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Preserving food? Yes, you can

  • Heather Loomis mixes a bowl of sliced carrots and daikon, a mild Asian radish, while Diane Alpern, Emily Koester and John Walsh look on at Sunday's Just Roots canning workshop in Greenfield, led by Loomis.  <br/>Recorder Chris Curtis

    Heather Loomis mixes a bowl of sliced carrots and daikon, a mild Asian radish, while Diane Alpern, Emily Koester and John Walsh look on at Sunday's Just Roots canning workshop in Greenfield, led by Loomis.
    Recorder Chris Curtis Purchase photo reprints »

  • Emily Koester slices daikon for a daikon and carrot relish. Koester was among the workshop participants learning the basics and intricacies of canning through a Just Roots farm workshop on Sunday in Greenfield. In the background are jars of cabbage and other ingredients prepared to ferment into the Korean preserve kimchi.

    Emily Koester slices daikon for a daikon and carrot relish. Koester was among the workshop participants learning the basics and intricacies of canning through a Just Roots farm workshop on Sunday in Greenfield. In the background are jars of cabbage and other ingredients prepared to ferment into the Korean preserve kimchi. Purchase photo reprints »

  • Heather Loomis mixes a bowl of sliced carrots and daikon, a mild Asian radish, while Diane Alpern, Emily Koester and John Walsh look on at Sunday's Just Roots canning workshop in Greenfield, led by Loomis.  <br/>Recorder Chris Curtis
  • Emily Koester slices daikon for a daikon and carrot relish. Koester was among the workshop participants learning the basics and intricacies of canning through a Just Roots farm workshop on Sunday in Greenfield. In the background are jars of cabbage and other ingredients prepared to ferment into the Korean preserve kimchi.

GREENFIELD — Four people clustered around a table in the Just Roots office on Sunday afternoon, putting up daikon for the winter. Locally, there might not often be much call to preserve the mild Asian radish, but workshop participants were gathering the universal skills of canning for their own purposes.

The apartment kitchen on Glenbrook Drive was still faintly steamy from the morning’s hot-water canning, but instructor Heather Loomis of Leyden had moved the workshop on to fermentation and brine pickling by 2:30 p.m., and her three students were slicing the crisp white tubers for a Vietnamese-style carrot and daikon quick-pickle.

Diane Alpern of Northampton is the nutrition coordinator for the Food Bank of Western Mass., and was learning what to teach.

“I do food education with people who access the food network around (western Massachusetts), so I wanted to learn how to do canning and preservation so that I could then pass it along to people who are picking up fresh produce but not necessarily able to use all the produce,” she said.

Emily Koester of Northfield said she participates in a Community Supported Agriculture farm-share, with the usual problem.

“I belong to a CSA, Picadilly Farm, there’s always more than you can eat in one week,” Koester said. “I’ve always wanted to learn how to do this stuff.”

John Walsh of South Deerfield said he wanted to learn to can foods to share with family.

The full-day canning and preservation workshop was one in a series run by Just Roots community farm. Medicinal herb identification and cultivation and sheep butchering are next, Sept. 14 and 20. The early-bird rate is $95, details at justroots.org.

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