I too have a ton of green tomatoes. This happened last year, also. Part of the problem is that my garden has been under a foot of water until May. I have my starts ready to go, but they just don't mature as fast if they have that extra month in a pot. I also think there's something going on with the quality of light, its very yellow and transmuted. The light seems surrealistic this year, sometimes I fell like I'm in a waking dream. I don't hardly have to water, either, like there is less evaporation. Am I crazy?
Whatever is going on, how do I get these tomatoes to ripen, as its going to start raining very soon? I've cut off extra foliage, wiggled the bases a bit, and covered them. But they just sit there being green. I've also put sliced apples underneath the plant, again, nothing.
Growing and preserving food locally is very important for our food security. These are skills that will definitely become in demand in the future. Skills I would also like to learn are how to make wine and vinegar, how to make plant extracts, and how to weave and basket making.
I've also started a kind of barter system with people I know for canned foods and organically grown stuff. My local farmers market has never heard of organic, otherwise I would support them.
So I can a lot, this year blackberry jam, grape juice and jelly, apple sauce and hopefully tomatoes. I also made my own raisins, very yummy. I also dry herbs for cooking. Next yaear I hope to do raspberries, strawberry and blueberry jam and green beans. I'm also looking for way to do figs?
It's been a tough year for tomatoes. You can preserve green tomatoes but to ripen, you might try this. Before a hard frost (that's important as frost destroys the cells), pick all the green or turning tomatoes. Wrap each in a piece of newspaper or tissue paper and pack them in a cardboard box. They will ripen slowly. Check the box once or twice a week and remove any that are ripe or decaying. You can also set picked tomatoes on a window sill out of direct sunlight and wait for them to ripen.
I'm new to preserving food. I didn't grow up with it as a tradition in my household either.
I claim to be part of the kids of baby-boomers backlash generation: we want back the traditions that our parents rejected. For me this includes preserving foods, and reclaiming the word 'homemade'. No frozen tv dinners or pop tarts for me please.
Why start now? My quest to eat local foods year round brought me to taking Harriet Fasenfest's Preserve classes. Specific draws- desiring Oregon tomatoes out of season, wanting to offer more personal Christmas gifts from my kitchen, and wanting to conquer the unknown of preservation's rules and science. Oh, and my small freezer space demands that I learn preservation too.
More and more I come back to the realization that the industrialization of our food shed the last thirty or so years as been destructive to our health, our food communities and our personal culture. Food should be personal- what better way to get back to that place than reclaiming all the processes of our kitchen?
While I grew up in a canning household; my mom always had a pantry full of blackberry and strawberry jam, peaches, tomatoes, beets (which I always hated until I was in my 30s), pickles; I was afraid of canning until this year. my husband and I tried to make pickles a few years ago with an old cookbook from the library, and they came out awfully -- we finally threw the last jar away this spring and I started anew.
most of my impetus was the aspiration to eat locally. as part of that journey, I've been trying to know where *everything* in my diet comes from, and how it gets there. after having evaluated the history and chemistry of sugar, I just can't use it any more, so I've been doing all my canning with honey and maple syrup. at first it was limiting, but I started getting creative and extemporaneous and developed the most wonderful combinations using fruit from the farmer's market and herbs/flowers from my garden, like peach calendula and strawberry marjoram honey melon sage.
like everyone else here, I've done lots of tomato sauce and tomato jam -- and have much more to go! incidentally, last night LeAnn sent me her chile sauce recipe; I'm going to make it tomorrow during the show in your honor!
and cassandra2: I've been having a great time with a huge neighborhood fig tree. so far I've made pear fig lavender jam (SO good) and fig onion relish. I'm headed to the kitchen right now to make some more fig preserves.
From the time I was 4 yrs. old, I spent the bulk of my free time with my Grandma Mary who lived two houses down. I tagged along and tried to do whatever she did. Among other things, she taught me to wash clothes in a wringer washer, hang them out to dry, iron, sew and prepare foods that didn't require the use of processed store-bought items. The foods we used were grown in her garden, then canned or stored in her root cellar. She taught me the value of doing things for yourself. To this day, the work I enjoy the most is "hand to mouth" ?no middle man involved. I've gardened and canned almost every year since. When you work full-time it can be a challenge. And it's not always the cheapest way to go. But the thing is ? I HAVE TO. It's ingrained in me and very satisfying. It's also a way of remembering my sweet Grandma and those who have passed on. I intend to continue and pass on the tradition to my children.
