Posts tagged Peaches

How to Make Organic Affordable Part 1

Organic this, organic that. Organic is everywhere these days. It seems like a fad, but the power behind organic is more than just monetary. There are some truly scary health problems for humans and the ecosystem linked to pesticides. For thousands of years humans managed to produce enough food to feed themselves and be prepared for famine all without the use of GM crops, pesticides, herbicides, insecticides and big agriculture. In the last 200 years, farming and agriculture have made leaps and bounds in technology, some good, and some really bad.

Unfortunately, organic food can be expensive and rather inaccessible in some areas. Of course, there is always the cheapest and best option of producing organic produce in your own backyard. Another great cost-effective option is to spend your dollars wisely by picking and choosing where you will and will not spend money on organic foods.

The following list is known as ‘The Dirty Dozen’. It was developed by the Environmental Working Group to help educate consumers about the foods they are buying and consuming so they can make informed choices about what they spend their money on. This is the most recent list available which was recently released in 2011.

The Dirty Dozen

1. Apples

2. Celery

3. Strawberries

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Canning Peaches… It’s Easier than You Think

I recently had the canning experience of my life. By the end of two bushels of peaches I wanted to chop off my feet, have an epidural for my back pain and was slightly repulsed by peaches. However, it was all worth it! My husband and I love peaches but while he’s perfectly fine with store-bought… I’m not. I have several reasons for this, taste mostly, but also the type of sugar (GM) used, possible BPA in the lining of the can, where did the peaches come from, and the thought of TONS of pesticides being sprayed on the peaches and then us consuming them which couldn’t be less appealing. So taking all these things into consideration I decided to give home canning a try last year and fell absolutely head-over-heels in love. I didn’t make a ton because I don’t like canned peaches and I thought Chris would be in Korea for part of the year. Fortunately, Chris didn’t end up going to Korea and I realized that store-bought canned peaches bare nothing in resemblance to home canned peaches… THEY ARE AMAZING! However, since I only did two small batches of peaches last year we found ourselves painfully rationing the peaches. So this year I may have gone a little peach crazy to ensure such a thing never happens EVER again.

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Summer Update and What’s to Come!

Well after abandoning my four faithful followers for a few months I have decided its time to get back on the bandwagon.  Thank you to those of you who have been checking back for my return to It Makes Cents to Me! Life has been so hectic and while I wouldn’t say its any easier now, things have slowed slightly. I also can’t pass up the opportunities about to be presented (summer canning and preserving) for material. Hopefully I can find the will and the energy, not to mention the brain power, needed to continue on.

As I said, life has been busy. Among other things, I put in a full-blown container garden that includes 8 tomato plants, 5 types of lettuce, 3 types of carrots, 5 types of potatoes, strawberries, zucchini , herbs and SO much more. With all the produce beginning to come in it’s looking to be a plentiful summer. We recently bought a freezer to store frozen summer produce, freezer jams, and a cow we’ll be purchasing (more on that later).

First up is jamming. I just bought some new 4 oz jars and freezer containers. I will be doing two types of jams. I’m doing strawberry freezer jam because, well, it’s amazing! And I may try a few others. Then I’ll also be doing no sugar added jams. I’m not sure which kinds yet but strawberry, peach, and blueberry are definitely on the list. I love these because they are lower in sugar since I am able to use Stevia and it ends up being more like a fruit puree that’s been preserved.  I love plopping a spoonful into cream of wheat or using them in homemade frosting. I’m also planning to attempt grape jelly. I’m not nervous and I expect that everything will go well but I have never done it before. I read a blog a few months ago though that pointed out how much more cost-effective it is to make grape jelly versus buying it. I’ll give you a rundown of the price comparison when the time comes.

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