SEARHC’s Putting Up POW Grub celebrates 10 years

June 07 2012

Alaskans spend much of the summer harvesting berries, fish, seaweed and other local foods so they can put up some grub for the winter. This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Putting Up POW Grub event hosted by the SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC) Prince of Wales Health Promotion Program.

This year’s Putting Up POW Grub events take place in Hydaburg and Klawock — from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Friday, June 15, at the Alma Cook Health Center in Hydaburg, and from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, June 16, at the Alaska Native Brotherhood Hall in Klawock.

The event was originally started to help community members put up local foods safely by offering gauge testing for pressure cookers (recommended each year). Evelyn Williams and June May, SEARHC’s Community Wellness Advocates for Klawock and Craig at the time, were trained in safe food preservation by the University of Alaska Fairbanks Cooperative Extension Service’s home economists. The training made them qualified to use the master gauge tester to check the accuracy of home canner pressure gauges around the community. In addition to gauge testing, the event planners strived to provide a variety of food preservation handouts, recipes and gardening tips. To sweeten the pot, there have always been enticing door prizes, even brand-new pressure cookers at the various event sites of Hydaburg, Craig and Klawock.

These yearly events could not have happened if not for generous community groups who donated their facilities for our use, including the Craig Tribal Association, Thompson House, City of Klawock, Klawock Alaska Native Brotherhood and the Alma Cook Health Center. In addition, the UAF Cooperative Extension Service and Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute have provided many educational handouts and recipes.

“As is tradition, we will have many door prizes related to food preservation, including awesome grand prizes for those who have their canner gauge(s) tested,” SEARHC Health Educator June May said. “To commemorate our 10th anniversary and thank all of you who have supported us over the years, we will be giving away a beautiful, locally designed bag to each person who attends.” The SEARHC POW Health Promotion team sincerely thanks the following for providing the design elements for the bags — Brian Holter Jr. (design), Ken Yates, Linda Schrack, Lisa Lang and Ben Young (Haida translation); Debbie Head, Roby Littlefield and Eva Rowan (Tlingít translation) for “Our Way of Life;” and Kim Scheidecker (for her generous printing donation).

Please dust off your canners and join us in getting ready to put up that POW grub. For more information, call June May at 755-4959.