You may be aware that journalism is all about some degree of separation. This is what we call objectivity. We try to keep distanced from our subjects. In spite of this, we small town newspapers inevitably became part of the community alongside our readers.
I have always enjoyed talking courses in community education classes and attending special events. I sometimes do double duty at these, attending as an attendee, and as a reporter with camera. Sometimes I get lucky and get to be just an attendee.
I am a member of the Backus Fire Department, and I occasionally lead wild food classes during warmer months. I got to be even more a part of the scenery this past weekend, when I attended this year’s Back to Basics event.
Back to Basics is what I would consider a convention. It is held at my old high school and features a large quantity of expertise in one area, most of it dedicated to self reliance and some really cool life skills.
Last year was my first year. I enjoyed all the classes I attended, and I must admit I was tempted to attend presenter and vendor Abby Schramm’s homemade soap presentation all over again this year. What a blast it is to have a hands on experience like that!
This year, however, was different. I was actually a presenter at the event. I lead a class on the subject of wild teas. My students got to sample a large variety of teas I have harvested and processed. They also got to learn to identify some on their own, and went home with recipes for making and mixing teas. The whole thing was a blast.
Some may say that this makes me a biased reporter, considering I took photos and did an interview at this location. Maybe that’s true, but you must remember that this is not a story that bias actually factors into. This is event coverage. It is really more about showing what happened, without much additional commentary. I can manage being the reporter and attendee, so don’t worry about the accuracy of my story.
This year’s event had a lot of food. I am a food lover, so it was virtually made for me.
I attended two classes by the same presenter, who gave instructions on lacto-fermentation and sauerkraut fermentation. I attended a keynote speaker from Duluth Bar and Grill, who presented on his restaurant, which uses locally produced food. I also attended a very cool session by a local fishing guide on sustainable angling, which ended with fish tacos freshly fried. This year was a fantastic event, but don’t you worry. I thought this might be a wonderful time to introduce how-to videos to my blog.
Without further ado, I give you instructions on making your very own sauerkraut.