The Harvest Kitchen is where we spend many hot summer days putting up food to sustain us through the cold winter months. We process many varieties of vegetables and fruits from our bountiful gardens, with the goal being to have enough to get the whole community through the year until the next growing season can begin. We mostly utilize freezing, canning, and fermentation methods of preservation, and also do some drying of herbs and homemade spreads, such as pesto.
During the busiest, most abundant time of the year, the Harvest Kitchen needs many hands to help! Everyone can find a meaningful task here, from washing, chopping, snapping, stripping, peeling, mashing or pureeing vegetables, to blanching, vacuum sealing, canning, and helping with clean-up! We spend long days and nights keeping up with the harvest and making sure we will always have the healthiest food available from our own soil, even in the dark winter. We spend the earlier part of the summer months preparing our certified kitchen for use and keeping up with the cleanliness standards needed for inspections. We also use the slower times of the year to process the honey from our beehives, which can be a long, but delicious, process!
In the winter months, the Harvest Kitchen makes Sauerkraut, from our own cabbages, onions, garlic, carrots, turnips, and radishes. We lacto-ferment our kraut, adding only salt and mashing the veggies to release their own juices. The sauerkraut ferments in air-locked containers for at least 3 weeks or longer, to ensure that the most beneficial bacteria are allowed to grow and the perfect flavor is achieved. We like to experiment with different spice profiles and flavor additions, and in this way we all enjoy this healthy and delicious product all winter long.