Food preservation, healthy living classes planned for Ketchikan

A faded totem pole topped by a red-beaked bird stands in front of an evergreen tree.
Photo by pabradyphoto, iStock
A totem pole stands in Ketchikan, where a Cooperative Extension Service agent will teach three days of workshops focusing on healthy living, healthy home skills and food preservation in mid-July.

Three days of classes on healthy living, food safety and food preservation are planned for Ketchikan.

Sarah Lewis, a University of Alaska Fairbanks Cooperative Extension Service health, home and family development agent, will be in Ketchikan from July 12-14 to teach the classes and to test pressure canner gauges. All events will be at the Ketchikan Public Library, 1110 Copper Ridge Lane. Some events are free; others have a small fee, which is waived for Alaska Native tribe members and youths attending with adults.

On Friday, July 12, from 4-6 p.m., Lewis will lead a free class on food preservation safety for local food leaders. It is designed for community, tribal and organization members who are involved with community gardens or farms, food security and food sovereignty programs, food and nutrition education, food entrepreneurship and other food-focused programming. The class will outline the most important food and public safety risks associated with food preservation and how to minimize those risks.

On Saturday, July 13, Lewis will conduct free pressure canner dial gauge tests from noon to 1 p.m. and answer questions about food preservation. Gauges should be tested every year to ensure they reach the pressure and temperature needed to preserve foods safely.

From 1-3 p.m., Lewis will teach a class on the basics of food entrepreneurship. This class includes information for cottage foods and small specialty food producers, market and community gardeners, and sales of wild harvest berries and vegetables. State and federal regulations and guidelines will be introduced, as well as food safety and safe food preservation methods. The cost is $5.

From 3:30-5:30 p.m., Lewis will teach a class on pickling and fermenting vegetables. The cost is $10.

On Sunday, July 14, from 12:30-2 p.m., learn what to do if your freezer fails and you need to preserve food quickly. Lewis will discuss the ways to safely and quickly preserve food from your freezer and what equipment to have on hand. The cost is $5.

From 2-3:30 p.m., Lewis will teach a class on the basics of food preservation. She will introduce pressure canning, water-bath canning, dehydrating, pickling and freezing. She will also explain the science behind the different methods. The cost is $5.

A class on cooking for bone health is scheduled from 4-5 p.m. Participants will learn how to include foods with bone-strengthening nutrients in their daily diet. The cost is $5.

From 5-6 p.m., Lewis will lead a class on cooking for brain health, explaining how to include foods with brain-helpful nutrients in daily diets. 

Preregistration is requested at

For more information, contact Sarah Lewis at or 907-455-2010.  

Accommodation requests related to a disability should be made five business days in advance to Sarah Lewis at or 907-455-2010.