Monday, March 18, 2013

CTWW - Local produce all year round

This week's Change the World Wednesday, hosted by Reduce Footprints is:

Last August, CelloMom suggested that we find a way to eat local produce throughout the winter months (you can read that challenge HERE). Now that we're moving into spring, it's the perfect time to come up with a strategy to ensure that we'll have local fruits and veggies next winter. Here you go ...

This week develop a strategy which will ensure that you and your family enjoy local produce next winter. Need some suggestions? Plan a garden with preserving in mind. Consider freezing, drying, canning, etc. and start gathering the items/tools you'll need to accomplish it (don't forget to check thrift stores, Freecycle, etc. for things like canning jars, dehydrators, and other items you might need). Visit your farmer's market and learn about the items which they'll have available and when they will arrive for purchase. If you are a member of a CSA, talk to the farmer about your goals and see how he/she can help. This week is all about planning with the goal of having local produce on your plate next winter.

This is a tough one for us.   Mostly because I admit to being rather lazy.  I'm just so tired! haha!    However, we have some things in place to try and do this, things we started last spring.

I've mentioned a couple of times we have a blackberry bush.  Well, we still have a TON of frozen blackberries in our freezer!  We mostly just use them for smoothies during the winter months.  I've slacked with my smoothies but getting back in to the habit of making one every morning.  So this saved us from having to buy a lot of frozen blackberries.

We had a small garden this past summer and plan to do the same thing this year, but we can't produce enough to keep us through the winter.  We just don't have a good spot in our yard that's bigger.  Our yard isn't fenced (very few are and the neighbors kinda frown on it) so we need to stay close to our house and with the pool it's not easy to do.  Plus we have a huge deer problem so we have to build around it to keep the deer out, which can be an eye-sore and frowned upon.  So, we'll do what we can to keep us in fresh food during the summer but won't have enough for all winter.    Baby steps though, right?

What I do love, however, is that a produce store opened up very close to us.  They try to buy local as often as they can, but that's hard in the winter months.  I stopped in once, they just opened this month, and think I'll frequent it often.  They didn't have a ton of organic but said they are planning to start increasing what they do offer in terms of being organic since people keep asking.  They also said that they buy local as much as possible, so May through September I'll be able to get local items.  Fingers crossed this works out!

1 comment:

  1. Mmm ... fresh berries in the winter ... lucky you! Since we grow everything in containers on our patio, I totally understand not being able to grow enough. One area, though, that I've discovered is herbs. I grow a ton of fresh herbs and they like to be clipped ... while I use a lot of them during the summer, I could have been maximizing their growth by clipping even more but ... I didn't need that much and my neighbors weren't interested in free herbs. I discovered dehydrating & freezing. I dried a lot of the herbs and filled old spice jars. I also froze them in ice cube trays ... it's so convenient to pull out a cube and toss it into a soup or stew. I also discovered canning last year and canned tomatoes which I bought from the farmer's market. Wow ... the taste is amazing. It was also surprisingly easy to do.