Tuesday, March 30, 2010

BuhBye Corps

So one of my goals for this year is to get off corporate food. Like ENTIRELY. Actually, my goal is to get off everything corporate.
I know. I've sort of lost it, right?
I am just SO OVER IT, this greedy big business capitalism thing. It's started to stink, and I can't ignore it any more.

Anyway, I'm focusing mainly on food because it's doable and lots more practical and immediate than, say, not buying gas or electricity or that kind of thing.
And in pursuit of this goal, I've had to find alternatives to the major label organic canned and dairy foods I have been used to buying. We eat little to no processed food which definitely makes things easier, but still. I shall not name names, here, but did you know that by far MOST of the most popular organic brands are owned by just a few corporate food giants? Now I'm not sure how that sits with you and I'll spare you my rant about the many reasons why I find it objectionable. Let's just say that what it really boils down to for me, I think, is that I have a problem with with the intentions of these companies.

So my problem has become finding smaller, non-corporate label organics to replace the things I use regularly like canned tomato products, yogurt, canned beans and the like. They're out there but in my case, harder to get by being farther away which, realistically for my life, is not something I want to commit to chasing down every week. Plus there's less to choose from as far as varieties in these brands.

My solution to this, ironically, has been to decide to make even more work for myself, and all of this also happens to coincide with me deciding that this is the year I need to get on the vegetable gardening bus, like for real. So I have a grand and abundant garden plotted and in the works, the plan being to grow and can/freeze enough of the staple items to last a year.

In my head, that is.
And have I mentioned I've never canned anything before much less had the opportunity to vegetable garden on a non-space restricted scale?


Here's the extent of "the garden" so far:
seedlings and seeds
and a first foray into the great outdoors, making good use of my new (at long last) patio furniture:
seedlings sunning
Turns out seeds do work as advertised, and if I can keep them away from the punkass M-Ah muncher long enough to get them established outside, I'll be cheering, because there have already been a few casualities. What is it with cats and grassy young plants?

Incidentally, the facts above about corporate food also apply to seeds which is exponentially more scary. If you're a gardener, take a chance to read up on it and choose your suppliers accordingly.

Here's how I've solved the yogurt procurement dilemma:
yogurt baby
I'm calling that my yogurt baby. It's my first. I hope it grows up to be healthy.

Hey - I'm a lurker mostly - and a Home Ec teacher by day (during the school year).
Canning isn't hard - check out the Bernardin website and your library for some ideas. Just follow the processing instructions carefully.
As for yogurt, I make large quantities using my crockpot on low....
Good luck!
Hi Jodie!
I think what scares me most about the canning thing is finding the time and keeping up with what, as I said, I envision to be an abundantly productive garden...plus my excess CSA share stuff...yikes.
I will try the crockpot yogurt idea next! I ended up switching the jars from that heating pad set up to my oven on "proof" setting which seems to have worked great.
I'm getting a CSA box this year since our new neighborhood in Minneapolis doesn't have a community garden (strange, but true). I have a feeling I will need to learn to can this summer too. Please consider doing a post about your canning experience once we get into the harvest season.
We canned for the first time last season and the first round did take some time. After that, we had all supplies at hand and had a better idea of what we were doing and it really does go quickly.

We'll be doing more freezing this season I think. Living in FL, there isn't a good storage area for canned goods (at the preferred temps anyhoo)

Good luck and looking forward to reading about your new journey in this!
I applaud your goal to get off corporate food. It's infinitely doable and SO worth it, for your health, the health of your future children, and for the earth. Check out Realfoodmedia.com. You'll find there's a whole world of bloggers preparing food like our ancestors ate - unprocessed, unadulterated and made at home where it should be.
I love your blogs! I hadn't checked them out recently, but after recognizing your shade sail on the-brick-house.com, I was prompted to return--and am I glad--what great new projects you've got going!

I wanted to ask about your new patio furniture, if you are open to answering: Where's it from?

I love the clean lines and how it complements your home.
Hi Kati, and thanks!
The furniture is from Crate and Barrel, their Alfresco line. I do like the way it looks, but quality-wise, it's just OK, not great. Reasonably priced, however, which is SO hard to find in modern outdoor stuff.
Thanks so much for your response!

You and your blogs have inspired me to take on greater challenges and creative risks in my own small DIY projects--I am very grateful!

I first encountered your blogs a few years ago when your work was mentioned on Apartment Therapy, I think. Sometimes I also notice your comments and insights in response to AT posts. Thank you for sharing yourself and your work with us all!
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