People often ask me how I am able to afford feeding my family of six such a wholesome diet of mostly organic foods on a limited budget. My answer: I make almost all of our food from scratch and I grow and preserve as much of our food as possible.
I don’t claim to be an expert at gardening; in fact, I often tell people that my garden grows in spite of me. I also don’t have the yard space to grow as much food as I need for my family.
How I Preserve As Much Organic Produce As Possible Each Year:
- Grow what I can, making the best use of my garden space.
- Utilize my farmer’s market and learn which vendors grow their produce organically and which ones are willing to “give me a deal” when I buy a large quantity.
- Talk to people. Many people have more apples on their trees and strawberries in their patch than they know what to do with. They are often happy to give me their excess for free.
- Trade. If I have an abundance of potatoes, I’ll trade it for a bunch of green beans. Or, if I don’t have an abundance of any produce, most people are happy to accept a couple loaves of fresh bread in trade!
During the Summer and Fall seasons while fresh produce is readily available, we eat as much as possible. Any extra goes into the freezer or into my jars (and oh wow is there usually extra!).
By the middle of October, I have usually put away enough potatoes, corn, green beans, peaches, pears, applesauce, strawberries, tomato sauce and tomato soup to last us for the entire year.
Also by the middle of October, I am so sick of looking at tomatoes I don’t care if I ever see another one as long as I live! I soon get over it and begin to realize the fruit of my labor as all throughout the coming months I am able to pull delicious organic foods out of my freezer and pantry for our meals.
How Gardening and Preserving Benefits Our Family:
- Our family has saved hundreds of dollars on groceries.
- I know exactly the kind of food going into our pantry and freezers and then into our bodies. I know what I put into my sauces. I know what soil my food came from. I know I can trust the food to be healthy for my family.
- Our family gets to work hard together. Planting, weeding, and picking all becomes a family affair. We are a family with dirt under our fingernails!
- The food is delicious! In my opinion, nothing is better than home grown organic produce!
Be on the lookout now for deals on garage sales on jars and other canning and preserving needs! Brand new jars can be pricey, but at yard sales, you can find them for almost nothing!
Gardening and preserving your own food is a wonderful way to help provide your family with great quality, delicious, inexpensive produce all year round!
Laura Coppinger and her husband have four sons ages 5-12. She blogs at HeavenlyHomemakers.com encouraging women daily in the areas of healthy eating, gardening, parenting, homemaking, faith and fun.
Would you like some help getting started with gardening and preserving? Well, Laura has graciously offered to give away 10 copies of her ebook, Heavenly Homemaker’s Guide to Gardening and Preserving, here today. To enter to win, just leave a comment on this post in the next 24 hours. Winners will be chosen and posted on Monday.