Tonight for dinner we made a soup with canned tomatoes from our garden, chick peas, penne pasta and rosemary, along with homemade whole wheat baguette bread and it was delicious.
Sounds like meaningless Facebook chatter. What’s the point of this post?
Well, by growing and canning our own tomatoes we were able to use them several months later in the dead of winter and they still tasted pretty much like they were freshly picked. We didn’t have to pay jacked up prices for inferior tomatoes grown halfway around the world. The soup tasted better than if it were made with tomatoes from the store or a can, it was healthier and more environmentally sound due to the fact that the packaging (the jar and reusable lids) was reusable, they were grown using sustainable methods and it did not take fossil fuels to transport them.
The actual cost of the tomatoes was next to nothing, compared to the $1.50-$3.00 a pound they charge at the grocery store for non-organic tomatoes right now or even the cost of canned tomatoes. I put more work into growing and canning the tomatoes than I would’ve compared to simply throwing some tomatoes into a shopping cart, but it wasn’t all THAT much work and it actually provided some sort of enjoyment – at least more enjoyment than my job does. Watching things grow can be fun and there’s a lot of satisfaction from knowing you did it yourself. I can’t accurately figure up the numbers right now, but I’d figure that the actual cost associated with producing the jar of tomatoes (my time, the water, the plants, a percentage of reusable gardening and canning supplies, etc) is lower than what it would cost to purchase a few pounds of tomatoes of anywhere near comparable quality from the store. That’s the benefit of having productive hobbies.
Sometimes doing more with less yields some great results.