We had a great family adventure today. We shopped from local producers at the Henderson County Tailgate Market in Hendersonville, NC. There were three rows of venders, and there must have been about 40+ venders there today.
Here are the details about the market from the Henderson County website:
Henderson County Tailgate Market – Local, organic and conventional produce, bedding plants, flowers, herbs, baked goods, canned goods. Henderson County Building parking area- 100 N. King Street (between First and Second Avenues) in downtown Hendersonville, Hubert Barnwell, Mgr. (828) 693-7265
Saturdays: 7AM – 12Noon, Open April – October
I believe it is very important to teach my children about local producers, and to buy as much as we can from the local economy. I love to introduce my children to the people who grow the food we eat, and expose them to the business and farming skills these folks need to raise and market their products to local buyers. This was my life for many years. I used to be a local producer of meats, eggs, produce, and hay and sell grains and other items in a healthy food store on our farm. I learned a vast amount of knowledge from that experience that still helps me in my life today. I want my children to also benefit from meeting others who have this lifestyle. I want them to appreciate those who produce the food we eat.
We found lots of farmers and growers selling seedlings and starter plants of every size and variety. Most of the plants were organic. There were hundreds of plants being offered anywhere from $2 to $4 each.
I have had my garden started for over a month, but I found some wonderful plants I wanted to include. One special find were day lilies that stood about a foot tall and had about four or five blooms (not yet opened) on each plant. These plants were selling for $3 each. I love day lilies because they bloom several times between early summer and early fall and they are so bright and colorful.
I selected some borage herb plants to add to my herb garden. I love borage for many reasons. One, it makes a delicious tea, or addition to tea. It is also useful in salads. I love the beauty of the small blue flowers it produces. The humming birds and butterflies always seem to visit this plant when it is in my garden. I buy borage oil capsuls as a super food to boost my GLA intake, a very important fat from the borage oil seed. This oil is very useful for women and supports the ovaries and reproductive cycle. So borage is a very valuable plant to grow and benefit from.
Another wonderful display of plants was at the Hill Farm display. She had several items for sale from her gardens. She also had the cutest farm boots turned into herb gardens, and wonderful full grown mini gardens for sale in planter containers. She said she has a lot more fun gardens planted in wagons and things you wouldn’t think of back at her farm. She also had containers of “The World’s Smallest Tomato” and said she had been raising this product for nearly 10 years. She told us she would be selling lots more of her unique planter displays next Saturday and Sunday for the garden festival on Main Street. So we hope to go to that and see all her wonderful displays.
There were many venders at the market selling their farm fresh eggs from $1.50 a dozen to $3.50 a dozen. I spotted no less than 7 venders selling farm fresh brown eggs.
However, I was drawn to an elderly man, sitting on the edge of his tailgate with his beautiful brown eggs. The children and I approached him to buy his eggs, and to learn his story about selling at the market. He gave us permission to take his picture and share his story.
His name is Marvin Lowe. He is 83 years old. He has sold eggs, and garden produce at this market off and on for over 10 years. In addition to eggs, when the produce is ripe, he sells potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, squash, and several more fresh garden products. But today it was just him and his eggs. You could tell he enjoyed meeting people and selling this fresh local item. He sells his eggs for $2 a dozen. His chickens run free in a fenced lot. He has to keep them behind the fence due to dogs in the area who would try to kill them. But he happily states his chickens roam as freely as possible. He currently has 43 laying hens.
Marvin is a native of North Carolina, however he lived for 30 years in Michigan. When I told him we were from Indiana, he told me he went to the farmers market every Wednesday in Shipshewanna, Indiana for many years. He loved going to the market and visiting with all the Amish farmers, craftsmen, and bakers there. I told him that we also shopped the Wednesday flee market that was full of Amish venders not far from where we used to live in Indiana. He exclaimed that he loved the Amish people and “thems good people.” It was really interesting to visit with Marvin today, and hear about his time he spent at the Indiana farmers markets with the Amish for all those years.
We also met a family of sellers who had two vending spots. The parents were looking after a display of plants and seedlings, and about five of their seven children were several vending spots down, looking after another display of a table full of baked goods. The children have their own baking and canning business. They had cookies, bread, pie, and jams and jellies for sale today. We bought a couple bags of their cookies for a snack for later.
The last couple of venders I wanted to tell you about were selling locally raised meat products from coolers on their tables. They had big signs explaining the cuts of meat they had and the prices. They also had mailing lists you could sign up on to get news of when they were butchering or to place custom orders.
One family was selling whole dressed chickens, eggs, and pork products. And another family was selling beef products. Both of these families raised their animals in a humane way, and allowed the animals large areas to graze and roam. The farmer with the chickens grinds corn and soybeans together to feed their chickens, and they rotate the chickens on fresh pasture each day. The beef farmer raises angus cattle and has pasture for the cattle to roam, and they also fed around 3lbs + of grain a day to their cattle to help them put on weight in addition to allowing them to graze on grass.
However, I did not find any beef producers that were strictly grass fed, or poultry producers that were soy-free in their feed. I think it is really important to buy local, but to also buy according to what you believe. I look at how it is raised, and if it is the way I believe it should be raised.
If you believe in organic, then buy organic. To me, organic doesn’t mean
as much if it isn’t raised the way I believe the animal was created to live. I believe cattle should be grass fed. I believe no animal, even chickens, should be subjected to the horrible side effects of soybeans added into their feed. So for me today, these venders were not on my list of places to buy from. I took time to talk with them and support their efforts. I took time to appreciate them and encourage them. I let them know I appreciated how hard it is to raise these animals and they seemed to be doing a very good job. Then I planted the seed about grass feeding and its benefits, and the dangers of using soy. We all had a very good conversation and no one left offended. The seed was planted and hopefully these wonderful farmers will look into the research about these important methods of farming to maximize the nutrient quality for their consumers.
Where are the local farmers who produce these nutrient dense products? Though I support local producers, these are two very important values to me in buying meat products for my family.
The reason I look for meat that has not been fed soy, is because soy has a lot of negative effects on the animal’s body and the human body. Check here if you would like to read articles about the effects of soy:
One amazing article in particular is a summary of scientific studies done from 1939 to 2008 on the effects of soy on animals (mice, rats, chickens, turkeys, and cows, etc.) and effects on humans. This is truly an eye opening summary of the facts from these science experiments.
