SEPT 19, 2021: ONLINE, BC – Food processing, preserving & value-add webinar

Posted by Hailey Troock on August 18, 2021

You’re invited to an online workshop all about food processing, preserving and value-add presented by Young Agrarians and the West Kootenay EcoSociety.

This is the fourth event of the Young Agrarians 2021 Farm Club event series. What is a Farm Club? A Farm Club is when farmers come together to connect and nerd out with other farmers. It can be on any topic the group wants to discuss and can take many different shapes and sizes.

The goal of this workshop is to provide hands-on skills to turn farm/garden produce into value-added products. This online “can-a-long” is suitable for farmers, food processors and the home gardener and preserver. Participants can follow along from the comfort of their own kitchens and will learn three different ways to preserve the harvest, with tips for both the home kitchen and creating value-added products.

Everyone will have the opportunity to register for three back-to-back sessions on Zoom and learn how to create three jars of added value products from three knowledgeable teachers.

Young Agrarians is a farmer-to-farmer network of new and young farmers in Canada with programs in the Kootenays offering land matching, business and educational support and resources.

The West Kootenay EcoSociety runs multiple programs in the region focussed on promoting sustainability and awareness of issues related to climate change. They operate a successful program called Farms to Friends that connects families with healthy local food from farms in the region.

Each participant will learn three skills from different skill stations and teachers:

  1. Canning
  2. Pickling
  3. Fermenting

Don’t miss out on this online educational and social opportunity open to everyone to learn some new skills and refine some you already have! If you’re interested in joining us on September 19th, register now!

DATE: SUNDAY, SEPT 19, 2021 • 1-5pm PST

LOCATION: Traditional and unceded territories of the Ktunaxa, Sinixt and Syilx Nations.

REGISTERPLEASE REGISTER HERE to reserve your spot. This event is open to everyone but please pay what you are able to afford within this range ($5-$20). Ticket sale donations will go towards an honorarium for the teachers and materials for 15 families participating in the Farms to Friends to attend the online workshop.


1pm: Sign onto Zoom

1:10-1:30pm: Intro Circle and instructions

1:40-2:40pm: Station 1 – Canning

2:45-3:45pm: Station 2 – Pickling

3:50-4:50pm: Station 3 – Fermenting

4:50-5:00pm: Wrap-up

WHAT YOU’LL NEED: A cutting board, knife, large mixing bowl, spoon and any specific spice or addition you may want to add to your own ferment, sauce or preserve. A canning set-up (pot, lid, basket and tongs) will be required for the canning session. Click here to read through the recipes so you’ll know what ingredients and other supplies you’ll need to have ready for each session!

Learn more about the Farms to Friends Program offered by the EcoSociety:

West Kootenay EcoSociety is a non-profit community-driven organization that brings together local residents to protect the natural environment while building just, equitable, healthy, and livable communities in the West Kootenay region. They organize with their grassroots, community leaders, and advocate to our decision-makers on developing local social, political, and economic solutions to environmental and equity problems.

Farms to Friends is a campaign of the West Kootenay EcoSociety that is about local food security and our most vulnerable residents. They connect low income families and seniors in the region with farm-fresh local, organic food, once a week to help ensure those people who need it most have access to healthy food.

Learn more about our skill station teachers:

Michaela Woeller – Fruit Canning Station

Michaela is a cook from the Kootenays who focuses on seasonal and healthy food. She has worked as a caterer, bush cook and for the last two years as the Food Skills Coordinator at the Nelson Community Food Centre (NCFC). She has led the canning operations at the NCFC to aid in food preservation from the Harvest Rescue program. She loves preserving local food to enjoy throughout the winter. This 1 hour session will teach you the basics of canning fruit and offer an opportunity to see what canning is all about.

Becky Miller – Pickling Station

Becky is a passionate permaculture gardener, beekeeper & herbalist. She hosts an annual preservapalooza with her friends and family every fall to process the bounty of their harvest; she looks forward to sharing some secret recipes with you! Last winter Becky participated in the YA Business Bootcamp and we are thrilled to have her back in the YA community leading a station on pickling!

Jessica Bowman – Fermentation Station

Jess began her career working in the craft beer industry fermenting alcohol in Victoria, BC after taking an interest in her hometown’s booming craft beer culture. Her passion brought her an apprenticeship with Townsite Brewing in Powell River, BC. She now lives in Nelson, where she’s expanded her experience with fermentation by working with foods. Back in October 2019 she led a sauerkraut workshop at our sold-out Ferment & Feast event in Castlegar and we’re thrilled to have her back to lead us again!

Check out the rest of the events this season in this blog post. Don’t miss an update by subscribing to our Columbia Basin/Kootenay newsletter!

