Sandy’s comment here prompted me to share some thoughts on canning and healthy food options. Thanks Sandy for the great comment!

I know what you mean about what is in and on our food being scary! Over the last year, our family has been replacing our normal purchases with organic foods as much as possible. There are many great resources on the internet to help you discover healthier, “greener” choices.

Obviously, growing and canning your own foods is a great option. A wonderful resource that I turn to every year is a little website called PaulNoll.com . This site has photos along with step-by-step instructions on canning a variety of foods.

As far as knowing how much you will need…this takes a little forethought. My suggestion would be to keep track of the veggies you eat for the month, mostly the amount, and convert that to pints or quarts. I realized two years ago that our growing family would eat 2 pints of veggies at a meal, so last year I did quarts instead. To give you an idea of our current family size – 2 adults, 3 children (ages 12-10-5). I like to push the veggies so I try to make extras.

My suggestion for meats is to find a local organic farmer. We go together with 3 other families to purchase beef & pork for the year and there are farms nearby that sell free-range chicken. You can also check your local grocer or farm market for organic meats. As always, I’m a big fan of supporting local farmers, so when possible find someone in your community that you could help when you do need to purchase fresh veggies and eggs. You can check out Local Harvest to find farms in your area as well as local CSAs.

Have a wonderful gardening season everyone!