Vegetarians may want to skim past this first bit and pick up again near the tomatoes.
Today was Day One of Northeast Organic Farming Association - New York’s (NOFA-NY) month-long local eating challenge. Each day has a featured ingredient or challenge that they email out, and today’s was…drum roll, please…bacon.
I found the choice of bacon for day one amusing and wondered if NOFA-NY would take any flak from disgruntled herbivores. I also wondered, why bacon?
But seriously folks, DIY is one way to keep costs down while you’re keeping it local. Pork belly from a local farmer is way cheaper per pound than already cured bacon at the farmers’ market.
Vegetarian friends, I hope you didn’t abandon this post by yet. The same principal applies to “value added” fruit and veggie products.
For example, it is now possible to purchase frozen locally grown tomatoes in winter to use in sauces and salsas. These products cost around $5 lb. Right now local, organic tomatoes are $1.50 lb at the markets near me, and I’ve seen them elsewhere as low as $1 lb. Granted, it takes more than a pound of fresh tomatoes to end up with a pound of home-canned, but I still come out ahead if I preserve them myself.
Even better and cheaper if you grew your own.
So can, dry or freeze some produce now, and save some money while sticking to your locally grown convictions this winter. And don’t get me wrong - I’m not knocking the farmers who are offering the value added preserved stuff. If you can afford it, go for it. But if, like me, you need to keep costs down, make your own.
Sounds great but you don’t know how? If you’re in NYC and want some personal instruction, I’m giving a food preservation workshop on Sept. 16.