Green America: Growing the Green Economy for People and the Planet

Mary's Wholesome Living
Chicago, IL

Who can “can”?  You can!  With Mary Krystinak of Mary’s Wholesome Living!

Mary’s Wholesome Livingis dedicated to teaching modern day folks the lost kitchen arts of our mothers and grandmothers, such as canning, fermentation, preserving, pickling,  pressure cooking, and baking from scratch. As my motto states Can U Can? Yes! You Can. Winning this award would allow me to expand and hire additional help assuring that this wonderful tradition can be passed on to future generations.

Canning is one of the most environmentally sound methods of food preservation. My goal is to keep this tradition alive.  Jars are reused for many generations and the finished product is shelf stable for a year.  Produce from your garden and local farmers are used, guaranteeing that you know where your food comes from.  Lasting relationships are formed with like-minded people by sharing our resources, knowledge and life experiences. Together we keep local small businesses and farms alive and flourishing.

My cooking classes are designed for everyone, whether they are a beginner or a more experienced cook.  At times we’ve had three generations cooking together.  Each participant receives detailed printed instructions, recipes and links to more pertinent information – and goes home with what they have made in class!  Classes are hands-on allowing everyone to practice, experiment and ask questions during each step for better learning.  This method provides the participants with the confidence they need to return home and recreate the dish on their own.  I am currently offering these classes each month at Whole Foods Naperville, Heritage Prairie Farm and Saage Culinary Studio.

During classes tips are shared on how to further care for our earth by recycling all the cooking scraps into your compost, which in turn will nourish the plants for next year’s harvest.  Even the water used to heat the jars goes back into the garden.

Canning is not the only DIY cooking that I teach.  Do you want to learn to make your own Kombucha?  How about culturing your own yogurt and kefir?  Want to incorporate more fermented foods into your diet? – well Mary will get your creative juices flowing and your veggies bubbling with one of her fermentation classes.

Whether you are looking to learn canning to preserve summer’s bounty for the winter months, or just learn to use your new pressure cooker, I will guide you through all the steps needed to creating healthy, wholesome, home cooked foods for you and your loved ones.

Below, left: Mary explaining how to can; Below, right: Teaching canning at the Chicago Green Festival.
Explaining Demonstrating

Below, left to right, classes in: Kimchi, blackberry jam, and canned tomatoes.
Kimchi Tomatoes


Mary