As the Kin Park crew works to develop our year-round drop-in centre at the park with a full schedule of urban farm-focused programming for children, youth and families in our region, we are still also focused on skill-building around food with the young folks (interns, volunteers, and members of our youth outreach (YO) team), who have been hanging out and working with us since Spring and beyond.
When we are not in the gardens, harvesting, saving seeds, and prepping for winter crops, we’ve been spending lots of time in CGC’s commercial kitchen experimenting with various ways to preserve the harvest: dehydrating, blanching, freezing, and canning.
We had the pleasure of hosting the Kin Park Kids campers a few weeks ago for a canning workshop. With a bumper crop of dragon tongue beans that had grown a little too big to sell at market, we decided to pickle them! Here’s the recipe we followed (taken from http://foodinjars.com/2009/07/dilly-beans/) and they are quite delicious!
2 pounds green beans, trimmed to fit your jars
2 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar (5%)
2 1/2 cups water
2 tablespoons pickling or fine sea salt
4 teaspoons dill seed
2 teaspoons black peppercorns
1 teaspoon red chili flakes
4 cloves garlic
1. Prepare a boiling water bath canner and 4 pint jars. Place 4 lids in a small pot of water and bring to a bare simmer.
2. Wash and trim your beans so that they fit in your jar and leave about an inch of headspace. If you have particularly long beans, your best bet is to cut them in half, although by doing so, you do lose the visual appeal of having all the beans standing at attention.
3. Combine vinegar, water, and salt in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil.
4. Divide the dill seed, peppercorns, red chili flake, and garlic cloves evenly between the four jars.
5. Pack the beans into the jars over the spices.
6. Pour the boiling brine over the beans, leaving 1/2 inch headspace.
7. Gently tap the jars on the counter to loosen any trapped air bubbles. For stubborn air pockets, use a chopstick to wiggle them free.
8. Wipe rims, apply lids and rings, and process in a boiling water bath canner for 10 minutes.
9. When time is up, remove jars from canner and place them on a folded kitchen towel to cool.
10. Once jars are cool enough to handle, remove rings and test seals.
11. Sealed jars can be stored on the pantry shelf for up to one year. Any unsealed jars should be refrigerated and eaten promptly.
12. These beans want to hang out for a least two weeks before eating, to thoroughly develop their flavor.
Thank you Danielle!
Danielle is a participant of the Ethos Work Experience program. Since the beginning of her placement at CGC in mid- August, Danielle has demonstrated a keen ability to learn, mentor, and lead in the field and in the kitchen. Thank you Danielle for all your hard work pulling weeds and chopping veggies!
Our VIU summer intern, Emily Crowe, wrapped up her summer internship with us at the end of August. Emily has been an enormous help at the farm, doing everything from pulling up kale plants, planting seedlings, threshing coriander seed, and shoveling compost. Thank you for all your hard work Emily and best of luck in your next career steps!!! (We sure hope you stay in agriculture of course!)
These pickled beans, along with other jarred goods, garlic and dried herbs will soon be available in the Garden Pantry Thrift store. Come in and pick up some urban farm fare and support local youth and those facing barriers to employment in our community as they advance their knowledge and skills in agriculture, marketing and food preservation.