Preserving is one of the greatest joys of life. But, before we can say whether canning or fresh is best, we must research very carefully which method provides the most nutrients for our family members and friends. Most importantly, as the "keeper of the keys", we must see ourselves as being trusted with providing the cells in the bodies of those we love with the upmost nutrients and not just feeding hungry stomachs. Only when we understand that we are responsible for their health, can we do our best work. Unfortunately, our education system does not take seriously our health. If it did, there would be mandatory education classes by trained nutritionists from the time our children enter school. We know so much about so many things in this age, but so little about the biochemistry of our body. Few folks ever even graduate from college with any hours in nutrition or biochemistry.
Since I was born before World War II began and stood in many lines to buy rationed items, I know how important putting away food is. Many meals of my early childhood consisted of the chow chow I helped my mother put away and a serving of beans. But we survived and I knew people who would rather eat that meal with our family than a meal with all the trimmings. I used those lessons she taught me to get through the hard times in the 70's and I continue to use them now. Growing our own food and preserving it will always be important because of economics and health. But the pleasure of doing it is beyond what words can express. I still make all of my food from scratch and bake my own bread with whole grains as I did when I was a full time employee and raising 4 children. We can find the time, but we have to decide how important the health of our family is.
My freezer is filled with over 100 jars of berry jam, many jars of peach, plum and fig jam, over 40 jars of pesto and many sacks of blueberries, and other fruit. I use the freezer method of making my jam with the Ball powder because it enables me to have the jam in the freezer within 35 minutes of picking the fruit and uses considerably less sugar than the other methods. The taste is equisite and tastes like the fruit I picked. It does not require any equipment other than a knife, potato masher and small canning jars. It is good for three weeks after a jar is opened from the freezer. For some of the bagged fruit only a little Fruit Fresh sprinkled on is all that it needs. I do some canning, but only when it provides the most nutrients.
If anyone wishes to understand the wonderful connection between science, nutrition and art in the kitchen, I recommend an older, but still excellent book - Laurel's Kitchen. Also, a book that brings new light on our very expensive way of feeding the nation and world is Omnivore's Dilemma. If we really care about the environment, we must try to eat more simply and share our harvest.
Growing up, it seemed that we always had a constant supply of canned goodies at home. Mom made the best strawberry jam and her homemade applesauce was great with pork chops or on its own. But the favorite was always the homemade pickles. I will always love seeing the look on someone's face when they bite into their first homemade pickle. I'm not sure what makes them so superior to the grocery store variety, but they certainly are. It could be the recipe, or that they aren't massed produced, or just that they're made with more love. Whatever it is, Mom had it and she put it into every jar of pickles she canned.
My story is probably remarkably similar to millions of Americans. The only difference is that I am only 22 years old. My mother carried on the tradition of food preservation long after so many other Americans had abandoned it. And she did so with good reason! Home canning saves money but it cuts down on the the amount of "mystery ingredients" and chemicals in the food too. It also gives the cook a great deal of pride; there is nothing more rewarding than enjoying perfect apple sauce, jam or pickle and knowing how much hard work went into it.
I imagine that the current economic crisis will encourage more Americans to wipe the cobwebs off their canners and start preserving again. The past several decades have been all about convenience. People didn't care about spending big bucks as long as something was quick and easy. Home preserving definitely went out of style. As our fast paced, money driven culture begins to slow down, more people will have the time, and the thriftiness, to start canning once again.
This year was the first of my adult life that I did any home preserving. Mom helped me make several pints of spicy dill and bread & butter pickles. I canned several jars of marinated onions on my own and I'm also trying my hand at fermenting cabbage for homemade sauerkraut. Home preserving has been a fascinating and fun experience for me this year. I can't wait to give my friends a taste and say "I made this myself!"
I am 26 and just learned how to can in the last two years or so. My Grandma is teaching me and I am the only one in my family who is trying to carry on this tradition. I know that my Grandma learned from her mother because it was a necessity for her family at the time. Unfortunately, in this day and age it is no longer a necessity and therefore a bit of a vanishing art.
I am so thrilled to see this discussion this morning! I too have gotten the bug to begin new adventures in preserving. I grew up on a centruy old farm in Banks, Oregon and as an adult, I have no greater desire than to return to the farm and share with my young boys all the wonder (and hard work) that comes with farming. One of the best memories I have as a little girl, was watching all the "ladies" of the town gather every harvest season around my mom's kitchen table. We preserved everything we could grow on the farm and my mom has a special (huge) room in her house just to store her preserved food.
