Home > Inblox > 2009-11-14

Eva's canning class in the Cape Courier

by Mark Abbott on Saturday, November 14th, 2009

Eva's picture was in the Cape Courier this week.

The article is on page 6 (PDF); or you can download the whole edition.

From field to table: Cape Farm Alliance teams up with Community Services

By Louise Sullivan

For many, the thought of "putting up a can of tomatoes" is a daunting prospect. Master preserver Beth Richardson and master farmer Penny Jordan from the Cape Farm Alliance are not daunted. The pair teamed up with Community Services After School Adventures to offer a three-week class for 7- to 12-year olds, teaching some basics about harvesting produce and the home-canning method. Ten enthusiastic girls signed up for the adventure.

Some, like Rosie Stevens, already have an interest in cooking and are baking at home with help. Rosie was very glad to have the chance to expand her skills. "I wanted to take this class when I was in fi fth grade, so I was excited that I could sign up now that I'm in sixth."

In September, on successive Wednesday afternoons, the girls met at Jordan's Farm after school to harvest fresh vegetables. Jasmine Haines, who comes from a farming family in the County, walked the girls out into the field with their "chopping lists." They learned how to spot and pick ripe tomatoes, the difference between parsley and basil, and how to harvest beets, carrots, onions, and eggplant. They also picked flowers and spotted butterflies.

Meanwhile, Beth Richardson picked up a canner donated to the project by the Maine Cooperative Extension Master Preservers and readied the Community Services kitchen to accommodate the 10 chefs who would meet on Friday after school to chop, mix, cook and can their harvest. Beth says it was great to watch the girls sample unfamiliar vegetables, like beets, and discover that they loved them.

On the last Friday, Rosie and her sister Anna had just finished canning pizza topping, while Brittney Newman and Lily Mackenzie were sampling tangy salsa. They said they chopped and squished "tons of tomatoes" as the main ingredient and were happy that "it actually tastes good!" Taylor Young and Midori Kwan had used the extra tomatoes to make tomato juice.

The class was a big hit! Parents have been asking Beth for the recipes, which will be posted on the Cape Farm Alliance Web site. Penny and Beth are both happy that young Cape residents have had an opportunity to explore one of our oldest farms and to experience the thrill of bringing the fruits of the fi eld directly to their dinner tables. Beth will teach one more class in December to learn about making jams and jellies from blueberries, strawberries and other fruits.