Eating Local All Year

Over the past number of years we have changed the type of foods that we eat as a family. We used to try to buy the cheapest food, thinking that nutritionally, all food was basically the same. That is probably more true than what most realize if you are talking about grocery store food. However, as we have learned about nutritious, nutrient dense foods, we realized that if we want to eat nutrient dense food, we have to grow it ourselves. It also means preserving the harvest so that we have it to eat all year, not just in the summer months.

It is hardly worth gardening if you are just trying to save money at the grocery store. For all the time, equipment, and work involved, it is probably cheaper and definitely easier to just buy it at the grocery store. However, like most things, the cost of grocery store food is much greater than what you pay at the register. The fact that health care is the number one industry in America is proof of the poor quality of foods in the grocery stores. I find it interesting watching the people purchasing cheap food at Walmart – observing what they are buying and looking at the people to see if they look healthy. A large percentage of the people do not have the picture of health.  The government’s idea of fixing health care does not address the real problem. True health care reform needs to start with the soil and adding in the nutrients and minerals that are necessary for human health (not just what is necessary to make a plant grow). The food that we eat is a big contributor to our health or lack thereof. We are what we eat.

There is something satisfying about improving the quality of the soil, producing nutrient dense vegetables for our family, and storing up all that good food for the months ahead. It puts gardening in a totally different perspective. For us it is no longer about saving money. It is not about keeping a weed free garden – a few weeds won’t change the nutrient density of the food. It is about giving my family the health care they need from the ground up.

I looked at our calendar and saw what Cathy had written down over the past month of what she and the girls had harvested and stored away for us to eat until the garden produce comes in again next summer. I thought you might be interested in peeking over my shoulder at what she had written there. This, of course, does not include the other varieties of vegetables that are yet to be harvested as they ripen over the next several months.

Everything, except for the peaches, was raised here on our farm.

July  1   Made 6 pints of butter
        4   Picked and froze 42 1/2 quarts of green beans
        6   Froze 30 quarts of green beans and 5 pints of sugar peas
        8   Made 45 pints of wineberry jam(wild red raspberry) plus 12 pints
             frozen raspberries
        10 Froze 20 quarts of green beans
        13 Froze 12 quarts of green beans
        14 Canned 92 quarts of dill pickles
        15 Made 13 1/2 pints of butter (Put in the freezer)
        18 Froze 18 quarts of green beans
        21 Made 6 gallons of cucumber juice and froze to later make into V8
            juice when the tomatoes are ripe
        22 Processed and froze 21 quarts of corn. The corn was husked, silked,
            blanched, and cut off the cob.
        23 Made 9 pints of butter and froze
        25 Froze 11 quarts of green beans
        27 Froze 17 quarts of corn.
        28 Froze 14 1/2 quarts of beans
        29 Made 2 gallons of cucumber juice
             Canned 20 pints of zucchini relish
             Canned 36 pints of dill pickle slices
Aug  1  Froze 10 quarts of peaches and 18 quarts of corn
         3  Froze 17 quarts of beans
         4  Canned 70 quarts of  peaches, 5 quarts of peach nectar, and 22
             pints of zucchini relish
         6  Canned 40 pints of cucumber relish

Pictures of Processing Corn For Freezing

Cutting Corn
Cathy and Joel trimming the corn after it was husked.

Silking Corn
Daniel and Nathan taking the silk off of the corn. The spinning brush on the motor takes the silk off.

Creaming Corn
Cathy, Kara, and Daniel cutting the corn off the cob to get it ready for the freezer.
The corn was 28 brix, and the best corn we have ever eaten!

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