Monday, October 24, 2011

In America right now families, including mine, are struggling to survive, to put food on the table, to keep a roof over their heads.

Local Food puts revenue back in to the local economy. It creates jobs in your local community. Thriving local farms are also more likely to donate food to community programs which help feed those that are hungry and/or homeless.

Growing part of your own food supply and learning to preserve the harvest year round can provide families more control of their food budget. It helps lower food costs. It encourages greater observation and attention to be given to what we eat and when we eat it. It promotes less waste and more creativity.

So far, since June 1, 2011, I have seen a drastic change in our household food budget. Growing my own, buying local food at a CSA and learning to store and preserve food has made a real difference in our expenses. My yearly food budget, including cleaning products and misc items, used to run around $12,000. (Feeding a household of 5 or 6 people and several animals) Now if I average the cost of our CSA farm shares, milk delivery and our much smaller grocery bills I spend about $5000. a year. These means eating local and growing my own saves me $7000. a year. Think about what you could do with $7000.?

This journey has only been going on 5 months. Getting through the winter will be a test of my food preservation skills, cooking creativity and indoor growing ability. Still the financial difference is real and noticeable. My family also eats healthier food and makes a lot less waste.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Ripening Green Tomatoes

Ripe Tomatoes

Green Tomatoes
The last of the cherry tomatoes from the garden had to be picked while they were still green. It's cold at night now, too cold for tomatoes. The trick to ripening tomatoes inside quickly and without a lot of mess is apples. Place your green tomatoes in a paper bag along with an apple or two. The apples release gas that ripens the tomatoes. This can also be done with a banana but let's face it as banana's get old they turn into brown mush which gets all over your beautiful tomatoes. Apples on the other hand just shrivel up and then get tossed in the compost. Easy breezy. Now to wait another 25 days for my indoor tomatoes to be ready.....