FOOD & AGRICULTURE
At GreenFire Gardens, food is how we build community. We have two large garden plots, a maple syrup operation, 20 acres of apples and encourage community food processing.
Each year we offer classes through the homeschool partnerships based on local food resources. The spring class starts with maple syrup. Students learn the entire process of maple sugar production from selecting and tapping trees through the bottling process. We then move into seedling production for the gardens, prepping the earth and doing the initial plantings. The gardens are managed throughout the summer by ourselves and interested families who share in the yield. In the fall we focus on the harvest and food processing. If you want to see excitement in a child have them dig up potatoes or pull carrots. We have no problem getting kids to eat their vegetables when they help plant, grow and pick!
Our area is rich in fruit and vegetable production. Classes focus on harvesting and preparing the food for winter storage and use. Activities include pressing apples for cider, canning apple sauce and dehydrating a variety of fruits and vegetables. We use the lacto-fermentation process to make pickles and sauerkraut while utilizing root cellars for fresh storage.
Our real goal with these classes is food knowledge, food safety and building community. With equipment and group cooperation, large quantities can be safely processed in a fun, yet productive, environment. It is not uncommon for us to pack 500 quarts off apple sauce in a day or prepare 20 gallons of sauerkraut. In 2018, we pressed and bottled over 500 gallons of apple and pear ciders. Many hands make for light and tasty work!