I now have come to realize that preserving food is not just about storing food for the winter, but it is about the community gathering, the love, the joys, the gossip, the talk, the memories that are formed around a hot stove, an apple peeler and many generations of friends and family.
I've begun reflecting on this topic lately and I began a short essay...I'll paste it below. Enjoy the read!
I'll be sure to listen to the show on my commute in to Portland tomorrow. I'm a professor of biology at the University of Portland and I listen to Talk out Loud every morning on my way to campus.
Cheaper Just to Buy by Jacquie Van Hoomissen
We?ve done the math a thousand times and the numbers always give us the same result. It doesn?t matter, though. Every year, just like the constantly changing seasons that never fail to return, at the end of every harvest, we sit down together, gather around the table in my mother?s kitchen, open the book, rework the math, and come to the exact same conclusion; it?s cheaper just to buy.
We sit there staring at the sparsely written text that we?ve laid down in our book, the special book that holds a sacred place on the second shelf in my mother?s kitchen, and we wonder why we keep doing this. For some reason, we can?t stop. My 85 year old grandmother has been carrying on the tradition for as long as she can recall, starting out in Idaho where her family did ?just fine? through the great depression, as she recalls, because of their varied skills on the farm and in the kitchen. So here we sit, another harvest season coming to an end and the data prove to us that we must be crazy, or backwards, or old fashioned, or whatever, because we are working for about $0.50 an hour, if that. But here we sit, tallying our day?s work and we can?t help but anticipate the day when we can write into the book the real value and meaning of our efforts. But, it is difficult to summarize these ideas using only math and numbers as the mechanism by which we record our labors. So, we just do as we normally do, and write down the numbers, glance them over, and conclude, yet again, that we really should stop doing this, because it is cheaper to buy preserved fruit at the store than it is to can our own fruit from our family?s century farm.
But, that?s the catch, we work tirelessly all day, we slump into our beds, exhausted after having spent ten hours straight peeling pears, and we awake the next day glowing in a sense of accomplishment, a sense of pride, and most importantly, a sense that we belong to a special and unique community of family and friends that would rather spend an entire Saturday canning fruit to feed their families throughout the winter season, than doing something more common on a weekend free from work.
So we do it again at the end of every harvest season. But the beauty of our endeavors is reflected in the saying that ?you get what you pay for.? And yes, at any local grocery store we would pay just $1.00 for a can of preserved pears, but when we opened the can, all we would find inside, is food, and that?s it. Nothing else. When I send my 6 year old son to the basement to ?bring up? a quart of our family?s preserved pears for dinner, we open the lid and listen for the slow hissing sound that confirms our success and then we find what we were really after, that special ?something else? that is preserved in every one of our family?s ever expanding collection of Kerr canning jars; a treasure trove of memories slithering and gliding around each and every surface of our food, which greet us as the first bit of juice drops into our mouths. At that moment, I?m hooked. I?ll never give up preserving our food and memories in the same canning jars we used when I was a little farm girl, even though the academic inside of the grown woman that I?ve become knows it really is cheaper just to buy.
I'm a 58-year-old engineer. In our technological world, where we're disconnected from the making of things, it's easy fall into a numb series of passive activities--computers, TV, BlackBerries...When I was a teenager my mom and I cooked, canned, sewed clothes...but by my 40s, work, kids, and commuting had squeezed these out of the mix. Plus, didn't we consider these household skills inconsistent w/our new Professional Woman outlook? BUT...Increasingly I find myself returning to these--finding physical, hands-on projects an important balance to WORK-SLEEP-WORK. Even more, I really find satisfaction and a connection with community/heritage through teaching myself near "lost" arts...so since moving to Oregon, I taught myself to can, make jam, applesauce, and once pumped, moved on to teaching myself quilting, knitting, crocheting, and embroidery.
Others talk about the benefit of fresh food--knowing the source, reducing additives, and this is all good, too--but for me, it's the physical accomplishment. I go to my local U-Pick, pick the apples, then through organization, skill, and diligence, voila! I've produced quarts of lovely, tasty applesauce...which I can also share with friends as homemade gifts. What's not to love!
Interesting this topic is coming up-I have been looking for canning/preserving blogs in portland this summer and wasn't able to find very many..
