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Teaching food preservation techniques

Over the past nine months, Growing Opportunities helped expand knowledge and understanding of food preservation techniques in the community, thanks to a Community Wellness Grant from Island Health.

The nine-month program led by Elise Boulanger encompassed:

  • 10 workshops held at Springwood Elementary School and Wellington Secondary School for the general public;

  • Six workshops provided to Nanaimo Association for Community Living, including one farm visit to Growing Opportunities Farm Community Cooperative;

  • Four school workshops at Learning Alternatives and Wellington Secondary School; and

  • Two salmon-focused field trips, a tour of Snuneymuxw territory by boat, followed by a salmon BBQ on Saysutshun (Newcastle Island Marine Provincial Park).

The workshops covered a range of activities such as fermentation (sauerkraut, kimchi), water bath canning (apple sauce, canned pears), pickling (carrots, sunchokes), preservation (candied jalapenos), smoking (salmon) and dehydration (kale). Participants ranged from age 10 to 70 and approximately 90% of the food was sourced locally.

Thank you to our various community partners for making this possible including Ben from Woodlands School Farm, Tessa of Farm 2 School BC, Misty of Wellington Secondary School, John White and the Marine Division of Snuneymuxw First Nation, Farmer and educator Chris Brown, Aaron Grant of Morgan Creek Farm, Greg/Quuia Charleson, Lanita and Sabrina of Nanaimo Association for Community Living, Wendy Beatton, Brett, Kathy and Adam Manson of Learning Alternatives, Gary Manson, Josh Irlam, Hub City Fisheries and all those who came to learn and participate.

Special thanks to Island Health for funding this project.

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