In a bid to beat the heat of the day, we got up early this morning and headed out for our local blueberry u-pick farm. An hour and a half later, we were back home with 3 gallons of sweet tasting organic blueberries.
After washing and sorting, we saved out a good sized bowl for desserts and snacks for the next couple of days.
Then we filled and canned 8 pints. (That’s how many pints will fit in my canner at one time.)
The rest were spread in single layers on baking sheets and placed in the freezer to flash-freeze.
Now for a quick cost analysis:
We paid $7 per gallon at the u-pick farm… so a total of $21.
The berries we saved out for eating now would be approximately equal to 3 of the plastic pint containers. Around here those run anywhere from $3.00 to $4.00 per pint for organic blueberries. So even taking the lower price: 3 X $3.00 = $9.00
As mentioned above, we canned 8 pints of berries. At the grocery store, 14 oz cans of organic blueberries run approximately $2.50 per can: 8 X $2.50 = $20
As you can see… we’ve already saved $8 and that doesn’t even include the berries we have in the freezer waiting to be divided into bags.
Now there are those who will argue that I haven’t added in the time it took to pick the berries or the energy and water costs to can and freeze.
I don’t consider the time picking the berries to be a cost. In fact… I consider it a blessing. Dave and I and our son spent some wonderfully peaceful quality time together picking berries. Our son is 17 and the last of our children living at home. He’s going into his last year of high school this fall. There aren’t going to be too many more opportunities like today to spend that kind of time with him building memories.
The energy and water costs are minimal when compared to the peace of mind I have in knowing exactly where our food was grown and exactly what has gone into preserving it.
And then when you take into consideration that hand-picked, fresh berries that have travelled less than five miles to get from farm to table taste so much better and are of higher nutritional quality than anything you can buy at the supermarket and I know we’ve come out way ahead.