Friday, August 27, 2010

Eco-Friendly Friday: DIY Gardening and Preserving for Healthier Eating

As I confessed a while back...I am no expert in the DIY department. But luckily, I have a really wonderful teacher who is helping me learn SO MUCH about what it means to "Do It Yourself". My sister-in-law Diana is Martha Stewart "without the cute" as she likes to put it. This woman is nothing short of amazing and if you follow her know what I mean. She grows her own garden, cans her own food, and cooks every meal by scratch. And if that's not enough, her and my brother are harvesting their own honey, making their own cider and wine, AND they will soon have their own family of chickens!!! Like I said...amazing. So naturally, I asked Diana if she could be a guest blogger for me this week and she happily accepted :-) Here is her post on DIY Gardening and Preserving for Healthier Eating...

DIY...Feed Yer Face

When my SIL asked me to do a Guest Blog, my first thought was…Uh-Oh! I’m not qualified! Jen is a Mom…strike that…a very hard working Mom. Is there any other type of Mom? I think not!

But truthfully, I don't know personally...I don't have children. So my quandary being, what could I possibly contribute to Jen's followers and friends? Quite frankly, it scared the crap out of me! But then she said aim for something along the line of "DIY gardening, canning, coking, etc.." Well, heck! Now that I can do! I can Feed Yer Face!

You don't have to like to cook, garden, 'can' or otherwise! But you can start off with a few "baby steps" that will put healthier, more eco-friendly meals on your plate.

Make no mistake, expert...I am not! More aware, sure! It's a work in progress though! You have most likely heard that shopping the outer aisles of your grocery store is a wiser choice. This is where you will find your produce and closwer to 'homemade' items. Start wandering IN and you go doubt! But can a Mom find the TIME? Well I don't have an answer for that one, but if you are going to wanter IN the grocery store, compare! Look at the ingredients. Can you pronounce them? If you can't...put it back on the shelf. When making a choice between 'like' products, choose the one with the least amount of ingredients.

When possible, buy organic! Yes, you will pay a little more money, but your body and overall well-being will pay less. Our foods are laden with chemicals, pesticides, hormones, irradiated and who knows what else?! Children in particular are highly susceptible to synthetics and otherwise modified food sources. Autism, ADD, ADHD, obesity, fertility, allergies, and asthma...worms, worms, worms all in a can waiting to be opened!

You do have a choice however! That's the good news!

if you have been contemplating a more sustainable lifestyle...there again, 'baby steps'. Each year, we plant a garden. Each year that garden gets bigger! Maybe you live in an urban area; space can be a big deterrent! All things considered, explore a few options:

* Container plansts or a Topsy Turvy set up
* Co-Ops
* Local Farmer's Markets
* U-pick sites

As you can see, you may need to do a little homework at first, but there are alternatives! NOw that you have a little 'food for thought,' whatcha gonna do with all that food?

Well you could dive in and brave the Home Canning experience! It's not nearly as hard as one might think and the satisfaction is wonderful! Most Home Canning kits can be purchased online or found at large box stores such as Wal-Mart, Rural King, Big R and Farm & Fleet.

I also highly recommend the Ball Blue Book of Preserving. It contains a plethora of useful information from blanching, hot water baths, pressure canning, freezing, recipes and more!

If Home Canning seems a bit steep, how about starting with your freezer? Blanching and putting up fruits, veggies and make-ahead meals from scratch is super simple, and Quick! The cost is minimal! All you need are some great containers that go from fridge to freezer to dishwasher in a 'snao' and are as versatile as these Snapware Leak-Proof Glasslock Food Containers found at

DOn't be scared! The fearless folks learn best! The internet and BLOGS are loaded with information from others willing to help and ready to share! GO FOR IT! Good Luck and Go Feed Yer Face!!

Thanks for the fantastic post Di!!!! Be sure to follow my SIL's blog for a ton of other helpful DIY tips, tricks, recipes and projects :-) Happy Friday Everyone!!

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