Tomatoe Total!


“Close your eyes, I’m about to ring in the tomatoes!” said the clerk.
“Huh?” responded my husband, confused.
“That’ll be $8.96” she replied.
“Ohhh…”
Since when do we live on a planet where it costs $9.00 to buy eight tomatoes!!! Dear me! I had no idea! I rarely leave the ranch and am blessed with a highly task-oriented husband who completes three days of work in one (while I’m still day dreaming of all I’m going to get accomplished..someday). I’ve developed the habit of writing out the grocery list and waving him off to do the hour drive to get them. When he reported this morning’s checkout experience however, I realized we needed to update some of our eating habits, again.
While we’ve made great strides towards natural, organic, and simple living, it’s time to zone in on eating in season. Our grocery bill has become a little ridiculous, even though we rarely buy meat, eat out, or consume convenience foods. We love fresh produce though and that cart adds up quickly. So, just as many of my peers have already chosen before me, we’ll attempt more (and hopefully, soley) seasonal eating. I think I’ll also get a bit creative with some things: grow herbs indoors during the winter, attempt canning, experiment with various fruits in vegetables in pots to extend our ‘zone 0’ season. And, being honest, we’ll have a few allowances, like organic bananas and avocadoes.
We’ll see how it goes, but I hope it helps. We already roast our own coffee, brew our own beer and wine, and make most baked goods from scratch at home. Now if only I had the go-ahead to add on some laying hens and a dairy goat…. (sigh) Another shock of the grocery bill was realizing that we’re spending upwards of $20.00 a week on organic milk, and that doesn’t include cheese, yogurt, or butter! I could have a goat paid for in a month at that rate! Ha! 😉
Anyways. What do you think? How are you cultivating healthy and balanced consumption and spending in the midst of your own limits (urban living, career, finances, time, etc)? I’d love to hear about it!

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Comments
5 Responses to “Tomatoe Total!”
  1. nytesong says:

    Hey there…I just found your blog and haven’t yet gotten past this post but I wanted to say…I feel your tomato pain.

    Our family eats homemade and organic probably about 95% of the time. It took us a couple years to get that way but here we are. =) I didn’t see you mention a CSA (community supported agriculture) in this post and thought you might want to look into this.

    Forgive me if you already are familiar with these but roughly put, you pay a pre-determined amount of money (ours works out to $20 a week) and you get a share of whatever is in season that week from the farmer. It’s a great way to support a local business AND eat locally. We get a lot of stuff in ours and have to find creative ways to eat it–for example–my winter/spring box (my CSA does these periodically in between the traditional growing season of spring-fall) and it had in it: 2 enormous bags (maybe 2 gallon sized bags?) of mixed baby greens, 3-5 lbs of red potatoes, 2 large onions, three beets, 6 turnips, a bunch of green onions, saurkraut (not sure why this was in there, lol, but it was produced on their farm) and edible flowers to add to salads and desserts.

    Quickly looking at your ‘About Deanna’ section I see you are in Canada. Here in the states there’s a website called localharvest.org to find CSAs …. you should look around to see if Canada has something similar. =)

    Oh–and to answer your question–we do the CSA thing, I bake and cook nearly everything from scratch, and I tuck in herbs and other bits of vegetables into my small flower beds. =)

    • Dea' says:

      Thanks, great ideas! We’ve thought about the CSA but 1) We’re so remote that it’s difficult to connect with active growers 2) we really want to use the space we have and learn to grow amazing things, even in this harsh mountain zone. I love thinking ahead to contributing to a CSA someday and putting our desires and knowledge to work on this. But, everything in its season I guess.

      Great to meet you!!!

  2. As much as we’d love to buy everything organic, we’ve decided that there are some fruits and vegetables which have such a low amount of pesticides that it isn’t worth the extra cost. I have used this food guide – http://www.foodnews.org/ – for a few years and feel that EWG is a reliable source for this info. I feel that it makes a huge difference to know which foods are the worst culprits for having huge extra pesticide loads, as those are the ones that we are careful to only eat organic at all times – like apples, strawberries, etc. My understanding was that bananas and avocados are actually quite low in pesticides… have you heard differently?

    • Dea' says:

      Thanks James! I’ve seen the chart and found it interesting! 🙂 This year however, we’ve heard a lot about certain ‘peel away’ fruits like bananas, and were really challenged by the amounts of chemicals used on them and their subsequent effect on the local workers. Actually, I’ve been in the midst of writing a post on that very thing this week! Good timing 🙂

  3. farmama says:

    Oh yes……get a goat! We love the fresh milk so much. It’s so good for little ones too!……but you know that. Until you can get a goat, maybe you could join a herd share. I just joined one for cow’s milk. In fact I traded my goats to a lady for 2 years worth of cows milk! Yipee! But you should just get a goat or two. You’ll love the fresh milk and kefir and yogurt…..Mmmmm!
    Hope you are well and enjoying the springtime!
    love,
    sara

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