Food Preservation

Why Food Preservation
by Marge Braker

There was a time when home food preservation was not optional. Our predecessors found the work of tilling, sowing, seeding and harvesting the land a time consuming business. Outside food sources were neither available nor affordable so eating what had been grown and preserved was about survival. Time passed, technology brought modernization and many of the old traditions faded. And while your grandmother and mine may have prided themselves on their blue ribbon jars of peaches, jam, green beans and tomatoes, the time came when local grocery stores offered commercially canned fruits and vegetables at reasonable prices. For good or bad, the canner was relinquished to the basement to gather dust. So what accounts for the resurgence?

The renewed interest in gardening and food preservation reflects peoples desire to have whole and healthy foods grown in whole and healthy communities. It reflects consumer concerns about the environmental impact of non-sustainable food systems. It reflects a desire to know where our food is coming from and what, exactly, is in the jar. It reflects our human instincts toward preservation as more and more people consider the frailty of global food sourcing. It reflects a movement toward urban homesteading as individuals and communities work together to achieve a greater degree of self-reliance. And, finally, it reflects a growing passion about ingredient and Portland’s passion for great food.

Whether you are an experienced preserver or a novice, a seasonal hobbyist or avid gardener geared towards self-reliance, PRESERVE will respond with food preservation classes and web-based education resources.

Additionally, as PRESERVE Home Economist, I will use my skills and experience to discuss a broad range of topics related to home stewardship. Upcoming issues may cover food shopping, helpful techniques for home laundering or how to deal with pantry pests. Feel free to contact me about burning questions you have about managing home and family.

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