Thursday, September 24, 2009


This is the last of last year's dilly beans.
A few weeks ago, I canned four more jars. But I'm afraid...I need more. Note to self: grow more beans next year. LOTS more beans.
I've been thinking a lot about this whole gardening and canning thing lately. And I've come to a conclusion...canning and freezing is not really cost effective unless I grow everything myself. For the cost of a few packets of seeds you can really grow and preserve a lot of food. And that's a good thing. But what if I want to preserve fresh food for the winter that I haven't corn and beans for example? I have to go and buy it in order to do that. And not only do I have to buy it...then I have to come home, shuck it, remove it from the cob, blanch it and THEN freeze it...all so I can have fresh corn in the winter. Which is fine. And it's a good thing. But then I've paid for MY gas and MY time and the plastic bags I'll use...etc, etc. So all that when I can buy a can of corn for 79 cents on sale?
I don't know...I guess it's because finances have been challenging lately and I can't just go out and buy boxes of fresh, local produce to preserve that I am thinking of all of this. Sometimes you have to make choices based on circumstances. Of course, fresh and local is always the favored option...if life were always ideal, that is. But...sometimes it's not. And sometimes you have to work within your circumstances and do the best with what you've got at the moment. And I figure as long as I am doing the best that I can with what I've got, then that's all I can ask of myself. And when I am in a position to do better...I will. No doubt about it.


Nancy said...

You are so right. I'd love to live a life that includes all of my ideals however, my reality isn't always ideal.

Do the best you can with what you have at the time you have. That's what my mama always says and she's a wise lady.

Anonymous said...

I have been having this same discussion with myself. I want the best food for us but reality is I can't afford everything. We are cutting back on meat - not eliminating but cutting down for sure. Thank goodness for the steady supply of eggs!!!!

Shayla said...

I have to agree with you, just buying the can does seem more cost effective...does it taste better when you can them???

Elaine said...

You mean be content with what you have? Make the best of what is available? Give yourself a break when you are doing the very best you can?

What are these strange noises you are making?

ThyHandHathProvided said...

Well said. There are times when certain goals trump other goals we have. I would love to be able to make all our cheese, but by the time I pay for the whole milk and take the time to make it, it's just not feasible right now- both financially and time-wise. All we can do is do our best and not let goals overwhelm us to the point of creating new goals- like, "don't feel guilty or go crazy":-).

The Cottage Comtesse said...

Someone once asked me, "So how far along are you on your journey for healthy living?". I loved that because it is a progressive journey, not something that happens all at once!! I do what I can each year. Over a 10 year period I can look back and our lifestyle has drastically changed, but looking at it from one year to the next, the changes were much more subtle. If I can dehydrate and can tomatoes this year - great. What I couldn't do is just a challenge for another year, not this one. What's the point if you die trying to do it all?
Oh, and yes, I agree. It is much more cost effective and tasty to grow your own!

The Cottage Comtesse said...

I got so carried away leaving my comment that I forgot to mention the beans... they look great and can't wait to try my own! Is that dill seed I see in there? If so, where did you find it? I've looked everywhere including our co-op supplier.

The Cottage Comtesse said...

Thank you for your generous offer to send me some dill seed. I looked up Winco's website and they have a store that I had totally forgotten about not far from where I often shop when in Bakersfield. I'll give them a try next time I'm in that area. If I bomb out, I may be emailing you! I have a feeling it is one of those ingredients that really makes a difference. I hope beans taste okay since I substituted dill weed!

Beegirl said...

I love Nancy's comment:
Do the best you can with what you have at the time you have.
That's all you can do! You did great with your garden. Am I going to can tomatoes this We didn't grow any. Beans...taste better frozen. Peas.. a flop. Potatoes, carrots, beets.. yes!