QUEENS — Forest Hills residents will learn how to make pickles, cheese and yogurt, and even brew homemade beer, during cooking classes that will be given by a local community group starting this month.
The food scraps are later transformed into compost, some of which is distributed back to residents for their yards and gardens.
The classes will be organized every two to three weeks, although the specific dates have not yet been decided. During the courses, participants will learn how to make cheese and yogurt. They will also brew beer, and learn some French, Indian and Italian dishes. There will also be a class about pickling vegetables.
During the first class, on Jan. 25, participants will learn how to make Indian dishes in accordance with the Ayurveda system, a traditional healing system from India. Participants will also listen to traditional Indian music.
"It's going to be an experience," said Carlos Pesantes of the Compost Collective.
After the class, which will last about two hours, participants will get to taste the food.
Each class will cost $50, but larger donations will also be accepted. All the proceeds will go towards the group's goal of raising $5,000. The money will be used to buy an industrial electric mulcher, a shed for the group’s composting site, located behind The Church-in-the-Gardens at 50 Ascan Ave. in Forest Hills, and other equipment, the group said.
The group also plans to build a bioswale at the site in order to absorb rainwater.
“Once we reach our financial goal, the classes will be free,” said Pesantes.
Every Sunday, the group, together with BIG! Compost, collects food scraps at the Forest Hills Greenmarket from hundreds of local residents.
The group also collects scraps at The Church-in-the-Gardens (on Thursdays from 2 to 3 p.m., starting Jan. 9 ) and offers free classes about composting (last Saturday of each month from 12 to 1 p.m.).
To find out more about the group, go here. Those interested in participating in the classes, should e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or call (912) 604-0783.