The Whallonsburg Grange will host a series of Harvest Parties for the public to preserve produce from their gardens and CSA shares at the Grange Community Kitchen. The series will run on Saturdays, every two weeks throughout the growing season. The cost is $5.00 per person for each event.
On Saturday, July 11, from 9:30 to noon, the series will open with an “Introduction to Processing at the Grange Kitchen,” led by the Grange kitchen committee. Participants will learn how to use all of the Grange’s tools to put up the harvest, including the flash freezer for better flavor and texture in freezing vegetables and fruits, and the steam kettle for making large batches of sauce. All are welcome to bring greens, shelling peas, and other garden produce to process at this event.
On Saturday, July 25, from 9:30 to noon, local food processor Jori Wekin of Dak & Dill will lead a workshop in “Introduction to Pickling & Canning.” Wekin will explain the process for cold-pack and hot-pack pickles as well as natural ferments. Participants can bring jars and their cucumbers, green beans, and other garden produce for processing. Jars will also be available for purchase. Reservations are recommended by emailing office manager Stephanie Beneng at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Local beekeeper and gardener Tim McGarry will lead a “Seed Saving Roundtable” on Saturday, August 8 from 9:30 to 11:00 a.m. Participants will learn how to get started in saving seeds, and how to save seeds from their favorite heirloom tomato and pepper plants this season. Practicing seed savers are encouraged to attend and network with one another. After the roundtable ends, the kitchen opens up for a “Harvest Party” continuing until 4:00 p.m. Bring produce from your own garden or CSA share to process at the Grange kitchen alongside neighbors.
The Harvest Parties will continue in the same manner on August 22, September 5, and September 19, from 9:30 am to 4:00 pm. All ages and skill levels are welcome, and a children’s play area will be available. Participants will bring their own produce, jars, and plastic bags as needed. Each event costs just $5.00 per household. Additional donations are welcome for substantial quantities of processing.
The series will finish on Saturday, October 3 with a “Community Recipe Swap” from 9:30 a.m to noon. This event will be free. The kitchen committee will set out the best jars of jam, sauce, and pickles made at the Grange kitchen during the season. All are welcome to bring favorite recipes to swap, and to celebrate the end of the growing season.
The series is generously funded by grants and gifts from the Essex Community Fund, the Adirondack Foundation’s Generous Acts Fund, and the Essex County Adirondack Garden Club. The organizations also sponsored the purchase of tools for processing fruits and vegetables, and canning equipment.
The Grange Community Kitchen is available to rent at a rate of $10.00 per hour. To learn more about the kitchen or to schedule a rental, contact office manager Stephanie Beneng at email@example.com or 518-963-4170.
- Community Supported Agriculture in the Adirondacks (adirondackalmanack.com)
- Full and By Farm: Updating Technologies (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)
- Essex Farm: Considering Seeds (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)