My mother says I'm channeling her mom this summer as I got some kind of crazy canning bug, but it did not come from learning from any of my relatives. I think it all started last year when I tested a few pickle recipes after reading a recipe in Food Day.. my daughter ate the pickled green beans like candy.. we ran out in mid-November and I resolved that next summer I would make enough to last us through the winter. (I also tried a few berry recipes and did not make enough to last either.. )
so this year to make up for running out early I've canned:
-tomatoes (salsa, bruschetta sauce, in juice, and frozen tom. soup base)
-peaches in syrup
-pears in syrup
-applesauce and pearsauce
-pickles (dill, bread & butter, green & wax beans)
-green tomato salsa
-strawberry lemonade concentrate
-razz. lemonade concentrate
-strawberry currant juice
-pink gooseberries in syrup
-strawberry jam (3 batches: plain, w/razz & balsamic, mint & black pepper)
-roasted tomatoes (frozen if they don't get eaten w/in 24 hours)
I've also frozen bags of green beans, corn, and berries.. And we have a batch of apple cider brewing.
All of the produce was either picked out of my yard, my neighbor's yard, or u-pick from local tri-county no-spray farms. The only exception was the pears, which are from a hood river orchard.
I'm already planning on doing at least one more batch of green beans, and I'll have to deal with all of my green tomatoes, so that means more salsa.
The scariest part is that my husband and i discussed how this year my canning is supposed to be the experimental year to see what we like.. next year is going to be the year we go whole hog on the favorites.. I can't even imagine what the basement shelves will look like then!
My husband and I typically spent about $100 - $125 per week on groceries. Last June we put in a garden and purchased several varieties of grains, beans, oils and sweeteners from a local bulk-foods distributer, and began eating out of our garden. Our typical weekly grocery bill is down to about $25/week. We have spent the last month actively gleaning fruit from local trees, harvesting our tomatoes, potatoes, cucumbers (for pickles) and other garden foods and been canning, drying and freezing foods for the winter. It's almost a full-time job but the incredible feeling of security it brings and the huge dip in our grocery bill makes it really worth it.
Llyn Peabody, Alpine, OR
For a look at our larger commitment to bringing this lifestyle to others who desire it, see our blog www.fullcirclefamily.blogspot.com/
I, too, have been preserving food since I was a child with my mom but I took the opportunity to complete the OSU Family Food Education Program (the old Master Food Preserver program) this past Spring because I wanted to learn as much as I could about the whys and hows of preserving, and I wanted to teach others the best ways to preserve food. I have a large garden and sell produce at the Gorge Grown Farmers Market in Hood River. (BTW, tonight is the last scheduled market for those wanting to get great produce and fresh local fruit.) This year there has been a huge jump in the number of people raising some of their own food and they have a lot of questions about preserving. I taught a pressure canning class and look forward to good attendance at many more classes. The Family Food Education Program will be taught again in Hood River and Wasco Counties through the Extension Office next May. Come join us!
This past summer and at the age of 40, I've found myself as stay-at-home mom and homemaker. For the first time, I've had the pleasure of being able to follow the season of fruits and vegetables. From the beginning with strawberries and rhubarb, to all the other berries, peaches, tomatoes, pears, apples, figs and soon even chestnuts. I have been canning, drying and freezing like mad. Yes, it is hard work, but very satisfying. These skills have been handed down for four generations in my family, and it is wonderful to finally be able to practice them. I plan on teaching my own daughter one day.
I'm a 24 yr old manly man, and this summer I made strawberry, raspberr, peach, and blueberry jam/jelly. I also canned peaches and beans, and just last night I canned some salsa with fresh ingredients from my garden!
How's that for a man chiming in?
This year, my wife and I have been forced into food preservation by joining a CSA. There is no way the two of us can eat all of the produce we get from our weekly share while it is fresh, so we are learning various preservation techniques. It feels great to support local growers and keep traditional eating methods alive.
Thanks to Lelo and Cafemama for inspiring me to attempt preserving my harvest (on Twitter and their blogs). I've really been enjoying the process of canning and pickling. It feels like science chem class with the jars and the solutions and the explicit processes. I've pickled beans and peppers, made blackberry jam, and lots and lots of tomato sauce. Lots.
Also a man. Grr.
Preserving for both my husband's family and mine was a family affair. The whole family helped picked the fruit, then clean, can and eat! Our extended families were part of the preserving tradition. Our preschool children are involved with all stages of the process too. We have fruit trees and a vegetable garden. We can plums, cherries, peaches, pears, applesauce, jams, pickles, tomatoe sauce and stewed tomatoes. We freeze blueberries, strawberries, blackberries and peaches. We dry some fruit and tomatoes and have even tried beef jerky. A couple of our neighbors can too. Older and younger, men and women. We share extra vegetables, fruit, recipies and jars.
