Ed Hudson, Biochemist and Home Food Preservation Enthusiast

Name: Ed Hudson, Ph.D.Ed Hudson

Occupation: Biochemist

Place of Residence: Pearland, Texas

Background and Personal History: Science is Ed’s occupation, while figuring out ways to preserve and keep healthier foods is his preoccupation.

He was born and raised in Texas. While working on his doctorate in Cardiovascular Pathology, Ed started home brewing, and, along with some friends, started The Killer Ales Homebrew Club in the Houston area. A few years later, while doing post-doctoral work in Maryland, he started the Killer Ales of Maryland and was a co-founder of the Free State Homebrew Club Guild. In 2002, with the children weary of Maryland winters, his family returned to Texas.

For the next 9 years, the pace of life and raising kids pulled Ed away from home brewing, but in 2011, 8 weeks after marrying his wife, Jennifer, and 31 years after their one-and-only date in high school, things changed. They returned home early from their honeymoon after Jennifer grew ill. Six weeks later, she was diagnosed with colon cancer. 2012 was a year filled with many surgeries and chemotherapy. During that time, Ed returned to the garden for some relaxation and to provide some healthy organic produce for his family.

Jennifer has been cancer-free since 2012, but the gardening bug is here to stay. Ed has been expanding and experimenting with his small suburban garden ever since. The family very sarcastically, and with a great deal of pretentiousness, refers to it as Hudson’s Farm on the Cement Pond. (The Cement Pond refers to the neighborhood retention pond just behind their house.)

Gardening successes led to produce excesses, which eventually led to starting to pickle and preserve all of the extra crops so that the family could enjoy them later in the cooler fall and winter months. Pickling with a brine led to fermenting, and things took off from there. Ed has now made fresh cheeses, cured and smoked salmon, kimchi, sauerkraut, all sorts of jams and jellies, and has also started canning corn and soup stocks.

He grew up on those crummy canned goods. Learning to preserve food has allowed him to merge his love of science and the lab with the desire to better nourish his family while providing them with healthier foods.

Current Projects: Ed has just finished a couple of batches of strawberry jam and a grape jelly. He has a malt vinegar and an apple cider vinegar that have been “maturing” for about 4 months. Improving his mozzarella cheese and preserving an egg yolk are next on his list, and he is learning to make sake in hopes of having some ready for the holidays.

Other Fun Facts: Ed is a biochemist with a government contractor for NASA at the Johnson Space Center in Houston. He monitors the risk of renal stone formation pre-, in- and post-flight in the astronauts. He is also part of the team that monitors water quality on the International Space Station.

More Places to Find Ed on the Web: Ed and his family write and post pictures about their gardening efforts on their Hudson’s Farm on the Cement Pond Facebook page, and he wrote about his wife’s cancer treatment at Point-7 Miles.