Pickle Your Beets Online Class

Pickle Your Beets

With Ben Mustin of MM Local Foods and Vanessa Rathbone

Intermediate| 44 minutes


Are you ready to learn the art of pickling? Beets are a simple and delicious way to begin. With guidance from Ben Mustin of MM Local Foods in Denver, Colorado and Vanessa Rathbone (formerly of MM Local) , you’ll discover how fun and easy it can be to create this tangy treat.

Once you learn the pickling basics, the sky’s the limit. You’ll discover that pickling is a smart way to preserve an abundant summer harvest to enjoy throughout the year. 


  1. Meet the Picklers – 2:11
    Meet Ben Mustin and Jim Mills, founders of MM Local.
  2. History & Science – 5:23
    Learn about the pickling process from Ben and Vanessa Rathbone, MM Local’s first employee.
  3. Tools & Ingredients 8:24
    Find out exactly which tools and ingredients you’ll need for a successful pickling project.
  4. Step-By-Step Instructions – 24:04
    Learn the step-by-step process through simple and clear instructions.
  5. Troubleshooting – 4:08
    Learn about the challenges that might arise and how best to avoid them.

Please note that the information presented in this video is for informational, reference, and educational purposes only and should not be interpreted as a substitute for diagnosis and treatment by a healthcare professional.


In 2009, Ben Mustin and Jim Mills founded MM Local Foods in their homes in Boulder, Colorado. They did everything themselves for the first couple of years, making 5,000 jars of canned goodness. MM Local partners with nearby farmers to reduce waste and promote high-quality, local food.

As President and Chief Product Officer for MM Local, Ben leads day-to-day operations of the company and oversees product development, production, brand strategy and marketing efforts. Ben’s culinary curiosity and love of cooking fueled his pursuit and understanding of locally-grown food as a consumer and have translated into product success for MM Local. Ben is inspired daily by the challenge and opportunity to create a brand and a company that connects people with their community through great food, and creating a positive impact on the viability of local food.

When Ben is not at the Denver cannery, he and his wife, Breanna Doll, and his son, Sam Mustin, take every chance they get to eat their way around the world. Ben is also a dedicated backcountry skier, fly-fisherman, and mycophile.

Though Vanessa Rathbone is no longer with MM Local, she was their first employee. She has experience working on small farms in Colorado and teaching adults and children about gardening and farming. She played almost every role in the company, including canner on the assembly line.


  • 12 pounds organic whole beets
  • 8 cups water
  • 6 cups organic distilled white vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cups organic cane sugar
  • 3 teaspoons non-iodized sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 5 pounds ice


  • 12 pint Ball jars, rings, and unused lids
  • 1 very large canning pot
  • 3 medium nonreactive pots, various sizes
  • 1 large bowl, 1 medium bowl
  • Colander or slotted spoon
  • Canning funnel
  • Jar lifter
  • Chef’s knife and paring knife
  • Small spatula or chopsticks
  • Cutting board
  • Dish towels (that you’re not concerned about staining)
  • Forks
  • 12 labels
  • Indelible pen
  • Canning kit (optional)
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