Food Learning

This is the core and the most extensive part of the learning to be offered by the Centre. The whole process of providing food can be divided into two main parts: obtaining raw foods as they are provided by Nature and food processing to turn raw foods into a meal. The first part is mostly about farming but also fishing and obtaining food directly from the wild. Not all foods have to be or are processed, a lot of food is eaten raw, as provided by Nature. However, in our culture the majority of foods are processed in some way.

Some possible learning areas can be identified and considered by the Centre but program offerings will depend on the demand of potential clients. Such learning opportunities in the area of providing raw foods are:

  • Gardening for food
  • Permaculture design of home gardens and farms
  • Fruit and berries
  • Unique and heritage vegetables
  • Beekeeping
  • Small livestock production for own household use
  • Sustainable small scale farming
    • Livestock
    • Crops
    • Mixed integrated farms
  • Wildcrafting for edible and medicinal plants and mushrooms
  • Fish raising and fishing

A lot of relevant courses are already offered by existing organizations and it is not the intention of the Centre to duplicate or compete with others whose contributions to the overall cause of food sustainability are already great. Choosing any program offerings in this area will be decided on in response to demand expressed by existing and potential Centre's clients. However, there are plans at the Centre to grow a large vegetable garden and plant a significant number of different fruit and berry varieties for the use by the Centre and therefore the potential to use these ongoing activities to help people learn.

Food processing is much more important for the Centre, one may say it is fundamental. That is for two main reasons: first, there are more problems for our health with eating processed foods than with what comes from farms. The second reason is that there is hardly anybody who can help people learn truly sustainable principles of food processing and the many methods that have to be learned to provide such foods for own (family) consumption as well as for sale. The Centre is uniquely positioned to offer learning opportunities in sustainable processing since it can not only provide knowledge and help individuals acquire needed skills but the Centre can also demonstrate such foods as part of regular meals for those who stay at the Centre.

Learning opportunities for food processing can be available to those who need to learn for their own household use but also for those who want to explore sustainable food processing as commercial ventures, speciality production. or cooking for other people (food service). The principles are the same, only some of the methods are more complex than others and, because of that, the complexity of these courses may be more suitable for those who want to specialize and provide sustainable foods as part of their commercial food enterprises. The Centre will offer essential learning about sustainable processing rather than the particulars of any given cuisine.

As with producing raw foods, what learning about processed food is going to be offered will depend on demand. The Centre will consider these main groups of sustainable processing:

    • Bread making
    • Other fermented cereal preparations
    • Preparation of grains and legumes
    • Fermentation of vegetables
    • Fermented vegetable drinks
    • Cheese and butter making
    • Cultured milk products
    • Fruit vinegars
    • Fruit wines
    • Fresh pressed oils from oil seeds
    • Drying fruits, vegetables, mushrooms,
    • Butchering and meat and poultry cutting
    • Meat/bone stock preparation. Basic soups.
    • Proper meat preparation techniques for grassfed/finished livestock and poultry
    • Fat rendering
    • Use of organ meats
    • Fresh sausages
    • Smoked sausages
    • Cured meats
    • Fermented sausages
    • Dried meat snacks
    • Air dried and cold smoked meats
    • Freezing and winter storage of processed foods