The Grist Mill and Gardens in Keremeos will hold its first-ever canning workshop and retreat in September. (Submitted photo)

Grist Mill to host farm-to-jar canning retreat next month

Deadline to register is Sept. 1

The Grist Mill and Gardens announced it’s holding its first-ever, farm-to-jar canning workshop retreat.

From Sept. 7 to 8, participants will have the opportunity to spend a fall weekend in the Similkameen Valley, visiting orchards, farms and fruit stands and getting the ultimate farm-country canning experience, according to a media release.

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In the two-day intensive workshop, Grist Mill general manager Chris Mathieson will provide an introduction to the basics of home, water-bath canning and other preservation techniques.

“Not only does this sort of workshop help people become better connected with the sources of their food and learn new skills, it’s a great way to introduce folks to the spectacular Similkameen Valley,” Mathieson said in the release.

“And since this site doesn’t get operating support from the Provincial Government anymore, we have to be creative with our programming to bring in new audiences.”

Depending on what is in season from the area’s local producers or in the Grist Mill garden, participants might make jams, jellies, pickles, relishes, flavoured kinds of vinegars and more.

By the end of the weekend, workshop members will understand the core techniques and equipment necessary to follow other food-safe home canning recipes.

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The weekend includes a day and a half of hands-on opportunities on how to choose the best produce and access to a collection of blue ribbon recipes. It will also teach participants about a variety of home preservation techniques.

Attendees are invited to stay at the Grist Mill’s creekside campground at one of its serviced sites. They can bring their tent, trailer or camper. Booking a room at one of the Similkameen’s bed and breakfast is another option.

Eating delicious food is part of the experience as well. On Saturday, a farmhouse breakfast, a picnic lunch and a family-style long-table dinner, all featuring the best the Similkameen Valley has to offer, will be served. On Sunday, participants will eat the Grist Mill’s Sunday brunch.

Participants will take home several jars of finished products for inspiration to continue their canning adventures.

Tickets can be purchased at the Grist Mill front desk or on their website before Sept. 1. Space is limited.

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