Additional Information

If you have any questions please contact


Through the B.C. Land Matching Program, Young Agrarians is offering support to farmers looking for land for their farm business and landowners looking for farmers to farm their land. The Columbia Basin Land Matcher will be attending the event to answer any questions about accessing land through this program. For those unable to join us, you can send a message to for more information.



The Columbia Basin event series is made possible with funding from Columbia Basin Trust.



Canning Station

Canned pears or apples in spiced syrup

Materials we will be using:

  • Canning pot and lid
  • Canning basket (insert into pot)
  • Canning tongs (with rubber grip)
  • Small pot
  • Medium pot
  • 4 sterilized quart jars and lids

Ingredients for spiced pears:
Makes 4 quarts

  • Approximately 12 pounds of peeled halved, and cored pears or apples (about 3 to 4 pears per quart jar)
  • 5 and 3/4 cups water
  • 1 and 1/2 cups sugar
  • Two 4 inch cinnamon sticks per quart jar optional
  • 8 cloves (optional)
  • 4 star anise (optional)

Pickling Station

Pickled Canned Beets

Yield: 3 pints (1pint=500ml jar)

20 small beets (whole, unpeeled)
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
1 cup white vinegar
1 tsp whole cloves
1⁄2 tsp all spice
1⁄2 tsp cinnamon
1⁄2 tsp salt

  1. Prior to starting, make sure all jars are sterilized by bringing a large pot of water to boil and dipping in all jars, rings and lids. Only use new snap lids that have not been
    previously used (you can reuse rings and jars, make sure to wash with hot soapy water first).
  2. Bring a large pot of water to boiling and cook beats until tender (do not overcook).
    Remove and peel beets. Cut them into quarters and stuff jars.
  3. In a medium saucepan, combine all bring ingredients (water, sugar, vinegar, cloves, allspice, cinnamon & salt). Cover & bring to a boil over medium heat, then immediately reduce and let simmer for 10-15 minutes.
  4. Pour brine over beets making sure the beets are all covered but leaving 1⁄2” space
    between liquid and top of jar.
  5. Use a clean cloth and boiled water to wipe the rims of the jars and make sure they clean before putting lids and rings on. Do not over tighten
  6. Process in boiling water bath for 10 minutes, remove and let cool. Can be stored up to 6 months. If lids don’t snap, those jars should go in the fridge and be eaten first.

Fermenting Station



  • 3 lbs of cabbage
  • Non-iodized salt
  • Caraway (optional)
  • Glass or ceramic jar for fermenting
  • Cheese cloth/rubber band


Cutting board, bowl, knife and one litre jar (a wide mouth jar makes packing in the cabbage easier but isn’t essential!)

How to care for your Kraut!

It’s really simple! Leave the jar in an area which won’t fluctuate in temperate (ie: a pantry or garage) and allow to ferment for 3-10 days. You are the one in control! Taste periodically and when you find the flavour is where you want it (there is a nice, vinegar-like tang and the salt isn’t overpowering) transfer into the fridge and keep covered with the mason jar lid. The kraut will still ferment slowly, releasing more brine over time, getting even tastier as it ages in the fridge. Don’t ignore the brine- it is delicious in sauces, dressings or as a shot to help your digestive system.

If mould appears on your kraut, remove all signs of it immediately and make sure the cabbage is fully immersed under the brine. Your kraut is still fine to eat! There are all sorts of ways to enjoy your kraut- on crackers with hummus, in salad, on tacos, in sandwiches, baked potatoes and with grilled meats.

When you are ready to make your next batch, simply follow the ratio of 1.5 tablespoons of salt to 3 pounds of veg. That’s to say, if you want to scale up, 6 pounds of cabbage will take 5 tablespoons of salt, etc. Use pure sea salt- NOT iodized kitchen salt as it will inhibit fermentation. Experiment with different seasonings, like ginger, spicy peppers (fresh- not pickled as vinegar will inhibit fermentation) or herbs (remember dried herbs are much stronger than fresh – you can always add more, but can’t take out!) You can also try adding other vegetables to the cabbage such as garlic, carrots or onions- yum!

You want to give the lactic bacteria the best chance it has, so make sure your vessel is freshly washed and so are your hands and produce. It’s not necessary to use bleach.

Glass and ceramic jars, pots or crocks are best to ferment in. If using stainless steel, be aware of what grade it is- look for 316-grade if you want to use this method. Do not use anything with aluminum, copper or brass in it. These metals will corrode and leach into your ferments, yuck! Plastic is the least preferred material to ferment in as even something deemed “food safe” has still been known to leach toxins. Plastic also absorbs smells and stains.

Enjoy this fun way of bringing science, tradition and cuisine together in your kitchen! A great reference is Sandor Katz’s book “Wild Fermentation” for more information on other ferments you can make at home. Remember… when in doubt, Google will know!

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