Also, giving any grain to cattle basically eliminates:
the CLA in the meat and milk, http://westonaprice.org/component/finder/search?q=CLA
eliminates the vitamin K,
and also changes the Omega fatty acid ratios in the wrong direction.
When an grazing animal is fed grain, Instead of a healthy balance of Omega 6 to Omega 3, the Omega 3 almost disappears and the animal is then has predominantly Omega 6 fatty acids. Humans desperately need a balance of the Omega acids and when we eat food products that are out of balance, then we become even more out of balance in our own bodies. To learn more about Omega fatty acids, please read the article here http://westonaprice.org/know-your-fats/2021-precious-yet-perilous?qh=YTo3OntpOjA7czo1OiJvbWVnYSI7aToxO3M6NToiYWNpZHMiO2k6MjtzOjQ6ImFjaWQiO2k6MztzOjc6ImFjaWRpdHkiO2k6NDtzOjY6ImFjaWRpYyI7aTo1O3M6NToiYWNpZGUiO2k6NjtzOjY6ImFjaWRlcyI7fQ%3D%3D
Another reason I choose meat from grass fed beef, instead of meat from producers who feed grain is because the meat has a much reduced (or almost 0 chance) of being contaminated with E-coli and other pathogens. But when you give a cow grain, you increase the amount of E-coli in their system, thereby increasing the human exposure to this horrible bacteria at the time the animal is processed for human consumption.
In addition, when farmers tell you they feed their animals grain, they most likely are also feeding GMO grains (genetically modified). GMO grains are something we really don’t want to put into the human body. They also usually need to feed supplements and antibiotics mixed into the feed to compensate for the increased health problems the animal faces from consuming grain. Cow’s stomachs were intended to process only grass and herbs, not grains. Grains cause their stomachs to become too acidic thereby giving an unhealthy place for E-coli and many bad pathogens to live. It also causes bloat, over production of gasses, and digestive discomfort. Because of the stress on their digestive system, cows who are fed grains have an increase in disease and a greatly reduced life span.
A wonderful book to read on this whole situation that has happened to cows from farmers changing their food from a grass fed animal to a grain fed animal in the production of cattle as a food source, is a book written by Michael Polan called the Omnivores Dilemma. Michael Polan is a very well known author, and you will be amazed about the history and research that went into this wonderful book.
You can also freely read the hundreds of articles and scientific studies about this subject on the Weston A Price Foundation website. http://westonaprice.org/component/finder/search?q=Grass+fed+beef
I love supporting the local economy, and helping these wonderful farmers and growers to be successful in their business. But I have yet to find a local producer of meat products that farms and practices grass feeding the way I believe in.
So until this changes, I buy my grass fed beef from Tropical Traditions. Through Weiser Natural Foods discount ordering service, we can buy 40lb cases of 100% natural grass fed ground beef from Tropical Traditions for $5.91 a pound including shipping to our location. That is a steal of deal when you consider the nutrient dense quality of the food they are producing. These animals are raised on lush rich grass from start to finish, and never given any grain. You can read about their grass fed cattle here http://www.grassfedtraditions.com/grass_fed_beef.htm
I would encourage everyone to search out the local markets in your area and find out what farmers and growers are producing that will meet your needs. It greatly helps the local economy to put your dollar there rather than at Walmart or Aldi or the big chain stores. One great resource to find growers and farmers is on the Local Harvest website. http://www.localharvest.org/
If you can’t find a local producer for the products you need, then find the next best thing. Find another farmer or grower somewhere else ! Find someone who cares about what they are producing, and has done the research to know how to raise it in a
way that maximizes human nutrition. Places like Tropical Traditions, and others listed in the Weston A Price shopping guide, who really are a step ahead of the rest and have the scientific studies to prove this is the best way (for both the animal, the land, and the human) to raise products for human consumption.
Happy hunting at the local level, and at the nutrient dense level!
Our May Bulk Food Order has arrived!!!
The big truck rolled in to town and we got busy!
The children helped load the van with all the wonderful bulk foods.
More items arrived by UPS and FedEx too.
We truly save money buying our pantry basics in bulk sizes. So many items are available to be purchased this way, and it is a lot cheaper than retail. Many of these items are organic, natural, and nutrient dense compared to what is available in local stores. So it makes me happy to know I can afford to give these items to my family when I am able to buy them in bulk sizes and save.
Here is the amazing list of items our Homeschool Buying Club members ordered on this order:
Nutritionally superior to grain fed beef!!!
High in CLA, protein, balanced Omega 3 to 6 ratios, and more. This beef is the best!
1 grape seed oil
1 case coconut cream
2 coconut cream jars
1 case of organic cocoa powder
5 lbs organic lentils
50 lbs organic sugar
5 lbs organic sugar x 2
5 lb organic raw almonds
5 lb cashews roasted and salted
50 lb red wheat berries
25 lb gold’n white organic flour
5 lb dried mango slices
1 lb baking soda
5 lb natural peanut butter
2 6-pack of natural soda
1 Gallon Benefect Household Cleaner
Next is the fun part of sorting the items, and saying hi to everyone when they pick them up.
We are able to buy items in bulk, and by the case, at wholesale and pass this savings on to the Homeschool Buying Club.
Let me know if you have any questions, or if you would like to place a future order with the Homeschool Buying Club, or with Weiser Natural Foods.
And don’t forget our Simply Organic Baking Mix Giveaway. Just two weeks left to enter for your chance to win.
See the details here http://weiseracademy.com/2011/04/30/simply-organic-free-giveaway.aspx
Pumpkin Bars with Kids In The Kitchen
Our family loves pumpkin bars, apple bars, banana bars, and zucchini bars. We just call them Yummy Bars around here.
Pumpkin Bars are one of my children’s favorite 3 pm snacks. We also use them as a quick breakfast on days we have to leave the house early. We also like to take them on trips in an air tight container when we travel away from home.
