When September brings mounds of Greenmarket produce, you end up with more good stuff than you can possibly eat. Hence the rediscovery of home canning and pickling, recently coming back into vogue thanks to the popularity of the local-food movement and books like Barbara Kingsolver’s Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. Families in need of guidance will find it at a food-preservation workshop at Brooklyn’s Wyckoff Farmhouse Farmers’ Market on September 12. There, they will also find enough organic local produce (nearly all grown on-site and harvested by neighborhood youth, although fruit, juice, and free-range organic eggs hail from two upstate farms) to line the pantry until next spring. “We demonstrate canning fresh vegetables from our garden. We do some tomato sauce, some pickles,” explains farm director Lizzie Ayer, who has a weakness for beets pickled with nutmeg, cinnamon, vinegar, and sugar. (Canning is preferable to freezing for New Yorkers with small fridges but slightly more shelf space.) If the canners’ helpers tire of the demo, let them inspect the garden to see the vegetables in situ and maybe pick a berry or two. This is an especially excellent activity for picky eaters. “I’ve had kids who think food comes from the grocery store, and they pick cherry tomatoes until they get sick from eating so many,” says Ayer. “If you can get them to participate in the growing or harvesting of produce, they will eat it, hands down.” Even if they don’t, they’ll be learning. “Anything that encourages kids to spend time with parents talking about healthy eating is beneficial.” Remind them of that when they’re up to their necks in pulp.
9/12, food-preparation demonstration 1–3 p.m., farmers’ market 1–4 p.m. Wyckoff Farmhouse Farmers’ Market, M. Fidler-Wyckoff Park, 5816 Clarendon Rd., East Flatbush, Brooklyn (wyckoffassociation.org or 718-629-5400); free demo, produce varies.