Yes We Can! Become a Canning and Preservation Expert

By Leika Suzumura, Program Manager of Community Kitchens Northwest


Summer is rolling in and the plants are shooting up! What to do with all that food?

Join us for our  Food Preservation Intensive Course! Become an expert at safe canning and other preservation methods. Topics include canning fruits, vegetables, meats and seafood, best practices for freezing, dehydrating and pickling, an introduction to fermentation, and food safety.


Read on for a few tips, tidbits and recipes for canning, fermentation and pickling.


Enjoy your summer harvest all winter long by canning some of your garden’s produce! With basic canning skills, you can make jams, tomatoes, chutneys, quick pickles and more to add some homemade flair and excitement to your table. There are different methods of canning, from simple water bath canning to more advanced pressure canning. Safety is important when canning, no matter the method! Consider taking a class with Tilth Alliance to learn how to preserve food safely.


Enjoy the dynamic flavor and texture variations in this nutrition powerhouse. Fermented foods can help you absorb more nutrients, support your immune system and add homemade flair to your everyday meals.  Fermented foods also offer a probiotic benefit. Probiotics are “friendly” bacteria that help break-down nutrients, keep our digestive system strong and support the health of our immune system. Sign-up for a fermentation class with our in-house expert, Carey Thornton. Due to the fact that fermentation involves bacteria, you might encounter food safety issues. Learn to do it right the first time.


Pickles can be made from nearly any summer vegetable and paired with endless combinations of herbs. Pickles are often made with the addition of various herbs and spices like garlic, dill, thyme and peppers that are all adding an extra load of nutrients like iron, vitamin C and antioxidants. Try quick pickling when you want to enjoy the flavor of pickles but don’t want to go through the canning process.

REITZ_0028Quick Fridge Pickles

Use this as a template to use for pickling almost anything from your garden.


  • 2-3 tablespoons herbs and spices – garlic, dill, bay leaves or hot peppers
  • 3 ½ cups bite size veggie pieces – radishes, cucumbers, onions or beans
  • 2-3 teaspoons sea salt
  • ½ – ¾ cup vinegar
  • 1 -1 ½ cups water


  • In a quart size jar, add herbs and spices to the bottom
  • Pack veggie pieces into the jar, up to one inch from the top.
  • Add salt to the jar and fill it 1/3 with vinegar and 2/3 with water. Poke around to make sure the air bubbles come up.
  • If you have a metal lidded jar, cut a piece of parchment paper to place on the jar before putting the lid on.
  • Shake well and store in fridge.  Pickles will be ready to eat within a few days and can store for a month or longer.

Note: these pickles must be stored in the refrigerator.

Recipe by Carey Thornton.

Originally printed in Seattle Tilth’s newsletter, Way to Grow (June/July 2013).

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