Here’s the scoop. I had never had cake bars much growing up. But my Amish friends in Indiana always had frosted zucchini bars on hand. They had them for company. They had them for a quick snack coming in out of the fields. They had them for desert at supper too. They gave plates of them away for new mother/baby gifts and they were almost always on hand for school lunch box treats too. They were made from zucchini squash they grew in their garden. They would grind or grate the squash with a hand grater and pack it into freezer containers. Then all year long, they would make this yummy snack.
I would spend two and three days a week at Amish homes, and this food quickly became a favorite food of mine too. It was usually served with a glass of raw chocolate milk. The raw milk came fresh everyday from their own farm or a neighboring Amish farm. The chocolate syrup in the milk was made from scratch too.
Now that I have children of my own, I see nothing could be easier than homemade snack bars to keep on hand to feed them fast when they are hungry for a snack. I still make zucchini bars. But I have to admit that pumpkin bars are our favorite.
Pumpkin bars are very nutritious. I very seldom frost them, unless we are having company. The best frosting is made with a little plain or vanilla kefir, or a bar of cream cheese, and organic powdered sugar. Just beat together until the desired consistency is achieved.
This picture is a frosted carrot bar. You can read that story here. Frosted carrot bars and pumpkin bars look about the same.
But our children enjoy these delicious treats without frosting too. Frosting adds a bunch of extra sugar. Sometimes to make them extra special, I toss in a handful or two of chocolate chips into the batter, or put it on top after pouring into the pan.
Pumpkin and chocolate. Whoooooo, YUMMY!
We usually make them from scratch and they mix up very quickly in the mixer. I have come up with my own healthier version of cake bars over the years from that are much better in nutrition from the Amish treats I used to receive. Thanks to the Weston A Price Foundation, I have learned a lot of valuable information about using truly healthy ingredients in making the foods we enjoy.
You can use any pumpkin bread recipe. But I substitute the best quality nutrient dense ingredients I can find to make them. Such as grass fed butter or coconut oil instead of vegetable oils. Free range eggs. Reduce the amount of sugar and substitute Sucanat sugar. Making these small changes has greatly improved our health over the years.
Here is our usual recipe. This is a family tradition and we all participate and there is a fun job for everyone. Kids really have fun helping make nutritious foods in the kitchen.
2 1/2 cup sucanat
1 cup butter from grass fed cows
4 eggs from free range chickens
1 can organic pumpkin
3 1/2 cups all natural or organic unbleached flour
1 tsp. baking powder – aluminum free
2 tsp baking soda – aluminum free
1 tsp sea salt – celtic sea salt it the best!
1/2 tsp ground cloves- Simply Organic or Frontier brand
1 tsp ground nutmeg – Simply Organic or Frontier brand
1 tsp ground cinnamon – Simply Organic or Frontier brand
Cream the sucanat and butter together.
Add pumpkin and eggs.
Mix the dry ingredients together, and then mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Mix for about two minutes until batter is smooth.
Then bake in two greased cake pans at 350 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes. If baked on a cookie sheet they will come out even thinner, and it only takes about 20 to 25 minutes. However, if you bake it like a bread in a bread pan, it will take about 60 minutes. We can’t wait that long to enjoy them, so we love the cake pan bar method.
Frost them if you desire to. You can find the cream cheese frosting recipe with the carrot bars here.
But HOLD ON just a minute!
Today, the kids and I decided to try a Simply Organic baking mix we bought from Weiser Natural Foods.
We have added pumpkin to mixes before, and we especially like to add it to Dr. Oetker Vanilla Cake mix and to Gluten Free Pantry Angel Food Cake mix. These pumpkin cakes are so delicious served warm with a side of warm pudding also made from the Dr. Oetker mixes. Warm butterscotch pudding is the best! If you are in a hurry for a delicious and nutritious desert for your family, give a pumpkin cake and warm pudding a try.
But today is about PUMPKIN BARS, not our favorite pumkin cake and pudding.
The children chose to make Pumpkin Bars with chocolate chips made with Simply Organic Carrot Cake Mix. This mix is really nice. You could substitute carrots, pumpkin, squash, apples, pears, or other fruits or vegetables too. You can also make it as a spice cake. Very simple to use.
Simple Pumpkin Bars!
1 cup pumpkin
1/2 cup water
Simply Organic Carrot Cake Mix
1 cup or more chocolate chips
Mix together and pour into greased 9 x 13 cake pan. Add 1 to 1/2 cups chocolate chips on top.
Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until done.
Allow to cool for at least 15 minutes before slicing. Enjoy warm or cold.
Store in an air tight container. Refrigerate them if you are not going to use them up with in 24 hours. But ours are always gone before then.
These freeze nicely too.
Pumpkin bars are awesome with a glass of raw milk, or a mug of hot chocolate. Made with wholesome ingredients, it is a perfect, healthy swea
t snack for hungry kids. Shhhhhh….adults love them too!
Try our hot chocolate recipe here
Don’t forget to enter our Simply Organic Giveaway. Details of the giveaway are posted here.
Have you heard about Simply Organic?
They are one of my favorite companies!
I learned about them when we owned a healthy food store in Indiana. I stocked many shelves with their products. They are made by Frontier Natural Products Coop.
Frontier has four main brands: Frontier, Frontier Organic, Simply Organic, and Aura Cacia. They were my favorite company to order hundreds of natural products from. They carry everything from tea, spices, extracts, baking ingredients, soaps, lotions, essential oils, vitamins and supplements, empty storage containers, and just too many products to mention. I fell in love with everything they made.
Years later, I still can’t bring my self to use any other herbs, dip mixes, or vanilla extract, and I search for this brand until I find it!
One reason I love their products so much is that they are never irradiated like the brands you find in local stores. They are fair trade, and they are good to the farmers who grow the crops. They are also so vibrant in color and flavor that other brands just don’t compare to the quality for the price.
Here are a few of my favorites!
definately my son’s favorite alfredo.
Thankfully my family has continued in the healthy food business and owns an online store called Weiser Natural Foods, and we also are part of a bulk food buying club with our local homeschooling friends. So we still have access to order the amazing variety of these great products, even if they are not available in local stores.
While talking with my sales rep. I told her that my children and I recently baked the carrot cake mix using canned pumpkin instead of carrots, and we turned them into bars. My children loved every bite. Read the Pumpkin Bar recipe here . We have also made Carrot Bars with this mix and that recipe is posted here.
