Serves You Right
Many of the basic skills that our grandparents processed have
disappeared with our fast-food, fast-life culture.
With prepared food readily available, some parents don't know how to cook and aren't teaching their children. Knowing how to grow and preserve food is even less common.
It's easy to get caught-up in our daily lives with intangibles, such as over-scheduling, e-mail, phone calls and social media.
From personal experience, growing garlic and basil to make pesto or picking the first tomato of the season feels just right. It is something that miraculously occurs with the cooperation of nature.
Why not expand your skill-set by attending one of many workshops offered this summer? Your newly developed skill may become a soul enriching experience, or even a business opportunity.
Whether you would like to brew your own beer or are thinking about opening a local micro-brewery, this workshop is for you:
Beer Brewing Workshop
On Saturday, June 4, from 1 to 4:30 p.m., Blue Ridge Women in Agriculture will host a brewing workshop. Attendees will learn about the raw materials of beer, brewing techniques, the basics of fermentation and the nutritional content and history of one of the world's oldest beverages.
Dr. Brett Taubman, an assistant professor in the chemistry department at Appalachian State University and director of the department's new fermentation science concentration, will lead the workshop in ASU's Duggins Club Room in the Broyhill Inn and Conference Center. The workshop fee is $15 and RSVPs are required. Contact (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information.
Organic Gardening 101
Some previous participants are now small-scale organic farmers. On Monday, June 6, to Friday, June 10, from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. each day, N.C. Cooperative Extension will host Organic Gardening 101 at the beautiful ASU Sustainable Farm in Valle Crucis.
The workshop is designed for beginning gardeners or those who would like to switch to organic methods. Topics include garden planning, seed starting, companion planting, how to attract beneficial bugs, pest management, soil tests and amendments, composting and vermi-composting and dealing with common plant problems.
Cost is $20 for the first four days, with an optional session on keeping backyard chickens on Friday for an additional $5. Space is limited, so reserve your spot by paying in advance at N.C. Cooperative Extension, 971 W. King St. in Boone. For more information, call (828) 264-3061.
Hands-on Canning Class
Local farmers sell in-season produce at a really good price, or you may want to can your own garden bounty for winter. N.C. Cooperative Extension is offering a hands-on canning class, Saturday, June 18, from 1 to 5 p.m., at the Agricultural Conference Center, 252 Poplar Grove Road in Boone. Learn how to safely can using a pressure canner and a boiling water bath. Register by paying $5 in advance at N.C. Cooperative Extension, 971 W. King St. Space is limited. For more information, call (828) 264-3061.
If you are a gardener who planted garlic back in October, it's time to cut your garlic scapes. They are also available at the farmers' market and an excellent addition to stir-fry. This recipe is a great way to process garlic scapes for later use:
Garlic Scape Pesto
1 cup garlic scapes (about 8 or 9 scapes), top flowery part removed, cut into 1/4-inch slices
1/2 cup walnuts
1/2 - � cup olive oil
1/4- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, or other hard cheese
1/4 teaspoon salt
Place scapes and walnuts in a food processor and process until well combined.
Slowly drizzle in oil, add parmesan cheese and continue to process.
With a rubber spatula, scoop pesto out of food processor and into a mixing bowl and add salt. Makes about 6 ounces. Keeps for up to one week in an air-tight container in the refrigerator.
I like to form balls and freeze on a cookie sheet individually. Then place in a freezer bag to use later on pasta, as a pizza sauce, as a topping for fish, or to season pasta salad or potatoes.
Margie Mansure, M.S., R.D. is a registered dietitian/nutritionist and extension agent with N.C. Cooperative Extension. She offers personalized classes to improve the health of citizens in Watauga County through worksites, schools and community groups and is the local food coordinator for Watauga County. To contact Margie, e-mail email@example.com or call (828) 264-3061.