DO: PreserveBefore Princeton geologist and peak oil soothsayer, Kenneth Deffeyes, gave a lecture for the Illahee series on oil and water, he engaged City of Portland employees for over an hour to talk about what the end of cheap fossil fuels could mean for our urban area. Although the conversation started with Deffeyes asking about what Portland is doing, the dialogue ended up being mostly one-sided. The charmingly professiorial and grandfatherly Deffeyes peppered his meanderings with a healthy mix of science, personal anecdotes and economics. The take home lesson is that yes, oil and natural gas reserves are on the decline (read more about this prediction and the notorious curve called Hubbert’s Peak here) and that life on this planet will change. Reserving a full discussion of peak oil for a less rainy day, you might ask what can be done to stop the end of the world as we know it?
Despite all the doom and gloom, Deffeyes offered a few remarkably simple solutions. “It is about taking small steps.” One such step was to bring-back the old-time art of canning fruits and vegetables. Although a seemingly laughable solution to impending hardships, inevitable wars and personal tragedies, there is something tangible to Deffeyes recommendation that is a necessary ingredient in the recipe of change. That sentiment may just be what Harriet Fasenfest and Marjorie Braker had in mind when they started Preserve, a “business dedicated to the art and science of food preservation.” Offering classes in a series format (held Saturday mornings for 6 weeks) and one-time events, a Preserve graduATE will have the skills to make jellies, can garden vegetables, pickle and dry their backyard’s or regional farmers’ bounty. Now canning tomatoes may not save the world, but positioning oneself closer to the food chain is not a bad idea. When the end of cheap oil limits the import of food from far away places (the average distance food travels from farm to plate is 1500-2500 miles), a pantry full of sweet jellies, hearty vegetables and savory pickles will certainly preserve some of the comforts we know today.
[Classes held inside Buffalo Gardens]
3033 NE Alberta St.
Portland, OR 97211