Thursday, October 21, 2010

Community groups preserve the fall harvest

Two local groups practiced their canning skills in order to process this year's harvest and share food preservation skills.

Cornell's New World Agriculture and Ecology Group put up 50 pounds of tomatoes (donated by Remembrance Farm) in the form of marinara sauce and tomato puree, as well as two bushels of apples as applesauce and apple butter.  See photos here.

Also, the local food preservation group, IthaCan, hosted an event at the Varna Community Center to process nine bushels of tomatoes donated by Owen Hoekenga as part of the USDA's People's Garden Initiative. One member loaned her 21-quart Amish canner for processing.  The final count was more than 80 quarts of tomatoes preserved and a bushel of whole tomatoes donated to Loaves & Fishes. Dubbed "Team Tomato," the group documented their activities in this photo album.

A second IthaCan event made use of the season's apple harvest, creating home-pressed apple cider, which participants brought home to either freeze or can.  Other recent events highlighted dehydration techniques for green beans, pears, tomatoes, and basil; grape juice via steam extraction; and sunflower oil pressing.

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