Top Bar Hive Photos & Taproot Kitchen Letter #3 – January 28, 2013

Photos from the January 26 Top Bar Bee Hive-Building Workshop

Big thanks to instructors Matt Poese and Josh Lambert and all the participants. The sample hive used to teach the class will be put up for sale shortly as a fundraiser for Spring Creek Homesteading Fund. Cost: $150.

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Taproot Kitchen Letter #3

Carolyne Meehan writes:

I am writing as a State College community member in support of Taproot Kitchen.

I believe this would serve as a valuable resource for our community on many levels. It could be a space for folks to produce their own local goods with the intention of selling at markets, but I would want to use it for preparing foods and other natural products for my own household.

I would like to do more canning and food preservation, but it can be cumbersome, messy, and tedious to do alone, in my own kitchen. It would be great to tackle canning tomatoes, peaches, and salsa with friends – sharing the workload, chatting while we chop tomatoes and sterilize mason jars. Group baking and soup and stock making sessions could work in the same way.

Buying and storing all the equipment necessary for food preservation can be expensive and daunting. Taproot Kitchen could make canning and drying foods more accessible to all by providing  shared equipment necessary for these jobs.

Making lotions, salves, and soaps is also something I have wanted to try, but haven’t had the motivation or the expertise to do on my own.  I see the kitchen as a place to give this a try, again with the social aspect of working with others and sharing the finished product.

I imagine my use of the kitchen and time spent there would very month to month, season to season, but I think at least a monthly hours long or even 1/2 day session would be a safe estimate.

Beyond the standard equipment that would be expected in the kitchen, here a list of what I would like to see:

  • Dehydrator
  • Large food processors
  • Space with play kitchen or food related toys for young ones
  • Table space (preferably a long wood table) for people to be able to share meals together
  • Music! Some sort of speaker/iPod/iPhone adaptable sort of thing. Or a CD player.
  • A shared label maker for those who want to produce their own goods for sale
  • Cook book, food magazine, recipe library
  • Cold and dry good storage
  • Stocked pantry with fair trade/organic spices, grains, oils, and herbs to be used on a weigh and pay as you go system
  • A stash of sustainable food storage jars and containers

Other ideas for the kitchen would include cooking classes of all kinds (including family and children), “chopped” type cooking games/competitions with shared meals after, prepare and store meals for the week with friends and shared ingredients… the possibilities are endless.

I love the idea of building community around food – cooking, eating, learning and sharing together, all the while becoming more proficient in the homesteading arts.

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