We have moved to another level in local produce and sustainability by having our own "backyard chickens" for eggs.
I am a new comer to canning. I was petrified to use my pressure cooker so I took a class through the Oregon State University Extension - it was wonderful and gave me the confidence to can all sorts of things so far - corn, bolognese sauce, peaches, pumpkin, BBQ sauce, tomatoes, plums, apple butter and on and on....
As a Portland chef, preserving has become an important method we use in the restaurant to efficiently utilize all of the wonderful produce that the pacific Northwest has to offer. With so much available through the spring and summer growing seasons I have begun purchase with the sole intent of preserving certain things for the winter ahead. We use fermented dill pickles on our burger and right now I'm drying fruit in my dehydrator. An interest in pickling led to preserving meat as well, and now we offer a plate of different cured and preserved meats and vegetables all done here in the restaurant. Preserving is not only fun and efficient, but most importantly shows a respect for the food that we would not simply toss out what we cannot eat while fresh, but sustaining the enjoyment we can get from one harvest. Preserving also allows us to use things that would not be edible when fresh, such as watermelon rind, which we pickle serve alongside the fruit in a salad with goat cheese and mizuna. Our guest go wild for the mystery ingredient and are delighted to find out that we have simply used something they never imagined could be edible. Not a day goes by that we don't preserve something, and of course, we have a copy of Linda's book to steer us in the right direction.
I've heard that canning and preserving tomatoes can be particularly tricky or dangerous if not done correctly. Can your guests give us tips?
It's very safe and not really tricky as long as you follow the manufacturer's instructions for canners and use approved tested recipes. Start with the Ball Blue Book and fruit. Other great recipes can be found on the National Food Preservation website (www.uga.edu/nchfp)that are scientifically tested by the University of Georgia or contact your local Extension Service office as they have low cost or free recipes.
A thorough and excellent little guide to canning tomatoes is "Canning Tomatoes and Tomato Products," Extension publication PNW 300. You can pick it up at your local Extension office or find it at http://extension.oregonstate.edu/catalog/pdf/pnw300.pdf.
I have a male role model for preserving.
My grandfather retired to Arizona and I grew up in Hillsboro before it was "Intel". There was a U-pick-it farm called "Scotty's' on the north side of town, near the airport. My grandfather would come and take me to go see his friend Scotty and pick berries for "preserves" as he called it. The name was funny for me as a boy, because I only knew "Jelly".
The image of him stirring a large vat of berries into something delicious has always stuck with me. I now bust out our wallets every year at the local farmers market for some top quality Oregon produce for preserving. My wife and kids look forward to the day when we make some sticky, yummy, salty, sweet and--almost as important--colorful foods for the drab winter.
They are a taste of summer in our sometimes gloomy winter days. Another great thing about Oregon.
I grew up helping my parents 'preserve the harvest' every year, some fruits and veggies from our own garden, and the rest was a bounty throughout the Willamette Valley.
I later rediscovered in my adult life how much fun (and delicate) the process can be when I was given a big bag of home-canned goods from a college instructor. I would bring him eggs from my chickens and other vegetables from my garden. This bag he gave me included pickled beets, dilly beans, pickled eggs and EGG NOG!
He inspired so much more than process of canning and preserving, he inspired the importance of food security, health both in diet and soil, not to mention the idea of "embodied energy" in mass-produced foods, and rekindled my pioneer spirit.
This year, I've canned tomato soup, chicken stock, tomato sauce, pickles, beets, jams jellies, roasted red pepper spread, and more. I've frozen brocolli, peas, corn, rhubarb, strawberries and more.
This morning I've been preparing cabbage from my garden for sauerkraut and baking bread to finish off last years jellies.
I really encourage more people to get involved in preserving their own foods and look forward to sharing preservation of food with my son as he grows older, for now he is just banging pots and pans.
Oh, yes, green tomatoes! I picked tomatoes yesterday in anticipation of rain, reds in one box, pinks in a second and streaked pink/green in a third and left the greens on the vine, many more than I had picked, then covered them with Remay to reduce the damage from rain that is supposed to arrive tomorrow. The green ones will become green tomato mincemeat (with orange peel), mince with no meat. Great for filling for cookies and as coffee cake topping.
For the tomato growers, I have tried a large number of varieties for canning and finally arrived at what I think is the best, Celebrity. It is sweet when you open the jar and makes a flavorful pasta sauce, that is, if you can resist eating them before they land in your cooking pot.
