Tuesday, April 1, 2008


Needed : 260 jelly jars non wire bail type with or without rings. Also foraging/gleaning rights for fruit such as apples, peaches, & pears.
Offered : Handyman services, housecleaning, yard work (ready a garden for spring planting), pruning, cider, when in season; organic blackberries, 3 bushels potatoes, 100 lbs. of squash. Possible trade organic commercially butchered beef.

Here's the deal. Just spoke with my children's school in regards to attendance which is 180 days. 180 days of lunches. 180 days of eating a jelly jar of canned fruit per child.
Which is really 360 jars filled for two daughters. 2 lunches per day. 5 Lunches per week.
Fruit needed is about say 500 lbs. if I did the math right.
Lofty goal huh?
So I need about 200 more jars having about 170 jelly jars in inventory. Also need to see about getting deals on a bulk buy of fresh fruit. Apples would be the cheapest but can't see daughters eating applesauce 5 days a week no matter if it were spiced or not.
Can't recall what a bushel of fruit was fetching @ the farmer's market provided that a bushel is X amount of pounds, which it never is. Varies. Besides we are in an inflation so cost is a variable.
Lids bought last year by the case were 6¢ each.
So if I'm able to barter for jars or even if just use my already paid/free jars then the questions is how much $ to fill each jar. Cheaper than store bought individual fruit cups ? Should I factor in the green aspect of no further expended energy to make the plastic containers ? Take into account that I am assured what the contents are - as in semi to completely organic (tainted food supply like peanut butter) ? Also cost factor of sugar, spices, and orther ingredients.
All I wanted to do was have fruit on hand for school lunches that was low in sugar and preservatives, low in cost, and easily stored.

Sometimes I really need to be medicated.

~~ pelenaka ~~


  1. I know that they sell fruit flavored applesauces in the grocery stores now, they are different colors and I am sure the kids think they are "cool". There are blue ones, pink ones, green ones. You could probably do them yourself by adding in some other fruit to applesauce.

    Might it also be cheaper overall to can into larger containers and then pour a small amount into a tupperware container or a jelly jar each day to bring to school?

  2. I love your blog! Found you through Sharon Astyk who linked to Greenpa's "fridgelessness" post yesterday, and there you were in his comment section.

    I'm an urban homesteader too. But we're just getting started. Expanding our smallish garden, planting a fruit "orchard" in the yard and hopefully getting chickens, maybe bees, etc.!

    It's wonderful to read your stories and experiences and tips. I'll be back...

  3. Thank you both ladies. I'm having quite abit of fun with this blog inaddittion to teaching myself about being a webmaster even if it is in a limited capasity.

    Anything in pecticular that interests you in the scope of homesteading?

    ~~ pelenaka ~~

  4. What kind of jelly jars are you looking for? I have a box of small ones with I think white plastic lids. My girlfriend gave them to me and they've sat unused in the basement cabinet for about 2 years now. I'd be happy to trade off.

  5. One thing I'm interested in hearing about is, did you try canning outside on a potbelly cast iron woodstove? You mentioned it in one of your posts.

    We happen to have an old potbelly in our shed, inherited with our city house which we've been in for four years. I know they're inefficient as all get-out, but we're still going to keep it "just in case" we ever need it. We have a flat, glass stove top that I know we're not supposed to can on (though we did last year, quite a bit but only with a water bath canner). I'm wondering if we should try the potbelly stove out in the yard, if it's worth hauling it out of the shed and trying. What is your experience with these things?

    Thanks! Lisa in Minnesota

  6. Thanks for the offer Maryann but location location is always a factor.
    ~~ pelenaka ~~

  7. Liza, DH lugged over an old potbelly stove which I can on for a Summer. That type of stove is very romantic but lousy to cook on with only one burner. Nevertheless use what you got!
    I made up a hearth with cinderblocks and walls on 3 sides allowing enough room to place pots of food (under& behind)ready to be processed thus keeping them warm. Elevate on bricks & turn the pots to maintain heat evenly. You could cook food inside then can outside which is the greatest expenditure of energy when canning.
    I'm planning on making all 3 hearth walls higher on level with my woodstove's cooking surface. Toying with making up a slate counter top from an old sidewalk.
    Love cinderblocks!
    ~~ pelenaka ~~

  8. Show us a photo of your cinderblock hearth! I need ideas...

  9. Lisaz,
    Give me a week or so I've got an idea based on a vintage Mother Earth News Mag. Gotta do some research first.
    ~~ pelenaka ~~


Thanks, good to know there are other's with this interest