centsofbalance


First Step to Prepare for Another Rough Hudson Valley Winter!

Summer was here and gone already?!? This year I had a bumper crop of tomatoes so with some successes and some failures, I have hoarded most of my bounty for myself.  Tomatoes that I dried in a gas oven with a pilot light spoiled by the third day so I had to start over.  Tomatoes cut in quarters placed on parchment paper (or brown paper) on a cookie pan and put in a 150 degree oven for 8-10 hours gave me two mason jars full of winter meals. Pasta with dried tomatoes and basil. Yum.  I also canned my own tomato sauce with basil and garlic, and I pureed some tomatoes with garlic basil and olive oil then froze it in ice cube trays to add flavor to stews.  The easiest is rinsing and slicing tomatoes then just tossing them in a freezer bag. They are some of a few veggies that don’t need blanching before freezing. I got twelve plants this summer as a mother’s day gift which provided me with fresh sandwiches and salads plus three dozen tasty meals. With another rough, cold and snowy Hudson Valley winter predicted, I will take any savings I can get.


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Buy Local, Buy Healthy.

Why not join a CSA or go to a local farmer’s market to enjoy local produce. Seasonal produce is inexpensive and easier to find.  This time of year cherries, apricots, arugula, spinach and other tasty early spring vegetables are abundant. Better yet, put in your own garden so preparing meals can be as easy as stepping outside to harvest a memorable family meal.

Join a local CSA! 

Ulster County

Binnewater Farm Project, Rosendale
Brook Farm Project, New Paltz
Clove Valley CSA, High Falls 
Taliaferro Farms, New Paltz, certified organic
Phillies Bridge Farm, New Paltz/Gardiner
Second Wind CSA, Gardiner, certified organic
Huguenot Street Farm, New Paltz
Rondout Valley Organics, Ellenville, Kingston, Warwarsing, Cragsmoor
Veritas Farm, New Paltz
Fruitful Harvest Farm, Kingston, (845) 339-0833

Winter shares
Winter Sun Farm, Winter share deliveries to NYC and Hudson Valley locations

Meat CSAs
Escot Valley Farm, Kerhonksen, pastured chicken bimonthly

Be sure to bookmark eattheseasons.com in your internet browser to find out what fruits, veggies, and proteins are in season now and buy them! They update their site weekly with seasonal food information, tips and recipe ideas.


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Household Budget Recalculating: Gas Prices

There is a storm brewing in the Gulf and apparently our national oil reserves are all kept in one small basket. It will be another two days before Hurricane Isaac hits, but there are already media reports of rising gas prices.  That means heating oil, gasoline, propane are all going up just in time for the onset of winter.  If you have any money set aside, I would recommend filling your tanks today.  If you are not a reactive type person,you could wait it out to see if we have another mild Northeastern winter which drove the oil prices down last year (One can only hope)

Speaking of mild weather in the Hudson Valley, the September crops are available now.  Apples here are abundant.  Tomatoes can be purchased by the bushel and as seconds so they can be canned or frozen for the winter.  I would stock up the freezer and pantry because I have a feeling that we may be in for a bumpy ride after the 2012 election. Regardless of the outcome.


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Eco-Environment

Economics and environment are long considered contradictory. It is believed that you can live by one or the other and never concurrently. But that belief is totally incorrect and in fact the two philosophies go hand-in-hand.  If you buy locally, cook at home, exchange incandescent for CFL , use cloth diapers……etc. etc. etc, you’ll save money and the environment.

 

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