Posts of Interest

Posted October 14, 2015 ~ TO PRESERVE, 

Winter Squash Wisdom from Hal Meng

Farm Pumpkins from Wikimedia Commons
(Public Domain)
Every year I get this same question, “Why can’t I preserve pumpkin puree?  My grandmother used to, in just a water bath!”

I am always tempted to respond, “And she isn’t dead?” Of course, I never actually say that.

I know all the reasons for why pumpkin and squash purees have very special physical properties that make canning them at home very unsafe, but I usually ended up rambling for a half hour or more.  This podcast is the clearest and shortest explanations I’ve ever heard and it really makes clear the reasons we need to follow USDA tested recipes and use proper equipment and techniques.   I highly recommend you listen.

"Why It's Unsafe to Can Pumpkin Puree" from

Note: You can apply this approach to winter squashes, not just pumpkin.


Posted January 7, 2017 

The Center for Food Preservation Arts has completed its second year, working locally to re-center the food system by addressing food insecurity and waste. We continue to dedicate its efforts to strengthen our community by creating opportunities for people of different abilities, socio-economic statuses, and cultural and racial backgrounds to come together around the shared experience of food preservation.


2016 saw CFPA setting goals for manageable program growth, knowing that it would be a year full of discovery and definition. The year did not disappoint. 

CFPA produced a total of 86 events this year, including:
  • 15 Information Sessions
  • 13 Demonstrations
  • 30 Canning Parties
  • 10 Canning Bees with various groups
  • 15 Sessions of Preservin' for the Hungry

Pierce County residents, over 700 of them, participated across a number of program areas: learning, trying new techniques and new ideas, giving time to help those in need totaling 1,324 Participant Hours.

Making new friends, experiencing something new with old friends, giving back to the community.

CFPA builds relationships with like-minded organizations also serving our community.  We continue to build cooperative and relationships and partnerships in order to better serve people throughout Pierce County.

In 2016 saw us working alongside:
  • St Leo's Food Connection
  • Trinity Lutheran Church
  • Pt Defiance Ruston Senior Center
  • Harvest Pierce County
  • Central Co-op
  • Marlene's Market and Deli
  • Just and Healthy Food System (COI)
  • Auburn, Orting, Proctor and Spanaway Farmers' Markets

And serving our community with the support of:
  • The Forest Foundation
  • The Greater Tacoma Community Foundation
  • Pierce Conservation District
  • Trinity Lutheran Church Feeding Ministry
  • Generous Individuals in our Community


Preservin' for the Hungry, working in partnership with Trinity Lutheran Church's Feeding Ministry, dedicated over 300 volunteer hours and produced 467 quarts of applesauce for those in need.  As a bonus, three quarters of a ton of apples, which otherwise would have gone to waste, were put to good use.


Join us in the New Year!

Bookmark our website, follow us on social media, join our email list, and share the many opportunities we provide with your friends and family. The circle gets wider and wider with YOUR help.

Thank you for a terrific 2016.


Posted January 27, 2016 
Continuing boldly into 2016!

One of CFPA's key strategies is the fourth spoke of our wheel: Support.  Preservin’ for The Hungry is how we make that intention a reality.   By partnering with food banks, feeding ministries, and other emergency food organizations to provide shelf stable jams and applesauce, the Center is fostering activities that create and support community.

In a pilot program at Trinity Lutheran Church (Parkland) last year, CFPA worked to obtain a permit from Washington State Department of Agriculture to produce berry jams and applesauce from donated fruit.  Under the permit these shelf stable products can be distributed through Trinity’s Food Pantry program, and sent to other food bank.  By the end of 2015 over 125 quarts of applesauce were produced, which continue to be distributed.   At this rate, last year’s stock will be gone soon.

Full Applesauce making sessions at Trinity will begin February 23rd, and continue on second and fourth Tuesdays, from 2:00 to 7:00 PM (There will be some exceptions. Check CFPA schedule for session confirmation).  Two shifts are planned during that period.  Shifts are about 2-2 ½ hours. There is some room for flexibility, depending on people's individual schedules. Each event will be announced at least a week in advance with session sign-up on Eventbrite or by phone.  Everyone gets to take some of the product home. 

More details will follow, but you don't need to wait to express your interest.  Contact CFPA now if you are certain that this is a community effort that you want to support with your time and talent.  Knowing how many people are interested in volunteering now will help with planning. 

Time is not the only thing that makes this program a success. If you can’t commit time, Preservin’ for the Hungry also needs donations of standardized canning quart jars (like Ball or Kerr) and new narrow mouth jar lids.  Cash donations are always gratefully accepted.



You don’t have to be a farmer to access healthier foods for you and your family.

YOU CAN keep your food sourcing close to home, and there are many ways to do it.  Most communities these days have active farmer’s markets and community garden programs.  Even this local sourcing does not eliminate potential food waste.  Food grown close to the point of consumption and eaten fresh has been proven to be healthier by far, and without artificial preservatives and mechanized canning methods of the commercial food industry, it also goes bad faster. Fruits and vegetables purchased economically from local growers can be eaten now, and may also be preserved for later. It is not as hard as you might think.

There are lots of options for preserving locally sourced produce.

  • Freezing and Dehydrating ~ Freezing and dehydrating fresh produce are the oldest and easiest home food preservation techniques. Fruits and vegetables can be processed in small batches as they ripen in the home garden producing products that can be safely stored for several years. 
  • Water Bath Canning ~ When we think of ‘canning’, pickles, jams and jellies, fruit, salsas spring to mind.  All of these share certain characteristics that make it possible to create shelf stable preserves through a dance of chemistry, heat, light, water, and air.
  • Pressure Canning ~ Anyone who has been around canning has a family stories about how grandma had a pressure canner explosion, “blew up the kitchen and the cat never came back”.  Some of those stories might have a spark of truth but modern canners have multiple features that make them very safe when used properly.   And pressure canning is the only way to safely preserve foods like vegetables and meats.  
The Center’s mission is to build community by sharing information and offering education on these preservation methods, and by creating access to equipment and resources that promote taking charge of your own food sourcing.

“Many people confuse self-reliance with self-sufficiency.   Especially in an urban area, such as ours, true self-sufficient living is impossible.

“We can and should, however, build a community with like-minded people and continuously work toward self-reliance: the ability to make and do things.”

Erik Knutzen, co-author of

Radical Home Ec for a Post-Consumer World

FACT: Almost 40 millions tons of food waste annually in United States

Click Here to learn more

The United States spends about 1 billion dollars a year just to dispose of food waste. 

Click Here to learn more

INFO: Get the "Big Picture" and more information, check out this NPR radio featureTo End Food Waste, Change Needs to Begin at Home  Click Here to listen

Questions? Need more Information? CONTACT US

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