Then I told her about this homeschooling website. I told her some of the stories I write about are recipes I make with my children and tell our readers about wonderful finds. I told her that I would like to tell people about their wonderful products too.
She talked it over with her manager and Simply Organic decided to send us some wonderful baking mixes to give away. I am so excited to share these products with you.
I have personally tried the carrot cake mix, and banana bread mix that I purchased through Weiser Natural Foods. These retail in stores for $4.99 and up. But we can order cases of these at wholesale for our customers $24.84 (6 to a case). Sometimes they offer additional specials off the wholesale price, and we can save our customers even more.
These products are organic, simple, and so tasty. And you don’t even notice they are gluten free. Nothing is missing. They taste delicious.
Thanks to Simply Organic, we are giving away two products.
One winner will win the Banana Bread Mix.
One winner will win the Brownie Mix.
I will pay postage to your location, (USA mainland residents only). You must include your email address in the entry so I have a way of contacting you.
The Giveaway Rules
Contest starts April 30th and ends May 30th.
This contest is for USA mainland addresses only. (No international entries please.)
I will email the winners at the email address you provide and you will have 48 hours to respond to the email with your full name and shipping address. If you do not respond to the winning email, another name will be chosen to take the prize. Deal ? If you like those rules then listed below are the steps to enter. You can enter up to three times, but must be in the order listed below.
Three chances to win. Two winners
will be chosen. Here is how to enter the giveaway.
1) First is a must, entry #1: Like us either on facebook networked blogs, or google friend connect. The buttons for these are on the left hand side of this website.
Come back here and leave us a comment letting us know.
2) Additional entry #2: Subscribe by email. Just enter your email address in the spot on the upper left side of the page.
Come back here and leave us a comment letting us know.
3) Additional entry #3: Visit the Simply Organic website and find one thing you think you would enjoy using.
Come back here and leave us a comment letting us know.
Thats it! Two people will be chosen from the entries at random to receive one of these great products.
Pantry LIst From The Stallion Stores Pantry List from Whats Cooking America Pantry List from The Urban Homemaker Ideas on How To Plan Your Pantry This is an absolutely fabulous resource for cooking affordable meals using items in your pantry you bought in bulk or on sale. Menu Plan Monday Challenge From $5 Dinners Eat From the Pantry Challenge Blog Linkup Weekly Meal Plans from $5 Dinners Free Printable Planners for Grocery Lists, Pantry Storage, Freezer Storage and a whole lot more.
Do you use grains, seeds, nuts, sugar, sweeteners, spices, teas, coffee, and pasta in your day to day cooking?
Do you use a lot of sugar, nuts, flours, and more during the holidays?
Do you have a large family to feed?
Do you enjoy making gifts of food to give away to bless others?
Do you buy supplies for your local church meetings or other group meetings?
If so, then buying in bulk would be a good option for you.
In a year, how much of these items do you use?
If you know about how many pounds of different foods your family uses in a week, with a little math, you can easily calculate how much you need for a month, six months, or a year, and buy in bulk and save a huge amount on your family food bill. Some families keep a month, six months, or a years supply on hand. Typically, the larger the size of package you buy, the more you save per pound.
Using a freezer, and a little extra storage space to store some containers, I am able to store a years supply for my family’s needs for many of these items. In the freezer I can store bulk items such as meat, broth for soup, grains, flour, ground nuts, yeast, butter, frozen fruits and vegetables, etc.
In the pantry, I can store canned produce from the garden, canned produce I find on sale or case lots, staples such as sea salt, raw honey, beans, legumes, whole grains, nuts, seeds in the shell, spices, dried herbs, pastas, baking supplies such as baking soda and baking powder, corn starch, potato starch, cocoa powder, chocolate chips, cereals, and various sweeteners.
Some items are easy to store for several years at a time such as whole grains, beans, rice, and whole seeds. Coconut oil can be stored for 5 years or so. Olive oil, grape seed oil, and safflower oil should all be used in six months or so. Raw vinegar can store indefinitely. Honey can store forever, never throw it out. Raw honey is best. On the rare occasion you got fermented honey (basically it naturally took on a little moisture), don’t throw it out, it is even better for you and sells for a high price if you can find it for sale.
Here is a picture of 10lb of organic spaghetti pasta:
For ground flours, shelled nuts, pasta, and most oils, I try to maintain at least a three month to six month supply of most of these pantry items because it really saves a lot of money to buy them in larger sizes. My flour, or shelled nuts, I will refrigerate them of I have a few months supply. If I have more than 3 months supply of flour, or ground grains, shelled nuts on hand, I will freeze the extra to prevent the oils from going bad. I always like to refrigerate any shelled, raw, chopped, or ground nuts to protect the oils.
Here is a chart and more information on how long you can store pantry foods and what methods are best for long term storage.
Here is a chart to help you understand how much food per person, the average family will use:
Decide where you will store your bulk food items:
Possible pantry storage spaces would be a closet, cabinets, a spare bedroom, a garage, a storage shed, dry basement, dry root cellar, a spare wardrobe, a dresser, a blanket trunk, a spare freezer, or under the bed.
3 basic considerations that you should have for storing pantry items:
moisture (safe from too much moisture and mold)
temperature (safe from extreme temperatures)
pest proof (safe from insects and rodents)
There are several great options to make a “pantry” depending on your storage space. The best choices would be spaces with stable temperatures in the range of 50 degrees to 75 degrees fahrenheit. But many foods can handle frozen temperatures just fine. The extreme heat temperatures, above 100 degrees, will cause break down of viable enzymes and nutrients and reduce the amount of time you can store most foods. A grain may go from an indefinite life span in dry storage in the best temperatures, versus a one or two year life span in extreme heat temperature storage.
There are pros and cons for different pantry space choices. For example, attics are not a good option due to high heat in the summer months, but they may be a viable option in the winter.
If your climate is fairly stable, with little seasonal temperature change, garages are a good option. But if you have severe seasonal changes it may not be a good option for some products. If your garage gets extremely hot in the summer, it would not be a good option for some heat sensitive items such as whole grains. However a garage would be fine for other items. If it freezes hard in the winter, it would not be a good option for liquids in glass containers, such as home canned peaches, stored in the winter, as your jars are likely to freeze and break.
