Monday, September 8, 2008

A new localvore thinks about winter

I've been trying to eat local products whenever possible for a few months.

The idea is easy; eat the things that are close to you, in season.

In the summer, fruits and vegetables are easy to find local from the farmer's market. But what about winter? Fortunately I live in the south, winters are milder and the growing season is longer, but still...sometime soon, the fall harvest veggies are going to go the way of strawberries.

And dammit, next year I'm freezing some strawberries. I've been putting a lot of thought into the best way to do it, and I have some ideas. Fresh sweet corn too. My idea involves some specialized equipment though, heat sinks, fans - basically I'm going to try to make a mini blast freezer that I can fit inside a larger freezer. I've said too much.....

But there's the rub; freezing, canning - even dehydrating; I don't have tons of freezer space, I don't have any canning stuff. I'm definitely not going to make it through winter on my own stores. And I'm not so swept up in this that I won't give in to imported veggies from time to time; but the important thing for me right now is to do what I can.

I absolutely want to get into canning. I'm fine with high acid stuff for now. I want a pickle crock so bad it hurts.

The wife and I made 25 pounds of tomatoes into a heavenly red sauce yesterday, that's in the freezer. I need a full time, long term storage freezer though. Chest models; I know they're more efficient, but I've also read that things tend to get lost in them, and our garage isn't so big - so it'll be a standing model.

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