I have a lot of workshops coming up and I thought I would pass along the dates and see if any of you are available to join me.

NOFA Winter Conference Worcester, MA Saturday January 14, 2012

I’m excited about this as I will have a 3 hour time slot and a real kitchen which means I do an actual canning demonstration. We will be canning beef. The class size will be limited on this one so it’s first come, first serve. BTW. John Jeavons is doing the keynote.

Master Gardener Symposium Dean Technical High School March 31, 2012

I will be doing another canning workshop although we are still a bit fuzzy on the details. I hope to have a kitchen and get to use my pressure canner but most likely this will turn into a lecture. Still, it’s a good workshop, crammed with great info and lots of other fun and interesting topics being discussed.

Cold Antler Farm May 12, 2012 Jenna Wogonrich’s place in New York. This is an emergency preparedness training but it’s a whole lot more. Jim Kunstler will be speaking first. Jim is the guy who opened my eyes to Peak Oil. He’s spoken here in Cummington and does a great job laying out what PO means to the average person. Knowing Jenna, there will be ton’ of good stuff going on (I hear rumors of canners and chickens). I expect some mountain music and good food. If you have any interest in carpooling, let me know. Check out Jennas’s blog at coldantlerfarm for details.

Greenfield Community College Thursday evenings from 6-9 Beginning May 31, 2012 and ending June 28. I will be doing this long series on all manner of food preservation and kitchen safety. Even if you already can, this course could work for you as we will be getting into theory and practical applications as well as using what we preserve. I know this is a big commitment in time but the results should be worth it. It’s part of a reskilling certificate. I know other pieces are related to home weatherization and, I think gardening but you can take any piece as a stand-alone, for-credit class.

Please shoot me an email if you want to discuss carpooling to any of these events.

Preparing for these classes has give me a few more days of preparation under my belt. Bruce and I got the last couple of bushes of apple pressed yesterday and then I went back to work on my kitchen project. I have a big box to go to the thrift store and one to pass on to my DIL. I’m cleaning out cookbooks (Oh the pain, the misery), purging the gadgets and doing a deep clean. I have pulled out the jars with bits of beans or hot cereal and made plans to use them up in the next week. This morning, I’m making muffins with some getting-a-bit-long-in-the-tooth Wheetena. I’m planning a lima bean, tomato and kielbasa casserole to use up some of the older beans.

I now have my recipes organized and I can lay my hands on all of my canning class materials.

This weekend I’ll be spending time on my mudroom. The prep part of this comes from doing a full inventory of who needs what for winter wear. I’ll be stocking up on hats and gloves, wool socks, boots and coats over the next few weeks. I did some of this at the sales in March but, with the way prices for necessities are going up, I think it’s a good idea to have extras in multiple sizes. I was able to give good boots to a couple of people this past week. They were second-hand but in good shape. The only request I have is that they be passed or returned to me when the user finishes with them. Most winter wear has many years of use in them. I have even patched the knees of snow pants if the rest of the suit was in good shape.