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Learning How to Preserve Food and Community

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This summer the Oakville Timberland Regional Library has been working in partnership with the city and the Chehalis Tribe to present a series of educational programs teaching simple ways to create a healthier lifestyle, with a focus on food, eating and exercise. This week dozens of community members gathered at a local church for a two-hour  hands on lesson covering the basics of seasonal canning.

canned veggies

The free class for the public was co-taught by Master Gardener Janet Parker, and RN Todd Simpson, who explained canning essentials, as well as several simple health and safety precautions to be aware of when preserving food. The Chehalis Tribal Wellness Center Director, Jhon Valencia, also addressed the gathered crowd to let everyone know about the two new community gardens that have just been constructed in the area, and about the grant that help pay for this series of healthy lifestyle classes.

vegetables on ice


Janet Parker


How to Preserve Food & Health

Oakville’s superstar Library Manager, Deborah Baker, helped to organize the educational series, and made a wide variety of related library books available to be checked out. During the class local residents shared some of their own food preserving experiences and resources, as well as their many questions about best practices for the canning process. In addition to a jar of freshly jarred veggies, each participant also received a copy of  “Canning and Preserving for Beginners“, a very useful guide that explains the basic essentials of how to preserve food.

Janet Parker

food canning class

vegetables cooked




The last class in the healthy lifestyles series is a discussion about diabetes, and will be taught by registered dietician Patricia Odiorne on Septemeber 4, from 5:30-7:30pm. The free event will be held at the Oakville Methodist Church, at 204 Harris Street in Oakville, Washington.

fresh vegetables

Most of the fresh vegetables used were picked fresh from local farms that morning.

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