What ever location you choose, sturdy shelving and/or sturdy drawers are very important because bulk items are heavy.
Decide what you will store your bulk food items in:
One option is to store your bulk foods in 5 gallon buckets with a tight fitting or gasket seal lid. The 5 gallon bucket with a gamma seal lid is a nice option, because the gamma seal lid is very easy to twist open. It has two parts, and the outer part has the gasket seal and the inner part twists open. It is much easier to use than the standard lids, but costs extra. The bucket is a great storage option because it is stackable, moisture proof, crush proof, and pest proof.
Here is a picture of a 5
gallon bucket and a 1 gallon bucket for food storage.
If you are storing buckets with several years supply of wheat or beans, it is the best idea to use oxygen absorbers in your buckets and storage containers. But for shorter storage, this step is not necessary.
You can also store items in glass jars of various sizes, in airtight containers, in reused containers, or ziplock bags. Some plastic totes are ok, but be sure they were intended for food storage, because some plastic materials could cause cross contamination and would make the food unsafe to eat.
Here are some of my smaller containers I refill from my larger bulk storage of specific items I use every day such as sucanat, sugar, rice, and oatmeal. Most of these hold 5lb and 10lb of various products.
Some bulk items come already packaged in containers, and if they do, I use and reuse them. Some bulk items come in plastic bags. These may or may not need to be repackaged. For example, you can leave 5lb and 10lb bags intact and just slip them into your larger bucket or on a shelf in the pantry. Depending on where and how you store them, you can make use of a combination of options.
Here are some 10 lb bags of natural flour, 10lb ziplock bags of sucanant sugar, evaporated cane juice, brown rice, sunflower seeds, and oats, and 5lb bags of nuts, popcorn. I can store these like this on a shelf, or if I have double or triple this amount, I can put these bags into 5 gallon pails or put them in the freezer.
When I lived on the farm, I turned one of the spare bedrooms into a food pantry. I lined the walls with shelving units and left the corners open for stacking buckets and larger items. The shelves also stored my canning, dehydrating, and food prep equipement.
I got the idea for using the spare room from some of my Amish friends. They often had a spare room next to the kitchen, and a room in the basement used for food storage.
One Amish friend had her husband build a unheated room off of the kitchen that she used as a pantry, and it doubled as a cooler in colder weather. It had a screened window that she would leave open in the fall and winter time to keep meat she was butchering or curing before she canned it. She would cool her pies and cakes in there too. She had a generator to power freezers that she sold meat from they raised on their farm, thousands of gallons of apple cider she bought in bulk, and she rented freezer space to other Amish. Typically the Amish do not have freezers on their farms, they keep them at a “non-Amish” neighbor’s house as they do not use electricity. But this family had a huge industrial generator and they were able to have several freezers.
Usually, all my Amish friends had a room they created in their basement that held 2,000 quarts of food or more. Also crocks of sour kraut, vinegar, vanilla extract, sour dough starter, aging cheese, fresh root vegetable, fresh apples, buckets of honey, buckets of eggs, souring milk, and more. If they did not have a basement, then they had a spare room they used for this purpose. All of my Amish friends also took advantage of cold and freezing temperatures outside to store additional foods in unheated rooms such as garages, sheds, or barns.
I lived as neighbors with the Amish for 15 years and spent a lot of time learning from them. For nearly two years, before having my own children, I spent two to four hours daily with an Amish woman twice a week, working along side her in her home and garden. This was done in private, because if the “Amish church” had known of it, they would have stopped the intimate friendship with an outsider. But thankfully, they never knew, and my friendships with many Amish women spread into a 15 year span in many homes through out their community. In many ways this blessed my life. One way in particular, was in learning how to grow, harvest, and store food.
As a young girl, I also watched my grandma store foods. She used the space under a stairway as a pantry to store her canning. She used an unheated screened porch as a refrigerator in the colder months to cure her meats and have extra cold storage.
As a young woman, I also met an elderly couple who raised a huge organic garden, fruit and nut trees. Even in their 70’s, they produced enough food for themselves, many neighbors, and sold all their surplus to the local nursing home in Albany, Indiana. They used the space in an unheated upstairs room to store lots of fresh fruits, vegetables, cultured milk, and canned foods. One thing that really stood out to me was each fall the wife would meticulously wrap each fresh pear in newspaper before setting it in place to store. This prevented the pears from ripening too fast and kept a long storage life. The husband was always so proud to show me his refrigerator. It only had eggs, raw milk, butter, and strawberry freezer jam. But his wife could cook up a feast in minutes from the food they had stored.
How To Buy And Store Bulk Sugar
Let us use this example as your introduction to your first bulk purchase.
First, estimate how much bulk sugar you would like to store.
Next, find a bulk food club or bulk food store in your area. In our local area there are several options. I run a discount buying service for bulk foods, and facilitate a local homschool buying club through Weiser Natural Foods.
Let’s say you connected with a local bulk food club, and just bought your first 50lb bag of bulk sucanat (sugar cane natural) or evaporated cane juice (AKA natural sugar).
The 50lb bag of natural sucanat was approximately $96 including shipping, and you saved an average of $105 over buying it in smaller bags. Hum, I can think of a lot of ways my family can use that $105 savings.
The 50lb bag of organic evaporated cane juice was approximately $60 including shipping, and you saved an average of $25 over buying it in 5lb bags.
Additional savings were gained in not paying for gas to go to the store each time you needed a small bag of sugar.
Now what do you do with it? Read on….
How To Store Bulk Sugar
It will store just fine in a sealed 5 gallon bucket. You can pour it all in at once, or put it in smaller ziplock bags and put them into the bucket or pantry. Ziplock bags and airtight containers will also hold this product just fine in the pantry closet, freezer, or cabinet. A two gallon ziplock bag will hold 15lbs of sugar. I generally put 10lbs in that size bag and it fills them 3/4 full. So a 50lb bulk would be reduced to 5 of the 2 ga
llon ziplock bags.
Set your bag in a stable position that is comfortable to work with. I like to set mine on a kitchen chair so it is at a good height for me to work with. With scissors, carefully open your bulk bag.
