My name is Lindsay Kearns and I like making things. As a practical sort of person who needs to eat, a lot of what I make on a daily basis is food… And as a busy sort of person who has a tight budget and a concern for eating locally and ethically, a lot of the making of food that I do is focused on making it last beyond the season. Preserving food is my passion!
I grew up canning with my parents. Every year, we put up jam, pickles, chutneys, and what felt like a million jars of tomatoes. When I was a young adult living on my own for the first time, I moved to Lekwungen Territory in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. There, I began canning, dehydrating, and freezing all the fruit I could glean for free from the parks and marginal spaces around town. My focus was definitely on quantity, not quality! I wanted to store as much food as I could possibly eat.
As I got older, I became a bit more discerning, and a lot more skilled. I realized that I really dislike the taste of dehydrated green beans, no matter how much money I save by preserving them. I learned that freezer burn can honestly make food inedible. I finally understood that chopping ingredients to a uniform size creates a better relish. I grasped the significance of fermenting vegetables to increase their nutritional value, and got hooked on culturing foods. I read a lot of books & blogs, took classes, talked with many fellow food preservation enthusiasts, experimented constantly, and eventually began sharing what I know.
In recent years, I have taught numerous workshops and presented on safe and modern food preserving skills for Victoria Compost Education Centre, LifeCycles Project Society, and Saanich Communities in Harvest, as well as for private groups. Thanks to support from LifeCycles, I am certified in produce preservation techniques by the BC Food Processors Association.
When not preserving food, I’ve been known to sew, knit, solder, drill, saw, grow, dig, tend, write, read, organize, and hike. I’ve been employed as a barista, farm hand, co-editor of an anti-racist feminist magazine, website content manager, conference coordinator, market stall staffer, book seller, stained-glass artisan, academic publication administrator, bike mechanic, and screen-printing assistant. Currently, my day job is working as an apprentice electrician, and I hope to attain my full qualifications as a journeyman in the trade in 2016.