One of the goals of our permaculture project was to teach women the food security, self-sustainable households and healthy diet. In the first seminar we learnt to prepare jams and to store fruits for the winter time. The second part was dedicated to the preparation for the winter. vegetables. The Tong district is located 280 km from capital Bishkek, the area from where the main bulk of vegetables come. Seasonal vegetables are available mainly in two larger towns in the area (Bokonbaevo and Balykchy) during the summer season, but the rest people do not consume much vegetables at all. Some families grow 2-3 types of vegetables (garlic, carrot and beetroot). Since the Soviet times, the tradition of preparing winter salads has been popular. Local women have been practicing preparation of lecho salad (onion and carrot based) and tomato sauce that they would keep in glass cans and keep in their cellars.

As part of the project, we taught women to grow new herbs such as rucola and spinach, as well as new vegetables such as zucchini, broccoli, cauliflower, in our September training we aimed to introduce new tastes in their kitchen as well.  In September, the professor on food security and cooking Sapargul from Kyrgyz-Turkish Manas University has been invited to conduct the seminar. During the seminar, women learnt several ways of vegetable conservation: blanching, freezing, fermenting, drying, conserving in the oil and proper sterilization methods, and basics such as what type of salt and vinegar to use. As well as they learnt to prepare various types of caviars from pumpkin, beetroots, sauce pesto, spicy red sauce, kimchi, sauerkraut, Georgian sauce tkemali, pizza with rucola and ketchup. Women were enthusiastically writing all recipes and asked the questions they were interested and discussed the pitfalls they had while conserving the vegetables for the winter. They also learnt on the healthy qualities of each products and tips to feed children with vegetables, especially the one that refuse to eat them. 

Learning about food security and healthy diet, Part 2 “Preparation for winter”
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