Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Off the beaten trail

It was a dreary, rainy day.  The night before, we had called the place we had ordered a quarter of a cow for the freezer.  It was ready to be picked up, so off we went to get it.  On our way home we saw a sign for an organic fruit farm.  They also had a sign about apples, so we drove down the road rarely followed.  I was thinking that either we'd never return or something wonderful would be down this out of the way road.  Luckily, it was something wonderful. 

We found culled apples they were selling as "deer apples" for $4.00 per bushel.  I picked through 2 bushels and took the ones that were in usable condition (slightly bruised, too small for market, oddly shaped etc) and put them in bags.  I also took some pictures as it was such a lovely sight.  With the apples, I followed "Putting Food By" and made applesauce, no sugar, no juice, no water, just apples and heat.  I have only processed about 2/3 of the apples and already have 12 quarts, oats and apples bars, 2 pints put into the fridge for snacks, as well as all the apple slices and warm applesauce we can eat. 
(UPDATE: I have now made a total of 18 quarts of applesauce, 2 batches of oats and apple bars, 1 pint of apple butter...as well as all the eating slices and warm applesauce my family could eat.)

As you may know, I love cost analysis...so...
$8.00/2 bushels of apples
$12.00/new jars (did not take into account jars I'm reusing)
(Guesstimating how many this will make)
18 quarts of applesauce
Cost/quart is...$1.11/quart for organic applesauce (3.5 cents/ounce)
cost at co-op
$3.46/24 oz (14 cents/ounce) or $4.48 per quart

Savings of...$3.37 per quart!!!!! or for 18 quarts $60.66

Despite all that saving, what made it worth it was:
My kiddos "help" when I was cutting the apples (alright, so they were chowing down on apples.)
The wonderful comparisons of how each different type of apple tasted/looked/was colored inside and out.
The SMELL oh, that rich fall smell.
Spending time with the family in the kitchen.
W. saying, "You made all the applesauce because you know I love it so...you're the best mommy ever!"
Sometimes it's the little things.


  1. wow! what a Robert Frostian Find. Since my kids go to school I can a fair bit of applesauce in the little 4oz glass jars and they are easy single servings for lunches. The jars were an expense up front but we have used them for so many things.

  2. I love the cost analysis. It really puts it in perspective the savings you can have from using whole foods and creating your own food for later. Yum!!


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