Salutations Local Food Lovers,
It’s mid summer now and that means our gardens are full of lots of yummy produce from tomatoes to zucchinis to green beans. now is the time to start preserving the gardens’ bounty. I spent this morning making tomato juice (and will spend this afternoon canning up the 3 or so gallons I have simmering on the stove). I had a lot of our Boulder Belt Striped tomatoes sitting in the store not selling so I grabbed a bushel of them, got out the Victorio food strainer along with a 5 gallon pot and got to work transforming tomatoes into tomato juice so we can enjoy tomatoes this winter and spring. I have also frozen green beans (and I plan of doing another 7 or so pounds this afternoon), zucchini, ratatouille, snap peas and will freeze several gallons of ripe peppers when the time comes. I have also made strawberries and raspberries into preserves, canned and frozen apple sauce. Oh yeah, and when I have time (probably Wednesday) I will start on making tomato sauce (different than the juice in that I use different tomatoes and have to cook it for a minimum of 12 hours before canning. I should make pickle relish as we use a lot and I do not like the commercial stuff loaded with High Fructose corn syrup and lots of chemical preservatives.
One of the things about eating local is we all need to make the effort to preserve the harvest now so you can continue to eat locally this winter and spring. this is how we used to feed ourselves before our food became industrialized. I realize many of you are new to locavorism but that does not mean you can’t freeze a few pounds of green beans or some corn. A lot of food is available at farmers markets. You can get excellent deals on fresh produce by buying it in bulk. If you belong to a CSA I am willing to bet your CSA farm has bushels of extra food they would be willing to sell to you as a member. you do have to be prepared to preserve the harvest. If you want to freeze bushels of produce you will need a chest freezer. if you want to can you will need a canner, jars, lids and rings along with a jar lifter and wide mouth funnel to pour the stuff you processed into the jars without making a huge and time consuming mess. You also will need time. It can take a good portion of a day to can and freeze things. To me this is time very very well spent.