Pretty PicklesPosted: August 2, 2010 Filed under: Adventures in Life, canning & freezing, Domesticity, Earth, food, Harvest, home, NaBloPoMo, nature, Photography, Summer, Support Your Local Economy | Tags: farmers markets, Green, moon, National Farmers Market Week, pickles 12 Comments
Green, which is Nature’s colour, is restful, soothing, cheerful, and health-giving.
~ Paul Brunton
As promised, here is a picture of the pickles. Aren’t they beautiful? I think so. We opened a jar of them yesterday to taste-test them and they are delicious. Much better than store-bought pickles.
One of the arguments against local shopping is the cost. I know because I’ve used that argument on more than one occasion. However, I’ve come to realize that for some things, local shopping is the best way to go either in terms of quality or cost or both.
I’ve purchased many a cheap item from one of the big box stores (that I often refer to as the Evil Empire) and had to replace it not long after buying it. That’s hardly a good way to save money. It also equals one more thing (or several more things) taking up space in a landfill. I’ve learned the hard way that sometimes it is best to spend the money up front for a quality item rather than save money now only to have to spend more later.
This time of year is the best time for buying fresh food and putting some away for the winter months. I’ve heard it said that eating a healthful diet is costly. Compared to buying a couple of burgers from a 99 cent menu, I suppose it is. Compared to what you’ll have to spend later on health insurance, maybe not.
When you buy locally grown produce, you also reduce your carbon footprint. The food doesn’t need to travel nearly as far so what you get is fresher and generally more nutritious. You can get some great deals at a local farmers market or through a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). This also helps support your local economy and local farmers.
August 1 – 7 is National Farmers Market Week here in the U.S.. Not sure where to find a local farmers market? No problem. Visit Local Harvest, plug in your zip code or city and state, and they’ll find one for you. Local Harvest is a great website with all kinds of resources for you.
If you can, take the time this week to visit a local farmers market and partake in the bounty of your local harvest. You might even want to try something new, a fruit or vegetable you’ve never tried before. Or just stock up on something you know you like and preserve some for the winter months. One of the things I love about canning tomatoes is opening up a jar of them in January and immediately noticing the fresh tomato-y aroma that brings back the warmth of summer.
Oh, and that 17 lbs. of broccoli I processed and stored in the freezer? The cost was $17.00. One dollar a pound for fresh, delicious, nutritious broccoli is not bad. Not bad at all.
I’ll get off my soapbox now. And as a thank you for reading, here is a pretty shot of the moon and clouds taken one morning last week:
Robin, we did the CSA thing for several years. And we enjoyed it, especially Mrs. O. She had qwuite relationship with kale, for a while thre. The problem was we occasionally got stuff we didn’t want, or stuff turned to water in the veggie bin. Plus, I once got a good-sized container of blueberries at the market and a couple days later the CSA delivered a basket half as big for twice the cost. At a certain point it just made sense to buy only what we needed, rather than having a standing order.
But I’d definitely consider it again.
OmbudsBen: That was one of my worries about signing up for a CSA: Getting things we don’t like. Kale is an excellent example. I have tried to like kale. I have tried in many ways and forms. Yet I can’t seem to like it. I know that large amounts of kale are likely to show up if we sign up with a CSA and it’s the thought of having to deal with large amounts of kale that turns me off from the idea.
You also brought up another good point. With only two of us to feed now, large quantities of food could go to waste.
Still, I think about it every year, thinking we ought to at least give it a try.
Really, really awesome pickles! Wow!
Thank you, Bo. 🙂
They taste really awesome too.
It’s actually been a long time since I’ve been to a farmer’s market, which is too bad because they’re awesome! For a while we had Door to Door Organics, and they use as many local growers as they can (they fill in the rest with organic farmers from farther away, not large commercial farms), so that was kind of like having our own mini farmer’s market. I’d love to do it again, but it’s definitely cost-prohibitive for us at this point in time. Still, it seems sooooo worth it.
Also, I’m really hungry for pickles now!
Meredith: I think you’re one of the few people I would advise against a farmers market. I was surprised at how expensive things were at the farmers market in Boulder. Usually that’s where we go to find the cheaper prices when buying in bulk. That was not the case there.
I would try to bring out a jar of pickles but… that could turn out to be a HUGE mess.
lovely moon pic
Thank you, Kel. 🙂
Love those pickles! The jars of pickles are pretty, I agree. And what a very nice farmers market. I haven’t yet been to the farmers market as we’ve been given fresh produce from a farmer friend and I have veggies from my garden. I sure would love to have those pickles, though. 🙂
Thanks, Anna. 🙂
Sounds like you don’t need a farmers market if you have a farmer friend and a garden supplying you. Our garden veggies are just starting to come in.
Your pickles look like what we call gherkins! I wonder if they are the same thing? You are right, they do look beautiful. There’s something about preserved food in jars, and jams and chutneys. I love them all. 🙂
We call them gherkins too, Joanne, so yes, they are the same thing. Or maybe they are. We call the little ones gherkins. The big ones are just pickles.