Saturday Mike and I went and did the Freecycle produce pickup. It has been months and months since we've been involved, but they needed help, we had a gift certificate to use for the A&W near the pickup spot and I'm in serious nesting/cooking mode. Made sense to volunteer!
We ended up picking up 5 cases of nectarines, 2 cases of green grapes (most were composted right away), a flat of strawberries, probably 20 or so pounds of large onions, and a decent sized box of tomatoes. The benefit of doing a Saturday pickup is that the amount of total produce is lower, so it is easier to manage going through it and composting what is not in good shape without feeling the need to build six more compost bins. I expected to find the quality to be a lot lower, but it turned out to be in fairly decent shape overall. I was especially grateful for the onions since prices have shot up considerably in the last two weeks and we have completely run out of onions with all my pre-baby cooking.
The oddest part is that today, April 27th, I find myself canning. Nothing is really in season yet here in Wisconsin and I have 5 cases of nectarines to deal with. Some are not good, many are a bit discolored inside, but overall they taste good and can just fine. I've done two cases and have 17 quarts done, but I have to work tomorrow and still have 3 cases to go! I'm not complaining, just trying to figure out how to balance canning, being a mom to a very active and not very helpful around boiling water toddler, work and my NEED for a nap after work. Crazy times!
I'm just grateful that our family has a very full freezer, some shelves of home canned goods and full bellies. And when you can get produce for free it is even easier to be grateful for all we have!
And for anyone interested, I'm okay with using this fruit even thought it isn't organic. We eat a lot of organic/home raised fruit and I figure that some of this sprinkled in is okay. When it is free or basically free (see moral dilemma: carrots) I'm not willing to turn my back on it!
For more grateful people visit Heavenly Homemakers.
Have a great day!