Food Preservation

In the last few years the Roulant’s food preservation program has been gaining momentum and preserving surplus from the Roulant farm’s production, our two urban gardens and integrating some local urban fruit into the mix. Volunteers learn to pickle vegetables, concoct delicious sauces, spreads and jams, ferment foods and dehydrate herbs and vegetables.

Why preserve food?

  • As an organization that strives to create an efficient food cycle, we are pleased to teach food transformation skills to the Roulant community in order to help people make the most of local and seasonally available food.
  • The many hours it takes to harvest, chop, pit, simmer, pasteurize and label food is a perfect context for volunteers to connect and share stories.
  • The funds generated through the sale of canned, dried or frozen goods, available at the General Store, help to support our mission: building a food secure and socially inclusive community.
  • Canning and dehydrating thousands of pounds of excess produce from the farm allows us to reduce waste and increase the amount locally available nourishing food.

Get involved!

  • Volunteer

    From July to November we can several evenings and afternoons per week. A volunteer shift lasts 2-3 hours and typically involves washing, cutting, pitting, peeling, jar filling and pasteurisation manipulations. You can come as often as you like and all levels of experience are welcome. Interested? Fill out this form.

  • Perfect your skills

    Want to become a more confident food preserver? Interested in having a regular volunteer schedule? Want to know all those water bath canning steps off by heart? These are great reasons to sign up for a regular shift for a 6 week block. You can take on as much or as little responsibility as you’d like. Interested? Fill out this form.

  • Workshops

    Learn the basics of canning in a few hours! We hold a few workshops during the season where participants learn the basics of canning safety and prepare canned goods from locally grown food. Each participant gets to take an instruction book with recipes and a jar home! Workshops are announced in our newsletter.

  • purchase preserved goods

    The delicious food made by our food preservation coordinator and our devoted volunteers is available at the Roulant General Store 6 days per week, take some home! These items are fabulous for individual or corporate gift-giving. Don’t hesitate to contact us to find out what we have in stock.

Frequenly Asked Questions

First option: look for a book about canning that was written in the 1990’s or later. Why? Like many things, the science has evolved over time. Also, the varieties of vegetables we grow have changed too! For example: the tomatoes of yesteryear were more acidic.

Second option: find a recipe on a website that is written by an experienced canner, it should be clear that this person understands the metrics that are the cornerstones of canning safety (acidity, processing time, jar size, vegetable quantities used).

There are so many to love! A few of our favourites are Canning for a New Generation, Preserving by the Pint: Quick Seasonal Canning for Small Spaces, Preservation Society Home Preserves & the Bernardin Complete Book of Home Preserving.
No. All our canning involves acidic or acidified foods. We’ve decided on this for the sake of simplicity!
We’re gaining more experience! We’re loving the Fermented Vegetables book!
Safe canning factors in exposure to heat, processing time, jar size, acidity, and the proportion of various ingredients- as this affects acidity. There is no way to check if a canned product is safe when all is said and done. The fact that a jar has sealed says nothing about the pH. Also, clostridium botulinum can’t be detected by taste, smell or appearance. If you use a recipe from a trusted source and follow the instructions, everything will be fine. It’s not that scary, you can also come learn with us! Need more info to be persuaded? Erica breaks it down here.

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