413-298-0173.

Saturday, October 15th (11 am – 1 pm) – Berkshire Grown’s Preserve Exchange will take place at the Great Barrington Farmers’ Market in Great Barrington. Exchange your home-preserved goods with other home canners. Hosted by Berkshire Grown members, there is no fee to participate.

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