Use a sturdy scoop, or measuring cup, to lift out the product. I like to use a stainless steel 2 cup measure. I have also used a food scoop, drinking glass, and a small sauce pan as a scoop before too. It doesn’t matter as long as it feels sturdy, feels good in your hands, and can hold the weight of the product you are scooping. A disposable plastic cup will not hold up to scooping sugar.
Carefully fill the container of your choice.
Here is a picture of 50lbs of sucanat divided into 4 ziplock bags and two 2.5lb reused plastic containers. I put 25 lbs in two bags. The other two bags had 10lbs each.
Now store the bags in a safe place, in a closet, in buckets or totes, the freezer, or whatever space you have. And enjoy the savings !!!
More Links and Information:
Pictures of Food Pantry Storage On AOL
I found over 600,000 pictures on AOL in this search and you can click through the thousands of images to build your plan of what will work best for your situation.
Click on this link to see PICTURES .
How do you store your food?
Please stop in and leave a comment on how you store your bulk foods.
Pantry LIst From The Stallion Stores
Pantry List from Whats Cooking America
Pantry List from The Urban Homemaker
Ideas on How To Plan Your Pantry
This is an absolutely fabulous resource for cooking affordable meals using items in your pantry you bought in bulk or on sale.
Menu Plan Monday Challenge From $5 Dinners
Eat From the Pantry Challenge Blog Linkup
Weekly Meal Plans from $5 Dinners
Free Printable Planners for Grocery Lists, Pantry Storage, Freezer Storage and a whole lot more.
Homeschool Buying Club Bulk Food Order Deadline
Hi everyone, this is our monthly reminder about the homeschool buying club bulk food order deadline.
Do you need baking supplies for the holidays? Now is a great time to get the extra flour, sugar, peanut butter, nuts, yeast, and other supplies to make those wonderful yummy gifts and holiday dinners.
Want to really show someone you care about their health this holiday? What about making a “Gift Of Health” basket with natural and healthy items? These can be items you make yourself and put in the basket, or items you buy and make a pretty arrangement. What a sweet treat to eat cookies and drink hot cocoa made with all natural ingredients by your loving hands. But we can order more than just healthy foods through our bulk food club. We can get baskets, jars, bottles, utensils, soaps, oils, fragrances, herbs to fill sachets, and so much more. There are so many themes for these “Gift of Health” baskets you could come up with.
Here are a few ideas I have been thinking about to make healthy gift baskets for my family and friends.
Blessings or Get Well Basket filled with nourishing items to help deal with a specific health issue or chronic illness. (Allergy food alternatives, Diabetes, Skin Disorders, Arthritis, etc.)
Soup Lovers Basket
Spices From Around the World
Honey Lovers Basket
Tea Lovers Supplies
Coffee Lovers Supplies
Hot Chocolate Lovers
Super Foods/Vitamin Basket
Candy Makers Supplies
Pasta Lovers Supplies
Chicken Lovers Supplies
Another great idea is to teach your kids how to put these baskets together.
Tie the process of baking, creating, assembling, and sharing, and holiday good will,
with some curriculum you are learning about this season.
Many of the skills involved in this process are useful life skills that will stay with them into adulthood.
The Ideas are endless.
Let me know if you need help with ideas, or if you want me to make the baskets for you.
I would love to do it.
Do you have a large grocery bill?
I usually do, as I have 7 people to feed each day. That is 21 plates of food, plus drinks and snacks each day, or 147 plates of food, plus drinks, plus snacks each week, or about 651 plates of food, plus drinks, plus about 651 servings of snacks each month. That is a lot of meals and it can really eat away at the grocery budget.
We live on one income, as most homeschool families do. My husband works in construction and things have been very tight in this field for several years now. We went through some very difficult times, had to change our whole life around, and there were several times we couldn’t afford groceries. The cupboards were bare. The freezer and fridge were bare too. We had to get by on things like peanut butter sandwhiches, apples, water, and a few things I could make inexpensively.
During this time, we changed jobs, moved across the country, rented a small house with no yard, and had loads of bills. Food just took a back seat to surviving for months on end. So it was a big challenge to find ways to feed my family on a small budget. We tried cheap food from cheap stores. Besides tasting bad, it caused some side effects including stomach pain, weight gain, headaches, and general not feeling good from the preservatives. Everyone suffered. We longed for real food like we had before on the farm. Garden fresh produce, grass fed meats, fresh eggs, raw milk, and natural and organic grains and superfoods. It took some adjusting and budgeting, but we eventually have been able to return to buying a variety of foods for our family within a budget that we can work with.
Here are a few ways I reduce costs.
Most important of all, if possible, by organic when you can. Think that is contradictory to saving money? Think again. I want to show you how you can include healthy organic and natural food in your family budget. Here are four ways it can help you save money.
First, using organic and natural foods helps you avoid getting sick and paying lots of doctor bills down the road.
No kidding, I am convinced that buying organic and natural, really helps you stay well and have a stronger immune system.
Many friends I know have forked out thousands of dollars in doctors visits and medications each year, and that is just for the common “bugs” colds, flus, and viruses. It is not a cure all. People still get sick with modern disease as we live in a polluted world. But over all it really helps the immune system to stay stronger than the standard American diet.
Other terms to look for when buying healthy foods besides organic are: Naturally Grown, Locally Grown, GMO Free, Additive Free, Preservative Free, Grass Fed, Raised on Pasture, Free Range, and Wild Caught.
Second, grow a summer garden if you are able.
You can buy a packet of seeds for a $1 or less and reap at least $20 or more of fresh food from that investment. I have grown my own gardens for nearly 20 years now and can tell you it really does save you money and the boost in fresh nutrients really helps the body. I was really blessed this year when my sister sent me a box full of seeds of various varieties she bought on clearance for nearly .10 cents a packet. I got busy in the late spring and planted as much as I had room for, and will use the rest of the seeds next season.
Third, buy items when they are on sale and use coupons where you can.
Something to consider is that most “food” coupons are for prepared foods that manufactures want to entice you to buy. Coupons are a good thing if used for the right purchases, foods in their natural form, condiments, paper goods and household supplies. But buying a lot of “manufactured” “food” could really mess up your health.
