ReLocavore: Redefining "local"

A locavore moves from Wisconsin to New Hampshire and rediscovers what "local" means.


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Fruit, sugar, pectin needed to make strawberry jam in quantity

I got sick of doing the math every year, so I made a table for large batches of strawberry jam. The recipe is based on using Certo liquid pectin.

Certo Pectin Pouches Strawberries
Pounds
Strawberries
Hulled and crushed
cups
Sugar
cups
Sugar
Ounces
Sugar
Pounds
Yield
Pints
1 4 4 7 49 3.066 4
2 8 8 14 98 6.132 8
3 12 12 21 147 9.198 12
4 16 16 28 196 12.264 16
5 20 20 35 245 15.33 20
6 24 24 42 294 18.396 24
7 28 28 49 343 21.462 28
8 32 32 56 392 24.528 32


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Gross Corn, or 12 x 12 = 144

The going price at the market for corn in Vermont and New Hampshire is anywhere from 6 ears for $4 up to $1 per year – or $8-12 per dozen. As a kid, the teenagers in pickup trucks along the side of the road charged, at most, $2/dozen, and we could often talk them down to $1.50. In Madison, I could buy a bakers dozen ears (13×13) from a local sweet corn farm, and they’d even haul the bags to my car for $3.50/dozen, and often not charge me for the full Baker’s gross. The most offensive price in the Midwest for an ear of sweet corn is at the Sun Prairie Corn Festival where FIBs* and Cheeseheads get overcharged for sweet corn- $2/ear including salt and butter. Last year, I got lucky and coaxed a kid to $5/dozen and complained to everybody around about the price of sweet corn.  So, paying $8 for a dozen ears of corn offends my Midwestern sensibilities. I was not going to pay $8 per dozen to freeze corn this year. 

We headed to upstate New York over Labor Day, where fertile soil and normal market pricing mechanisms conspire to produce cheap, high-quality sweet corn. I was determined to buy as much corn as I could haul back and put it into the freezer for the year. I accomplished my goal. $4 per dozen. A gross of corn (a dozen dozen), and we produced 43 zipper bags holding about 2 cups of corn each. Mission accomplished. 

Click on an image to read a full description. 


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Wide Mouth Canning Jar Accessories

Thanks to Cool Tools for their recent overview of wide mouth canning  jar accessories.

They covered:

  • The Cuppow: A lid that lets you drink from your canning jar.
  • The Kraut Cap: An airlock for a canning jar for anaerobic fermenting.
  • Re-Cap: A pour spout and lid for a canning jar. This would be great for salad dressings.
  • The Holdster: A handle for a canning jar.

I would also add these other accessories that extend the usefullness of your canning jars:

  • The Bnto from Cuppow: A cup that fits inside a canning jar, giving two separate storage spaces.
  • Plastic jar lids: Dishwasher-safe and reusable lids for foods that are NOT shelf stable.
  • Shaker jar lids: Turn your jar into a spice shaker. I use this for nutritional yeast on my popcorn.


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Canning Lids Price List

When I preserve food in glass jars (aka. “canning”) almost everything in the process is reusable from year to year. However, the one disposable element is the jar lid that comes in contact with the food.

In previous years, I’ve opted to buy lids when I need them, but this year I’ve decided to bulk order lids so I could get them as cheaply as possible. Here were the places I was able to find lids (locally and online) and the price per lid.

Online
Location Price Per lid
Regular Wide
Amazon.com $0.49 $0.44
Freshpreserving.com $0.19 $0.27
Acehardware.com $0.25 $0.33
Upper Valley Merchants
Hanover Coop $0.15
West Lebanon Feed $0.23 $0.33

Price per lid is based on the volume of lids purchased, so smaller packages might have higher per-lid prices.

Note that I couldn’t find the shipping charges for Freshpreserving.com, which may increase the cost per lid. At Amazon.com, I only used Prime merchants, so I wouldn’t have to pay shipping charges, and use the cheapest price I could find.

Big props to the Coop for having the cheapest lids. In addition, being a Coop member, I may get an additional 10% discount on my lids, lowering the price even further. I will stop by and order a case!