Water Bath Canning Class for Preserving Tribal Food Knowledge at Klamath Tribes

21 Nov 2023, by Admin in Harvest Blog, Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board

Luca is an AmeriCorps member serving with the Harvest VISTA Program for food recovery initiatives. She is hosted by the Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board in Portland, Oregon, where she is their Tribal Food Systems VISTA under the WEAVE-NW Program. Her year of service provides additional support and resources to five specifically funded subaward tribes in Washington, Idaho, and Oregon that have tribal garden/food distribution programs. These tribes’ initiatives promote food sovereignty through their intergenerational, land-based approaches to food availability and distribution efforts. 

Over the two days of classes in Chiloquin and Klamath Falls, the AmeriCorps member worked alongside partners from Oregon State University Extension Offices and her supervisor and Klamath Tribal member to provide the skills and resources to promote food preservation. By re-instilling traditional practices and relationships with native foods through two-hour-long hands-on workshops, a spark for food sovereignty is lit. The class utilized local plums to make three plum jams and a quick vegetable pickling demo. Even with 15 participants in each class, everyone was able to take home a jar of each, so four jars total! The spark was evident to Luca after talking with the participating community members who expressed a need for future classes with other food preservation skills.

The picture above: The supplies for a low-sugar plum jam provided by OSU and the Klamath Tribe

Partners from Oregon State University Extension Offices, the Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board, and Klamath Tribe Commodity Program after their last canning class.
A rack of hot plum jam fresh out of the water bath steamer pot. You can hear them pop like a Snapple!
All three types of plum jam cooling after their 15 minute dunk in the water bath.