YORKTOWN HEIGHTS, N.Y. -- Linda Hillesum and friend Kathy Darretta traveled north from the Pleasantville area Saturday to spend the afternoon learning more about the art of pickling at Yorktown's Hilltop Hanover Farm.
"I do a lot of pickling, but I always like to learn something new," Hillesum said. "There are so many varieties of vegetables you can pickle. I think it's great thing to do if you have a garden and want to preserve what you can't eat in season -- like cucumbers."
And pickles were the order of the day as instructor Will Summers taught a 2-hour workshop on the the process of canning cucumbers.
"It's a simple process but a great way to preserve a harvest of cucumbers which are plentiful in local gardens around Westchester/Putnam)," said Summers,a former staffer at Hanover Farm now working with Stony Point..An Open space in Rockland County. "I live in White Plains and I have a good crop to pickle myself."
Summers took the small class of Westchester residents from Somers, Pleasantville, Yorktown and New York City through the sterilizing of jars and lids, slicing and prepping the cucumbers and spices -- dill, onions, condiments -- and making the brine that the flavor the vegetables over the next few months.
The picklers sliced and diced the Hanover Hills produce learned several recipes and produced a dozen jars of pickles the group took home when work was done.
"I do a lot of canning, tomatoes especially, so I'd like to learn more about pickling so I can get some of the great tastes and keep them," Darretta said. "Coming up here is a nice way to spend the day."
Hilltop Hanover Farm & Environmental Center has U-Pick gardens, a farm market where a variety of its produce is sold and dozens of scheduled events, classes and workshops. The next class is Couples Cooking With Donna Simons on July 18 from 7-9 p.m.