Mavis really has something awesome going on with her blog. I find her writing to be really uplifting and inspiring. I'm also seriously considering her 'Reclaimed Food' concept. The idea of getting veggies and fruit for free intrigues me. While I don't have chickens to feed scraps to, I've got the beginnings of a compost bucket. And woods out back where I could possibly feed the deer.
I am really interested in this idea of getting food and putting stuff by for later in the season or in the off season. I don't think I'm going to get much for strawberries out of my plants. I feel rather disappointed by that. If I could get a bunch of them for pennies, I would have not only enough for my kids to snack on (and Snuggle Bug has decided that strawberries are the best fruit ever, after bananas) but I could make some jam. I want to make stuff like fruit leather for the boys as well.
I've been wracking my brain as to how to make this happen. Part of my question is how to obtain the produce for preservation in a manner that makes it financially more efficient then purchasing it the 'usual' manner. The other part of my question is how to make the investment work even in the face of the fact that I am a novice in food preservation and my space that is available for doing such work is limited.
One of the things that I am seriously considering is bartering babysitting time in exchange for some of what I grow/preserve/produce. I don't like the fact that Beloved's parents have done so very much babysitting for us and we haven't been able to do much in return. The idea of giving them a few quarts of homemade soup, canned tomatoes, and a couple loaves of fresh bread sits better with me then much of anything else that comes to mind. With that, I know that it will be appreciated and useful, and not take up extra space in their busy home.
I'm sure that I could work out some other similar arrangements with a few brave souls. It's just all about getting this to work despite the days of depression that descend on me.