Local organic produce & canning

Just a note to say that we’ve really enjoyed being a part of the Plan B Organic Farm CSA.

We got a half share plus the fruit box this year. The half share is totally local produce, not always from Plan B but from neighbouring organic farms as well. It’s mainly veggies with fruit when it’s available. The fruit box was a pilot for them this year I believe (from an email they sent me “Our goal with the fruit box is to create a market for local organic fruit to keep them from digging up trees!”) and was not strictly local, since frankly there isn’t that much local organic fruit in this area.

I got it knowing that but figured it saved me a driving trip to the nearest grocery store with organic produce. It’s good, but there were a few issues with the fruit being jostled around and getting a bit bruised. It has gotten better as the season has gone on as they’ve made a few changes to help it, and I think they’ll change it next year so that it doesn’t come in a bag anymore (the half share comes in a box which protects the produce very well).

For the next 2 weeks they’re offering bushels of roma/plum tomatoes for canning for $27. For organic, actually even for conventional farmers market produce, that’s a very good price. We’ve never canned/preserved before but since my husband is off work for the next few weeks we thought we’d give it a whirl, what with all that BPA stuff (see treehugger’s article here, which quotes EWG’s report here, and in-depth report from CBC here)… we don’t used canned beans anymore (dried, bulk) so I was hoping to get away from canned tomatoes (we go through a ton of them). Here’s my big chance! I’m not committing to doing this every year or anything, but we’ll give  it a try this week and if it’s not too much trouble we’ll order another bushel or two next week. I’ll keep you posted!

For now, though, I found this cool website that lists pick your own farms (in Canada, USA, Australia, Italy, Japan, South Africa, New Zealand, and the UK). These aren’t organic, but they are local! And apple season is upon us, always a great pick your own activity (no crouching like strawberries). Just remember to protect the tree and fruit by gently grasping the apple and tipping the eye to the sky (the eye is on the bottom of the apple). You shouldn’t have to yank on the tree to get the fruit off that way. (Sorry, my parents had an apple orchard for many years so I can’t help myself.)

Happy harvest!

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