July 2017: Forgotten Food Preservation Methods (Under Construction)

Date: Saturday, July 9, 2017
Time: 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Location: Twa Corbies Hollow Organic Farm 45 minutes from Antigonish and New Glasgow (register for directions).
Fee: $50.  Please pay by email to register your place.  We cannot hold places without registering.
Email: twa.corbies.hollow (at) gmail.com

Students will learn about food preservation from the medieval era to prior to industrialization.  Many of these old and half-lost methods not only improve food’s flavor but enrich its nutritive content.  Students will study:

Vegetable preservation through fermentation
Pickling meat and cheese with oil and salt.
Root cellaring

Some Examples of What Will Be Covered:

Fermentation: The fermentation of vegetables was a popular preservation method in the medieval era but fell out of favor in the 20th century. Fermenting vegetables alters their flavor in interesting ways and allows them to develop alternative nutrients. In many cases, fermentation yields useful byproducts which are rich in vitamins and offer many uses of their own.

Pickling: Modern folk tend to think of pickling with vinegar, but since the Iron Age folk have preserved food by pickling it in salt, oil and other substances. Many of the old forms of picking do not require air tight seals, hence ancient people could pickle in clay jars. The old pickling methods also create incredible taste sensations. (You should try oiled fish!)

Dehydration:  This is a commonly used technique in modern times, but students will go further and explore how and when to do dehydration without modern equipment, the role of fire and smoke, and the types of things that lend themselves to natural dehydration. Students will compare and contrast to using modern dehydrators, and even explore some more unconventional drying such as making rawhide and powdered eggs.

The class will be held at our backcountry cottage not far from Garden of Eden, Nova Scotia (about halfway between New Glasgow and Antigonish and off the road a half dozen miles). Pre-registration and prepayment will be required so that we can estimate how much material we will need for the class. No special equipment is required of participants, but we suggest you bring something to write notes on.

To register, contact Daphne by email at:


Our background: Ten years ago Daphne and Cliff relocated to Nova Scotia from Alaska where they lived at a remote wilderness cabin for many years, perfecting many arts and crafts of traditional self-sufficiency. Cliff is a registered psychotherapist as well as an expert tracker, wild food forager, organic farmer, horse trainer and fiddler who is best known for his books on the spiritual elements of living well with nature. Daphne is accomplished at herb gardening, goat husbandry and many of the traditional skills of homesteading and annually crafts and preserves nearly all the food their family requires. Each year, from their semi-remote homestead, Cliff and Daphne offer courses on traditional skills of self-sufficiency.

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