Fermenting and Preserving for Beginners

Brought to you by The Diggers Club

Your Masterclass

Fermenting and Preserving for beginners offers all the skills needed to preserve the taste of summer, the cool of winter and the red of autumn. We will discuss the difference between ‘fermenting food’ and ‘preserving food”. Both preserve food and make it last longer but only one creates food that is shelf-stable. Both are valuable tools for making the most of your harvest.

This class will teach you the principles that underpin preserving recipes. Without an understanding of the principles, it can be hard to make sense of different recipes and why some friends do it one way and you the other. Preserving is easy, and that is why so many homemakers get involved, it is also very rewarding. There is a great deal to learn initially and at first, it can seem overwhelming, but once learned it is deeply gratifying, empowering, and something valuable to share with others.

You will learn:

  • Acidity, its role in preserving, how to measure pH and what the pH of a preserve should be
  • How to determine the acidity naturally found in raw ingredients
  • Elevation; how elevation affects preserving times, how to determine if you are at elevation, and how to adjust for elevation
  • Raw Pack and Hot Pack method
  • The role of sugar, salt, heat, time, and acidity
  • How to sterilise jars and when not to pre sterilise jars
  • How to accurately pack food into jars
  • Preserving Organisations and their recipes
  • Fowler’s method
  • The National Centre for Home Food Preservation
  • What is fermenting
  • How does it differ from Boiling Water Bath method of food preservation
  • How to ferment

This is a 4hr demonstration class with some hands-on activities for those of you who love to be involved. We will cover an immense amount of information, allowing you to make the very most of your harvest.

A lunch pack will be provided.

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Your Presenter

Mara is a cooking teacher with Village Dreaming, an Artisanal Cooking School in the Central Highlands. An avid kitchen gardener and custodian of a productive fruit and berry orchard, she has been preserving food for the past 15 years, an essential skill that makes the very most of the harvest. 

Mara migrated to Australia from Italy in the 80's, and has worked as a sustainability practitioner for various Local Governments and as a community development coordinator for CERES Environment Park. Mara coordinated large community cooking festivals for CERES and delivered practical hands-on workshops for Melbourne residents as part of the Sustainable Homes program, a Sustainability Victoria grants initiative.

At her property ORTO, she delivers classes in naturally leavened bread, homemade pasta, fermenting workshops, charcuterie, cheese-making classes, foraging skills, and wild edible fungi identification workshops. A passionate teacher with a deep love of knowledge sharing and a keen interest in all of you who want to learn.

The Location

Featuring over 4 acres of food, cottage and bush gardens each season provides different delights and inspiration to both experienced and aspiring gardeners. The gardens are filled with plants which thrive in central Victoria’s cold winters and hot dry summers. A huge range of daffodils, hellebores and other flowering bulbs bring the garden to life in spring.

Visitors can admire the colour and beauty of our perennial flower borders throughout summer and autumn with hardy, long flowering perennials creating an amazing cottage garden display amongst our Australian bush setting.

The Garden has been certified organic since 2008 and Digger’s range of perennials, bulbs and heirloom vegetables are grown at St Erth using the best organic methods. Seasonal produce from our kitchen gardens is served at St Erth café throughout the year.

See more information on The Garden of St Erth


Fermenting and Preserving for Beginners

5 November 2023

The Garden of St Erth (Blackwood)

Sunday 10am - 2pm

Limited tickets, don't miss out.

The Details