As a former 4-H er in the 1950s, my sister and I would can 3000 qts or more per year, fruits, veggies, pickles, relishes, kraut, jam and fish, for our family of 6. The "fruit room" in the basement was a treasure trove and the colorful, gleaming jars on the shelves literally the fruits of out labors and an object of pride. That food plus several 50# bags of dry beans, spuds in the cellar, onions and garlic in the shed, our chickens, cows and pigs saw us thru the year and we ate well. Thinking about it now, food security was a practical issue then, not necessarily disaster preparedness.
My husband asks my why I still can as we can buy the canned goods without the labor and mess. I think an important part of it is knowing what I am eating. The other is having the food handy without having to run to the store. As we live in a rural area, power outages, some 3-4 days long have made me conscious of having food readily available. Stores do not open during power outages.
I am delighted that younger women are motivated to learn food preservation for whatever reason. I think it is important to pass on these skills and knowledge. We are so fortunate to live in the Williamette Valley where there is an abundance of fruits and veggies and dedicated producers.
Sauerkraut. My family has made sauerkraut for generations. In the earlier generations the men were the ones who did most of the work, slicing and pounding the cabbage. Now I carry on the tradition, even though I am a woman. Now my grown children, their families and special friends join me each fall for a Kraut Day. I have photos of my grandchildren who have tottered over to the large (#10) crock and peer into the crock. The tradition will go on. Debra Arrivee
love this show! was wondering if anyone knows about canning fish? recently its been pointed out that line-caught tuna has much less mercury and most local fish is exported to japan. there are a few brands of local line-caught tuna but would it be possible to buy a fish and preserve it at home?
We'll look into this and get back to you.
Here's a place to start for information. http://www.uga.edu/nchfp/how/can_05/tuna.html
that is a good resource - thank you! now, how about sources for the actual fish? i smell road trip to the coast. ;)
This time of year, we are (or have been) knee-deep in cherry tomatoes..... One of my favorite things to do with cherry tomatoes (especially Sun Golds) is to slice them in half (leaving a bit of skin attaching the 2 halves), and dehydrate them and freeze them in zip lock bags. Take them out all winter long to enjoy in stir-fries - YUM!!!
Another wonderful way to use extra cherry tomatoes, and an especially easy way, is to make clear tomato juice with a steam juicer. The juice makes a tasty and beautiful broth for hot or cold soups, and a drink that pleases even many people who dislike thick tomato juice.
When living in Austin, Texas, I made grape jam with the wild mustang grapes I found growing wild around town. They had an incredible tart flavor, and deep. deep color. The juice was as dark as ink, and was easier to drink if cut to less than 50% with water. The jam kept the rich flavor, much better than anything available in the store.
I also made prickly pear cactus jelly twice, with a few years between. I only made them the second time because enough time had passed after the first time for me to forget how bad the tiny little spines can be, particularly in the fingers and thumbs. After the second batch the memories were clear enough not to repeat the mistake. FYI, the jelly was a lovely red, but mostly tasted of lemon juice. Definitely NOT worth the effort, let alone the spines.
(Also, FYI, the fruit of the prickly pear cactus are called "tuna", so I actually have made "Tuna Jelly"!)
When my 5 children were growing up, I chose to be a full time homemaker. Because we were far from wealthy at that time, canning and freezing what we grew in our garden helped us use our resources so that we were more able to make financial ends meet each month. The result was not only provision of healthy meals for all of our family, but our children benefited by learning the value of hard work. They learned to grow good food. They learned to cook. They learned team work. They developed their imaginations. And they learned to value each other in a way I'm not sure they would have without all that effort. They now remember all that food-growing and food-preserving as being fun, and they don't remember that they did without anything because they feasted on good food every day. They are now passing all those valuable lessons on to their children.
I am 27 years old and have canned fruit and fish for the last four or five years. This year my husband and I decided to plant in the family community garden and spend our time that way due to gas prices and falling economy. For a gallon of gas, we could go to the garden, visit with the grandparents, watch and learn from decades of experiance, and preserve our food. Our grocery bill dropped dramatically, about $25 a week, and now we have two closets floor to celing full of food. Pickles, tomatoes, juice, jellies- sweet and savory, green beans, beets, applesauce, tuna, salsa, mustard, piccalli, and corn. The best part is how healthy we feel and how much more energy we have from eating mostly veggies for dinner every night. This has been an activity that we have shared, we can teach our children, and will definatally do next year.
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