Learn how to preserve food with a variety of techniques – from freezing and canning to salting and smoking. Discover new flavors and textures as a result of food preservation strategies. Make sure you have delicious food throughout the year.This course provides you with a range of skills that will allow you to make sure none of the foods you grow on your permaculture property goes to waste. You will be able to deploy any one of a range of strategies that will keep your food edible for much longer than the growing season – sometimes for years!
The course begins by looking at the simplest way of prolonging your harvest – storing your fruit and vegetables so that they deteriorate at the slowest rate possible. Different types of produce require different conditions to remain fresh for the longest time, and we’ll explore the various options. You’ll discover which crops do best in an outhouse or cellar and which require a bit of humidity to keep them in the best condition.
We also explore why you should avoid certain combinations of foods in close proximity to one another, and the various methods suitable for food stored in the kitchen – on the counter and in the refrigerator. Moving from the refrigerator to the freezer, the course then explores the techniques for freezing food to lock in its flavor and characteristics. You’ll learn how to prepare fruits and vegetables for freezing to ensure that they keep their shape and are eminently accessible for cooking when you want to use them. From the types of containers suitable for freezing to making sure you thaw produce the best way, this part of the course warms up the topic of cold storage.
Food can also be preserved by the application of heat. So the course continues by looking at two methods that involve a heat source: canning and drying. Within both these strategies there is a range of possibilities, and we’ll explore each of them.For instance, you’ll discover that there are two primary ways of canning food, each requiring a different set of equipment, and each suitable for certain types of foodstuffs. You’ll also find out why your canning procedure has to change if you are doing it up a mountain!Drying can be preformed with natural and mechanical sources of heat – you’ll learn how to harness the power of both for the best results. Whether you are using the sun, the air, or the oven, you’ll get a comprehensive lowdown on preparing your food, getting it dry, and testing it to make sure it is ready to store.
There are other techniques of preserving food that involve the use of extra ingredients.
The main ones are salting and brining. Salting is a very ancient food preservation method and, in fact, in past centuries, salt was a very highly prized commodity because of the lack of other suitable methods of keep food from perishing. It’s less pricy today, but can still be used by the home permaculturist to prolong their harvest. You’ll learn how salt acts on food to prevent it from decaying, and discover a simple recipe to make your own brine. You’ll also discover how salting and bringing can change the flavor profilebills as well as your produce – and how to prepare it so you don’t have any
lip-puckering tartness.Another method that changes how the preserved food tastes is smoking. You will discover the differences between the two main types of smoking – hot and cold – and how to prepare food for each technique. You’ll get instructions for constructing your own simple smoker, and discover how different types of food can add flavor tones to your finished product.
In fact, you don’t even have to use wood for smoking; did you know that the following are also possible?
• Tea leaves
That’s right, you can smoke certain foods in seaweed – and the flavor is out of this world!The course concludes by looking at a method of prolonging the harvest that removes oxygen from contact with the produce – vacuum packing. You’ll discover the options on the market for vacuum packing machines, and how to ensure the best results for maximum storage potential.