Last week I held my first canning workshop of the season at the Katimavik house in Spryfield. Katimavik is a great youth organization that we’ve worked with over the past few years, holding workshops, and hosting volunteers. The program brings youth together from all over Canada to positively impact communities through volunteer service in communities across the country, and at the same time, positively impacts the youth by giving them a chance for personal, social and professional development. Last year we had a great Katimavik volunteer at the Ecology Action Centre named Fiona Tumner, who wrote for Adventures in Local Food last summer. (You can check out Fiona’s past posts here and here.)
For last week’s workshop, we made blueberry jam with wild blueberries from Bonnyman’s no-spray farm in Tatamagouche. I had bought a five pound box of frozen berries from Angus Bonnyman earlier that day, and I brought them, along with the sugar and canning supplies that we were going to use in the workshop. The Katimavik house is on a 100-mile diet right now, and there are no non-local foods in the house, so they were happy to have lots of extra berries for breakfast smoothies and yummy baked goods. The bag of fair-trade sugar that I brought from the office was a little low, but I figured if I didn’t quite have enough, we could always use the Katimavik’s house sugar.
Wow, did I ever underestimate the 100-mile dedication of these guys – there was no sugar in the house! In the midst of cooking up the jam, a couple of the girls had to go across their street to their neighbour to borrow half a cup of sugar! It turns out their neighbour had just been making jam the previous weekend and was happy to share her supplies for the sake of our jam. All ended well, with a houseful of happy people and three jars of delicious Nova Scotia wild blueberry jam!
Unfortunately, this may be the last workshop we hold with this great organization, due to recent budget cuts that announced the end of this 35 year old program. For more information about Katimavik you can check out their website at http://www.katimavik.org/. If you’re interested in advocating for Katimavik’s funding to get re-instated, there is a great online advocacy kit available here that will give you some tips on how to best fight to retain this great program.
Yours in food,