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Posts Tagged ‘Bulk’

Five Ways To Have A Homegrown Kitchen

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011

eat locally

Want to eat as locally as possible? Hoping to have fresh, healthy meals while supporting your local farmers and staying on budget? Wondering where to begin? Here are five tips to help you bring the Homegrown home.

1. Grow and raise the food you love

More power to you folks who grow a wide variety of fruits and veggies yourselves. For those of us with limited space, time or ability, smaller and simpler gardens are the way to go. Are tomatoes your thing? Can’t get enough of the almighty spud? The price of herbs getting you down? Try growing a few varieties of your favorites for maximum happiness. Don’t forget that backyard chickens mean a steady supply of fresh eggs! (duh).

2. Subscribe to a CSA

Community Supported Agriculture ensures a regular stream of fresh, local and family farmer-raised products in your cooking arsenal. Check out the CSA Cookoff series for inspiration. Frugal gourmets note: By selling directly to you, the customer, the farmer is able to provide you with a better price while keeping the “middlemen” out of his pockets. There are still farms taking subscribers. Find them on Local Harvest and The Eat Well Guide.

3. Practice Meal Planning

Busy moms like Tory know the value of this time-saving tip already, but everyone can benefit from some preparation and organization. If you have a CSA share, your farmer should send out a list of the contents of the week’s harvest. If you shop the farmers market, having a list really cuts down on the tendency to buy too much stuff or stuff that doesn’t get used (who hasn’t done that before?). Either way, try to spend 20 minutes each week thinking about what’s in season, what the week’s schedule entails and what ingredients are already in your pantry, then sketch out some meal ideas.

4. Minimize waste

By mid-season, we can find ourselves drowning in vegetables. Keeping a chalk board in the kitchen with a list of what you tuck away in the fridge each week (start with that CSA list!), helps cut down on spoilage. After eating fresh, your second defense against rotting food is preservation: Too many greens? Blanch and freeze them! Overdosing on beets? Cucumbers? Beans? Get out those canning jars! Too many tomatoes? (Never!) Slow roast, sun dry or dehydrate them and store it all for those dark winter days. Join the Food Preservation group for recipes and support.

5. Buy in bulk

Buying in bulk not only saves you money, it saves on excess packaging and trips to the store. A pantry stocked with whole grains, canned goods, beans and pasta puts you ahead of the game. Use your pantry as the foundation for your meal planning. Buying a whole, or going in on part of an animal with your friends and neighbors is a tremendously economical way of cooking with meat. You can find farmers who sell their meat directly through Local Harvest and The Eat Well Guide. Ask around at your local farmers market, too.

Good luck and good eating! Please feel free to add your tips for eating and living Homegrown in the comments.