Extra, Extra! Read All About IT!

I am not sure how much more like "Fall-y" it can smell in my house at this point. I've canned 7 jars of apple sauce this morning. The cinnamon and spice that permeates every nook of my house and my senses gives me a pleasant feeling of everything lovely that Fall has to offer. In my quest to conquer the giant bucket of apples I had from our tree, I decided to add to the preservation of food and go farm hopping. I got a lot of fresh, beautiful produce at an equally beautiful discounted price.

For Example:
50 ears of corn for $15
A bag full of organic honey, jalapenos, portobella mushrooms, freshly cut/packaged meat, acorn squash, tons of fruit and a pound of green beans for $36!This bucket was full and gave me 7 jars of apple sauce, 12 tarts, 3 apple crisps for free!

I used to think that organic was grocery code for much, MUCH more expensive. Well it is when you get it from the grocery stores. If you grow your own or visit a nearby orchard or small farm (one that doesn't distribute to grocery stores and is certified organic) it is much cheaper and is much more rewarding. It requires a little bit more work to preserve the bulk you are bound to end up with after leaving these farms but the rewards are well worth it.

There is a wonderful farm near our house, River Bend Farm and Pleasant Hill Orchard, that I visited for the first time today and was blown away at the gobs of produce/nuts/honey/meat/fruit/etc that they have. It's all either grown on the farm or is brought from within the county. All local. Which we LOVE. River Bend is involved with a fantastic program called the CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). It is a program that benefits both community and farm. It is a program that, for a small fee, provides a large amount of in season produce weekly for those who are members. A CSA membership assures you of the finest and freshest food for your family and supports local community agriculture. This particular farm provides a membership that includes a weekly box of produce/baked goodies from their farm store kitchen for 20 weeks. The purpose for this program is to generate revenue in the farms off season. Which leads me to my next point: supporting/purchasing local.

It's not just a lovely thought. It's not an idea I had because I live in Eugene, Or (hippie-ville USA). There are serious health risks for those ignorant enough to assume that the produce/meat they are buying at the grocery store is actually what it says it is when it says it's "organic" or FDA approved. So, say you take the risk and buy "organic" from a grocery store, you pay up the yin yang for it, right?? OR, let's say you can't afford the "organic" selections from the grocery store. An apple's an apple, right? Ugh, no. Unfortunately, we live in the age of the quick buck. In addition to the unfortunate concept of the quick buck, we are suffering illnesses due to herbicides, pesticides, antibiotics and hormones. You think it's not that big of a deal and that there's a small chance of us getting sick by being "healthy" and eating "organic" produce and meat. Seriously, do your homework before you assume this. If you don't care for yourself, care for your existing or future children. It truly doesn't take a whole lot of effort to find a local small farm and pick your own berries and freeze them or buy corn in bulk and can them. Grow your own vegetable garden. As John C. Maxwell said "There are 5 small words between success and failure; I do not have time." If you make it a priority and make time, it is totally doable.

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