Stores rotate sales on lots of products. Watch the sales flyer and stock up when the prices are down. You can save as much as 50% on sales on many items, and many times this makes them cheaper than the non-healthy version at the other stores. But again, a word of caution. The longer a food such as meat sits in the meat department or meats and prepared foods in the freezer departments, the more amines increase and nutrients decrease.
Fourth, buy natural produce in season and freeze, dry, or can products that need longer storage.
Before any expeses are added by the “grocery system” for shipping and storage in warehouses, you can buy many local products in season at a fair price.
For example, fresh strawberries from a local grower, fresh lettuce, fresh potatoes at the farmers market, or fresh green beans and can them or freeze them yourself for longer storage.
Even doing a CSA for the summer saves you lots of money over buying the items at a grocery store. It cost anywhere from $20 for a small share and $35 for a large share of fresh, often organic grown produce for 20 weeks from a local CSA grower.
Buying a 100 lbs of local grass fed beef from a local farmer taking a cow in to the butcher, is cheaper and healthier than buying a 100 lbs of decent quality grass fed natural meat from the store. And making arangements with a farmer for fresh eggs and free range chickens is way better than eating factory raised meat from the store.
Fifth, you can buy lots of different products in bulk.
You can stock your pantry with bulk items you saved a lot of money on. I think this is the most overlooked step in the modern kitchen today. We are so used to single size and quick, that planning a bulk order and rotating the food in the pantry has almost become obsolete.
But families of days gone by knew that they needed to grow their foods as much as possible, and buy the rest in bulk sizes to get through till the next shipment was available. They might have to survive six months or maybe even the whole year on what they could get in a few visits to town each year. They knew to prepare for difficult times too. They knew many home remedies to help them get through common illnesses. Even though many people died during epidemics and famines, many people lived too.
In our modern world, we are both blessed and cursed by the modern convenience of groceries stores and resturaunts on every corner. Because we don’t know how to use this blessing wisely, it has become a curse to the very health of modern man. There are many good things about our modern system that have helped people in many ways, but in this area, the bad out weights the good and the long term quality of health of modern man is declining with new disease everyday.
As food has been modified for machine harvest, reduced pests damage in the large single crop fields, longer storage in warehouses before spoiling and shipping across the country or world, and some foods being manipulated in factories into pre-made long lasting products, the quality of human health has declined. It takes more and more medicine and the skills of special doctors to keep many people alive, as we have destroyed our bodies with our modern food system.
I am on a quest to reverse this damage in my own family. I am not perfect. I spent over 30 years of my life doing things the standard way. I still use&nbs
p;modern conveniences when it fits into my busy day or travels. But I have tried over the years to make healthy changes and reduce the amount of consumption of the less healthy products my family recieves.
One way to help reach this goal of getting healthy products, without breaking the piggy bank, is that I have joined other families in buying items in bulk sizes and case sizes. Not many stores will accomodate bulk sizes or give discounts on case sizes, so this is best done through a bulk food store or a local buying club. The health food stores and co-ops still want a hefty price tag on most items. Since my own family’s financial difficulties have been a huge issue over the past few years, buying healthy foods for the pantry has been a challenge on the budget.
We are now part of a local homeschool buying club offered through Weiser Natural Foods Discount Buying Service. I am the facilitator of Weiser Natural Foods. I used to own a health food store and after moving, I transformed my previous company into a bulk food discount ordering service. This company is willing to go the several extra steps it takes to aquire bulk products at wholesale prices and work with individual people who have special diets too. If you want to read about the service and see how they can help you, here is the link: www.weisernaturalfoods.com
I recently re-stocked my pantry with several needed healthy items, and I want to share some of the photos with you.
Here are some larger pictures of the overall bulk food order.
This is 50 lbs of organic sugar (Evaporated Cane Juice). It is very similar to white sugar in how it cooks in your food, but way different in its nutritional value. I also like using Sucanat sugar (SugarCaneNatural), and Rapadura sugar. These sweateners are loaded with nutrients and your body uses them as a food, where it deals with white sugar like a toxin. No kidding. And instead of lowering the immune system, these sweateners provide vitamins and lots of minerals to help keep your immune system strong.
Even healthy sweeteners should be used in moderation. Other good sweeteners are raw honey, maple syrup, brown rice syrup, dates, mashed fruits, and stevia. I would mostly avoid all other sweeteners. Some of the so-called “healthy” sweateners in health food stores are not healthy at all.
I am splitting this with another mom in our homeschool group.
We basically just open the bag and fill ziplock bags with the amount each of us wants.
These are 5 lb bags of natural nuts. Included here are raw almonds and roasted cashews.
This is a huge savings over buying a can of nuts at Walmart. And these are so much more healthy for you.
I use these in so many things like cookies, breads, salads, trail mixes, granola bars, ice cream toppings, and more.
Cashews are basically the only nut that has been pre-soaked in removing the shell, so it is ok to buy it roasted. All other nuts I prefer to buy raw and then I soak and roast them myself before using them. There are several anti-nutrients that soaking removes, and it activates enzymes that were asleep. These enzymes are needed to help our bodies digest the nuts. Once soaked, our bodies use the food similar to how it uses a vegetable. For optimum nutrition, all nuts, seeds, grains, and legumes should be soaked before using.
My favorite hot cereal in a 3lb bag for just pennies a serving. It comes in larger bulk bags too if I wanted to save even more. I will write a post on this blog on how to make the most delicious hot breakfast with this.
Ok, organic oats. There are so many ways to buy them: rolled, quick, thick, Scottish, Irish, chopped groats, whole graots, and made into oat flour too. I usually get the 5 lb bag of organic quick oats in hot weather when we don’t use as much, and the 25 lb bag in cooler weather, and save lots and lots over buying the oats at the local stores. I enjoy eating the thick rolled and the groats too, but my family finds them a little too chewy for their tastes, so I usually stick with the quick rolled in the bulk sizes.
Here is my 25 lb bag of organic quick rolled oats. I plan to make lots of cereal, granola bars, cookies, and Christmas gifts with this over the next two months. If I were to buy this in warm weather, or at a time when I wouldn’t use it in a few months, I would seal it in an air tight container, or use a five gallon bucket with a gasket lid and place in the pantry, or bag it in ziploc bags and place in the freezer. The goal is to use it before the oils in grains go rancid. You can tell by smell and taste if this happens. But it will take a long while for this to occur in these oats. Grains that are high in oils, such as rolled wheat or rolled corn, would go rancid quicker than the oats. I have kept them six months or longer without them going rancid.
