I’ve never had a guest post on here before, so when Cynthia from It All Changes asked me about writing one for my blog, I was very excited. Over the couple of years I’ve known Cynthia, we’ve both learned a lot from each other, and I think she is really starting to understand my borderline obsession with living sustainably. I love how she tries to implement her own green living techniques based on her own lifestyle.
Hi, I’m Cynthia. I’m Chelle’s nutty friend from It All Changes who trades quilting lessons for canning lessons.
I don’t know about Chelle, but this worked out great for me. I learned to make blueberry jam in one afternoon that we devoured in less than four months. Ooops! Now all the blueberries are gone. 😦 Even so learning to can was probably one of the best things I did all summer.
Every year I think I’m going to plant a garden. My mom has a little garden.
Peppers and Eggplants and Berries, Oh my!
Chelle has an awesome garden that I enjoy weeding vicariously through her blog. I bought a starter kit last year and have some topsy turvy planters my mom bought me for our porch. I can do this right?
Not really…at least not yet. With my job we can move at a moments notice and the chances double around Mother’s Day. I may not know much about gardening but I know planning and even planting should start before the middle of May. By that time all our community garden patches are gone and I’ve missed out on some prime planting time. So my garden stuff sits in storage until we are settled…at least for a summer.
Maybe I can’t grow my own fruits and veggies…but there are lots of farmers around me who can. My little community has not one but two farmers’ markets I like to explore the second they open. It’s a wonderful scene to watch as the produce rotates through the seasons. This is what it must have been like before tractor trailers and factory farms. Even better, I get to know the farmers and how they grow their product. I learn about varieties, seasons and the community in which my food is grown.
This food doesn’t have to travel cross-country to arrive on my table. Price can be an obstacle so I do my best to buy as much as possible at the market and suppliment at the grocery. Buying in season is a big help with this. I save lots of money buying in season at both the market and the grocery. Sometimes I still want a banana or avocado but with the money I say perhaps I should start a fund to move to the tropics? Double bonus is my grocery actually stocks local produce when possible.
Local produce is all well and good but it doesn’t last too long. Canning helps me to extend the seasons of the local produce I love…that is unless you eat it before it’s out of season 😀 I missed out on strawberries this year and ate all my blueberry jam but now I know I can keep salsa and apple EVERYTHING on my shelves all through the winter. My pantry shelf taunts me each time I open it but I’m doing better with not eating it all at once.
The biggest benefit I’ve found with canning and eating local is knowing what is in my food. Let’s just say I have some food issues. With canning I make jam without sugar, heck anything without sugar, and know exactly what is going into everything. My salsa can be full of cilantro and I can make things I’ve never seen on a market shelf. Also the local produce is often grown organically which means less problems with pesticides and other nasty buggies that make me sick.
I may never be able to live like Barbara Kingsolver in Animal, Vegetable, Miracle but I can take my small little part of the world and make it more local, more fresh and more me. That little bit helps us all 🙂
How do you try to live more sustainably?
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