Saturday was a really fun day.  I taught a class on canning orange marmalade at Ten Apple Farm in Gray, Maine.  Ten Apple is a small, diversified farm, and the homestead of my friends Margaret Hathaway and Karl Shatz, and their two young daughters.  They have an apple orchard and extensive vegetable garden, and they also raise dairy goats and poultry.  Margaret makes delicious fresh chevre, as well as several other cheeses, with their abundant supply of fresh goat milk.

As a way to share their homesteading knowledge with others, Margaret and Karl offer a variety of workshops at their farm– from bread baking, to cheesemaking, to poultry-processing.   Last fall, Margaret invited me to teach canning and preserving classes at their farm, and I of course jumped at the chance.  I really enjoy sharing my knowledge of canning and food-preservation, and it’s even better when I can do it in collaboration with good friends.

We had a wonderful, small group of women turn out for the class on saturday.  We parked ourselves in Margaret and Karl’s comfortable, homey kitchen, then peeled, sliced, cooked, canned, and chatted our way through a morning of marmalade.  We covered all of the important canning information of course, but still had time for casual conversation throughout.  I especially enjoy this, as it gives all of us an opportunity to get to know eachother a little bit and to learn from eachother.  The morning concluded with a delicious potluck lunch of soups, salads, dessert…..and scones topped with our orange marmalade!  What a treat.

I’ve taught a couple of canning classes at Ten Apple farm already, and Margaret and I have planned for several more coming up.  I’ll be teaching a strawberry jam canning class in early July, a tomato canning class in early September, and an applesauce canning class in early october.  I’ll keep you posted here on dates and times (and additional classes) as we get closer.  You can also check the Ten Apple Farm website for more information and to register.  So, if you live anywhere around the greater Portland, Maine area, I do hope you can join us!