Canning: A Labor of Love

A few months ago I was given the opportunity to be part of an exciting project that captivated a small portion of local and western United States history. ‘Canning: A Labor of Love , A Homesteader Museum’s & Powell Maker Space ‘Kitchen Works!’ project, tells the story of food preservation and the way it culturally shaped the western life style. This project, (also in conjunction with The Smithsonian’s Museum on Main Street Exhibit, The Way We Worked) makes a different approach to the subject of canning by telling the stories straight from those who lived and canned for their families.

We filmed the interviews in one beautiful April day. Going to the set location, I didn’t have much experience with the subject of canning. I knew my grandmother canned and preserved food, and that she avidly gardened and made all kinds of dishes/preserved food for times of hardship, and for storage in case of emergency.

Long story short, I walked into the project blinded. I was treated to a fascinating history and great stories. I felt this was not only important, but special for the families. It was more than a chore, or job. It was a way of life. These 4 hard working women have such a great appreciation for food and still to this day seem applaud that anyone can walk into a store and purchase anything under the sun at any time of year. I for one take for granted that we live in a day and age of freezers! These ladies avidly remember life before the freezer and canning was the best way for preserving food.

Rather than write in full detail the great opportunity this was for me to be a part of The Smithsonian’s Museum on Main Street Exhibit, The Way We Worked. Please enjoy the film and the fantastic stories these amazing women have to tell. What a last great project to end my time in Powell, Wyoming.