Here is the 5 lb bags of organic rolled oats another mom got on this order.
Got these organic mixes on a great sale for $1.99 each. That is just outstanding.
I try to stock up when these items are on a special sale.
No preservatives. Nothing artificial. Quick and easy to make.
My children love the Dr. Oetker products especially the organic vanilla cake mix.
It is so versatile. Sometimes I make it as is. Sometimes I add some lemon juice
Sometimes I add apple sauce. But the kids favorite is when I add a can of pumpkin. Oh so delicious!
I also like to serve it just plain with a side of warm pudding. Tonight we will have it this way with
Dr. Oetker butterscotch pudding.
My family loves fried corn meal mush served with maple syrup. I just love cooking corn meal mush or grits and eating for them breakfast just like I would a bowl of oatmeal. I got one of these 5 lb bags of organic corn grits for my family and another mom got a bag for her family. It was just $1 lb.
Here is one of our favorite foods. Tree ripened green olives.
They taste even better than black olives. Only two ingredients:
Olives and salt. These retail in the stores for over $4
a can. I was able to buy them 12 to a case, for $ 2 a can. We serve these with
just about any meal as a side. Just love them and they are a real treat.
How do you like your flour? Well I like mine in different ways for different applications.
I use natural all purpose for gravy, cookies, cake, quick breads, pancakes, pie crust and so on.
I use hard spring white and stone ground for bread making. I use spelt flour for
some breads and cookies. I use some gluten free flours too including rice flour,
sorgum flour, tapioca flour, corn flour, and all purpose gluten free mixes.
I buy these items in 5 lb, 10 lb and 25 lb sizes. It is easy to store them in the freezer if I need more time to
use them up.
But if you are really industrious, you can buy whole grains and keep them
indefinately in a sealed container in your pantry. This great for grinding into flour, sprouting for wheat grass juice,
rolling or cracking for cereal, or uses in pilaf too.
One of the moms in our local homeschool club bakes bread everyday from fresh ground flour she does herself.
She buys organic hard white spring wheat berries (the whole grain) and grinds it fresh for the best and most nutritious bread, cakes,
and cookies for her family of 7 everyday. She recently shared a loaf with my family and it was so delicious.
What about peanut butter and other nut butters? My family uses a lot of this during a months time.
We buy a natural peanut butter in 5 lb containers made by Eastwind. It only has two ingredients,
natural peanuts and salt. It always stays soft and can keep at room temperature.
A wonderful product we have used for nearly 8 years now.
We really miss it if we run out before the next bulk food order and have
to get something from the local store. It cost a little over $3 a pound in these 5 lb pails.
We can buy it in even bigger sizes and save even more.
I recently bought a 30 lb pail of cashew butter and reaped a big savings over buying it in
one pound jars at the local store.
If you want to learn more about how to locate and prepare healthy nutritious foods for your family, and how to boost your immune system in the process, please check out the information on these websites:
Here is another article with tips about how to save on your grocery bill.
Disclaimer: The words written here are meant to share personal experiences only, not to diagnose or cure disease. Please consult your healthcare practitioner before making any changes in your lifestyle. You are responsible for your own life and it is best to be informed. Rather than just following someone’s recommendations, seek out studies with proven results that explain how and why different things affect us in different ways. Have good solid factual reasons for taking a certain path or making lifestyle choice. Your life depends on it.
Just a friendly reminder that our next bulk food order deadline is
Monday October 18th, 2010.
We have a great opportunity to buy lots of needed items at wholesale.
Do you need flour?
Do you need sugar?
Do you need pasta?
Do you need salt or spices?
Do you need mixes for cakes or brownies?
Do you need pasta sauce or pizza sauce?
Do you need whole or cracked grains, cereals, or rolled oats?
Do you need coffee or tea?
Do you need peanut butter?
Do you need laundry soap, toilet cleaner, shampoo, lotions, or soap?
Do you need vitamins or supplements?
Do you need specialty items for recovery from an illness, or special items such as gluten free, or allergen free? Or do you use all natural makeup and beauty supplies?
Are you making gifts for the holiday’s and need supplies?
Our Homeschool Buying Club is made up of Moms and Dads just like you who want to get the best quality food and nutrition for their family for the best dollar.
Each month they receive the best quality foods to stock their pantries. Many of these products are the same food brands you find at health food stores, but for a much cheaper price. On most products, you will see a 30% to 50% savings over the local stores. There are times when we get even deeper discounts on certain brands and the savings could be as high as 75%.
To participate all you need to do is be a member and email me your list of what you need. I will get the prices for you and email you back. You can pay with paypal or stop buy my home to give me cash or check. I will send in the order and you pick it up here. It is possible we may be able to work out meeting you somewhere for pickup if needed.
We can buy items in small sizes for smaller families, and in large bulk sizes for those wanting more quantity and more savings.
This business is a labor of love for me. There is no getting rich from it. The small fee only helps partially cover the expenses. But, helping families acquire needed items is my passion, and I can’t tell you the countless number of families who tell me they have been blessed through it and they have blessed my life through getting to know them.
Be Blessed Today!
Don’t forget to enter Weiser Natural Foods
giveaway for your chance to win a bottle of
Hero Nutritionals Gummie Vitamins.
Deadline to enter has been moved to September 20th at noon.
See website for contest details.
Here is the link to the contest info: CONTEST
Hope you win!!!
Weiser Natural Foods
Discount Ordering Service
Homeschool Buying Club
Bulk Food Order Deadline
September 15, 2010
Orders will arrive approximately on the 29th and I will contact you by email or phone to schedule a pick up time.
Simple to order:
Place your order by email.
I will send you an invoice.
Pay with Pay Pal or by check or cash.
All orders of $50.00 or more, placed by September 15, 2010 are entered into a drawing contest.
We are giving away one bottle of Hero Nutritional Gummie Vitamin/Supplements for Children. These products are preservative and allergen free.
One entry per family.
If you would like to know more about this wonderful line of supplements for children and adults, here is the link to read more. HERO NUTRITIONALS