Thursday, November 13, 2008

Day 37, Eating in Season (93...Free!)

I've been thinking a lot about food. And about a comment that someone recently made...that you save money by what you DON'T buy. We often think of clipping coupons to save money. Or shopping sales. Or getting the best deal. But really, when it comes down to it, we do the best financially if we don't spend...or don't buy.

But you have to buy food, right? Well, unless you're completely self-sufficient you do. But there are still things we can do. We can avoid buying unnecessary items--pre-packaged foods, prepared foods--and things that are...

NOT IN SEASON!

Ever think about how much extra we pay to indulge cravings for apples in early summer? Strawberries and lettuce in winter? Oranges in July? It adds up. And off season foods aren't as good for us anyway. They've likely either traveled thousands of miles (with pesticide residues from out of country, unregulated), or they've sat in storage for months, losing nutritional value. The quality of food depreciates too. I just read an article in this week's paper talking about how apples don't bake well after spending months in cold storage.

I used to dislike the idea of eating in season. I thought I'd get tired of whatever was seasonal. But I'm changing. I enjoy eating from the season. Somehow it makes me feel more in harmony with the earth. In spring, we ate berries til we could eat no more. In summer, corn, beans, tomatoes.

In our household, eating in season often means not having to buy at all. At the moment, we're enjoying apples off our two trees. Butternut squash. Garden carrots and cabbage. Every bit we eat is one bit we don't have to buy.



I know not everyone has a garden. (This is for you, Ans!) But I've noticed that our raised beds and our pots produce a fair amount of food.



Here's my first attempt at CELERY. It's actually done better this fall than it did all summer. Maybe it's a cool weather crop? Whatever the case, it's producing pretty well at the moment. Since celery is one of the dirty dozen, I'm happy that it's finally producing.



We've switched to Fall/Winter crops in our raised beds. I'm currently trying to grow spinach, lettuce, kale, mustard, bok choy. We had our favorite kale salad with the thinnings today.

If you have space for even one backyard pot, it might be worth giving a few seeds a try. 'LilDude and I recommend it. He and I spent the afternoon outside, getting our share of vitamin D. And dinner was worth the effort. Tacos/rice/beans (with canned garden salsa and tomatoes from garage storage), cabbage salad (I'll post that tomorrow), sweet squash, and frozen blueberries. Satisfying sigh. :)

4 comments:

Ansley said...

"I know not everyone has a garden. (This is for you, Ans!) But I've noticed that our raised beds and our pots produce a fair amount of food."

Okay, I've decided in spring I will grow my own spices in a strawberry pot on the balcony. That will save me lots of money, right? Spices are expensive!

You put me and my 800.00 per month eating out budget to shame, girl!

richmomma said...

>Okay, I've decided in spring I will grow my own spices in a strawberry pot on the balcony. That will save me lots of money, right? Spices are expensive!

That may be true, but if you eat out 1 less time per week, it will probably save you more money. :) Then growing spices can just be for fun. And good eating.

Ansley said...

I made lunch for us everyday this week so far!!! Normally that would be 5 meals out! I saved 100.00! Woohoo!

richmomma said...

>I made lunch for us everyday this week so far!!! Normally that would be 5 meals out! I saved 100.00! Woohoo!

That is so AWESOME! Think of all the good places you could use that money instead! ;) That cabbage salad would be an awesome lunch, too. People at work will be jealous!

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