Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Bye Bye Seasonal Produce

With the exception of the produce that I've frozen away in my freezer I will be saying goodbye to the following produce until its next season:

Lettuce......after eating a salad each night this past summer it won't be hard to go without this one for the next couple of months. However I am usually guilty of buying organic romaine once in awhile during the winter months.

Strawberries.......this isn't hard because the containers that are shipped in from California during the winter months don't even SMELL like real strawberrries.....they are tasteless. A waste of money in my opinion. If I crave strawberries for my daily smoothie, I will buy the odd bag of frozen strawberries. They are a bit better then the fresh ones....but not much better. know, I can not remember the last time I bought a tomato in the grocery store? It has to be years! I get mine all summer long from the farmers markets and we just do without throughout the winter. I guess we get our fix of tomato cravings from tomato sauce.

Grapes.....once the stores stop selling the USA grapes and start selling the south american ones, I quit buying grapes until next summer.

Watermelon.......I don't recall ever seeing a watermelon for sale in the middle of February in my city anyways.

Peaches, nectarines, plums, pears......we buy and eat large quantities of these fruit while in season so we don't miss them during the winter.

Besides the obvious distance out of season produce has to travel to get to us we stopped buying the above produce during the winter because the stuff just doesn't taste good! When you get spoiled by eating it fresh and at its juiciest - why settle for anything less???!!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Fall Harvest

Well, hello!! I don't expect anyone to be reading this blog since I've become so delinquent in my posts. The kids were out of school for the summer so spending time with them outdoors has been my top priority. But, they are back in school full time now and I've been busy with doing some fall food storage.

I took a bunch of pictures to post here - some of my freezer and storage closet full of food, some canning pictures, etc etc. but for some reason I can not upload them today. This computer just isn't cooperating. So, you'll have to settle for a pictureless post. Sorry :(

So, what have I been up to???

1. I put together an 'emergency tote' with enough supplies for 72 hours - supplies that would be needed in case we are without power and/or water. I followed the guidelines as set out at . I purchased a practical kit from that has first aid supplies, wind up radio, etc etc. to go in my tote of food, water, blankets, etc.
2. I've been filling our freezer with food from our weekly CSA box. (which sadly came to an end last Saturday) (sniff, sniff) Any food we didn't eat up each week got put in the freezer for the winter months. For example, we always got a ton of spinach and swiss chard. And even though I eat some of that every day in my daily green smoothie there was always plenty left each week. So I froze the leftovers. Volia - I've got enough spinach and swiss chard for at least 6 months worth of smoothies.
3. Other items in my freezer for the winter months include: beets (i peeled and cut into chunks for the smoothies), kale (from my container garden), blueberries (locally picked), green peppers (that I've already diced up), green beans, broccoli (which I didn't get enough of and will be finished in about 2 months) and strawberries. Actually, I finished the last bag of strawberries last week. Sadly we only picked 6 3 litre baskets and never got back to the field to pick anymore . So those baskets only lasted from July-October. Note to self: PICK MORE STRAWBERRIES. I completely missed out on raspberries this year.
4. I stocked up a small broom closet with enough food for about 3 months. As sales arise I will try to build up an even bigger food supply. Some of the items in this closet are: tomato sauces, noodles, bags of rice, dried beans, locally made saurkraut, local honey, a big bag of flour and enough potatoes to get us through to Christmas - maybe even longer. If they don't sprout on me.
5. I canned chili sauce and my hubbie canned pickles. That is the only canning I did this year.
6. I dried the herbs from my container garden in my bedroom closet - on trays. (oregano, dill, and sage) Then I crushed the herbs and put into glass jars.
7. Along with a 3 month supply of food, I also stocked up on personal care items: toliet paper, soaps (locally made), razors, shampoos, etc. I cleared off a shelf in our linen closet and made room for all these items.
8. I made the switch to reusuable menstral pads and am loving them. I got a kit from You can get any info you like from that website.

I am pleased with the amount of food I accumulated thoughout the summer. We did better then last year so it's an improvement. Obviously if I had gotten enough to last us till May that would be even better....but baby steps. I focused on getting the things we eat the most of. Like the spinach as I can not get that organic here in the winter months. I can never find saurkraut that is fresh either - the stuff at the grocery store is full of sulfites. So having a few big jars in the closet is great for us.
With all the scary talk on the news about rising food costs, food shortages, food storage it got me to thinking that I had better get my family prepared. So I took the steps this past summer to build up a food supply - it may not be huge, but its a start. As we go along we are learning!