is our mission, and message.
Welcome to WellPreserved! We’re your hosts, Joel and Dana:
Joel is a home cook and writer. He loves to cook a great meal, but beyond that he is passionate about learning, understanding the impact of our food choices, getting to know where food comes from and the people who help bring it to the table. This passion has resulted in over 1700 articles and recipes shared through several online communities anchored by wellpreserved.ca. Joel’s love of food takes him into the woods to forage and hunt, to meet farmers and chefs, and to explore the culture around food.
Dana’s love of great food is only matched by her love for tasty design. She’s been working as a professional graphic designer for almost 2 decades and eating for as long as she can remember. So she knows that both great food and great design make life better and she’s happy to have a hand in that wherever possible. As the Creative Director for WellPreserved she makes sure everything looks as good as it tastes, she’s also a good sous chef, dishwasher, instigator, connector and organizer.
Shaeffer is a dog; he’s a Vizsla, a Hungarian pointer. He eats an amazing number of vegetables for a dog, his favourites are arugula and kale and he competes with the worm bin for the carrot peelings. He makes sure that we are out of bed at the crack of farmers market opening so he remains instrumental in our preserving life.
WellPreserved was created on December 27, 2008 and is currently an archive of more than 1,700 articles. We write about topics that are broadly food-related including hunting, urban gardening, foraging, food security, small farms, farmers markets, sustainable fish, and of course preserving among many other things. WellPreserved is an extension of our kitchen and our life together. The project has grown into a life-changing experience for us.
How has life changed since we started this project? The easiest evidence is to take a peek at our pantry:
We live with 500-700 jars of preserves (some are stored here, some at Joel’s parent’s house and yet others tucked in various other places around the house). Some are dehydrated, pressure canned, infused, water-bathed, fermented, and more. We don’t sell our preserves (though we do swap many of them with others). Despite working 12+ hours most weekdays we manage to preserve a significant portion of our local bounty and manage to mostly avoid shopping at grocery stores. But the biggest changes are often the most difficult to see. This adventure has brought us many new friends, taught us many lessons, changed the way we eat and changed our views on what ‘good’ food means. And while we try to avoid preaching we feel there’s a lot of room to improve our current food system. Our changes have come in small steps. We didn’t set out planning to have a large pantry like this; it just sort-of happened. If we had set that as an initial goal we would have likely become overwhelmed and quickly quit. Change is a gradual process; we continue to learn and see just how much more there is left to know.
We are trying to lend our voice to the group of people who are trying to make good food accessible. People like Jamie Oliver, Mark Bittman, Hugh Fearing-Whittingstall and Nigel Slater. Lots of our new friends inspire us as well including Tigz Hungry Tigress, Kate from Hip Girls, Marisa from Food in Jars, Meg at Grow and Resist, Julia (and what she ate), Kaela (Local Kitchen) and Shae from Hitchhiking to Heaven. There are many, many more (boy do we need to get a links page; I feel badly about the huge amount of people we’ve left off this list – coming soon!).
We hope that you’ll find WellPreserved is a place to learn and share. A place to get ideas on how to fit the pleasure of cooking and preserving into your life; regardless of how busy you are, how small your kitchen is or what your budget is. We hope you’ll find a few laughs along the way and that you’ll join the conversations that happen here, with us on Twitter or Facebook too. Perhaps you’ll come out to one of our events (like our monthly HomeEc event in Toronto and Columbus) or host a preserve swap with friends.
The success of this project is measured in your kitchen. If after reading or connecting to our community, you try to make something new, learn to fit a batch of preserves into a busy week or create the time to share something, we’ll be achieving our goal.
Joel & Dana
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