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Laura Hinrichs

"I've always made jam," says Laura Hinrichs, raised in Missouri on her mother's family's farm until age six, when her parents moved to Seattle. "My mother canned during the war." After high school, she married and divorced twice, graduated from UC Berkeley, and taught kindergarten and ESL for five years in the Bay Area. She married Karl Hinrichs, taught for five years more in LA, then earned a law degree in 1979, and practiced law for 15 years. "I did a lot of work before the probate bar, protective proceedings for people who lacked capacity," she says. "It's an area where adversarial proceedings are not the best answer." In 2001, the Hinrichs relocated to the McKenzie River Valley east of Springfield. "I took the 0SU Extension Master Food Preservers Program in 2004," she says. "In 2008, we were told that our program would be suspended." Hinrichs has taken an active role among local MFPs, who have kept the program alive by partnering with other groups, such as Skinner City Farm, and raising money to support a one-day-a-week extension agent. "Food preservation is the poor stepchild of the sustainable food movement," she says. "I want to focus on the esthetic side to make it available to the public. Our next event is a cheese-tasting at Newman's Fish Market on September 30."

happening people

photograph and story by Paul Neevel

Eugene Weekly / 15 September 2011

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