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This is the season for putting summer's bounty up to save for a winter time treat!  Preserving food is a centuries old tradition and art that can still serve you in your kitchen today.  Gather apples scattered from the orchard's floor and make pints of cinnamon spiced apple sauce, or turn your tumbling tomatoes into rich spaghetti sauce.

Where to find bountiful, low-cost or free produce:

  • Freecycle - post a wanted add for produce and offer to glean produce for Freecycle users
  • Your neighbors yard
  • Buy Seconds at the one of Sonoma County's Farmer's Markets - vendors sell flats of over ripe or damaged fruit for very cheap deals - I've bought a flat of heirloom tomatoes for $1.50 and a flat of peaches for $5.  This fruit needs to be preserved immediately, so get to the Farmer's Market early and plan to go straight home to jar or freeze the fruit!
  • Walker Ranch - offers box deals at their Ranch and $1 a pound apples at the Santa Rosa Farmer's Market    (707-823-4310 10955 Upp Road, Sebastopol)
  • Other local ranches that sell Gravenstein Apples featured in a recent Press Democrat Article
  • Blackberries - find these surrounding local creek paths such as the Joe Rodota Trail
  • From your own backyard - learn to plan your own fall vegetable garden at Harmony Farm's upcoming free course on August 8th at 12:00.
Looking for a canning class?

Saturday, August 8th:  Harmony Farm's Customer Appreciation Day will include a "Canning your Harvest" class at 10:00 am and 2:00 pm.  Call 823-9125 for more details.

Thursday, September 10 at 6:30:  Sebastopol Hardware Center  offers a Food Preservation Class with Wendy Krupnick.  Learn how to can, freeze, dry and more!  All canning supplies will be 20% off after the class.  Call (707) 823-7688 for details.

Need a few good canning or preserving resources?

Check out the Sono-Ma Store or your local library for books such as:
Animal, Vegetable, Miracle (Recipes in Back of Each Chapter)

There is also much to be found at your local library branch.  Sono-Ma friend, Karen, and I both had a pile of canning books in the reserve stacks in late May. 

On-line links you'll find helpful include:

Utah Education Network's Food Preservation "On-line Course"

Food Storage Guidelines for Consumers by the Virginia Cooperative Extensions (availble as a pdf with a great food storage chart you can plaster to your freezer here.)

Need Canning or Freezing Supplies?
Pick up what you need while you check out Harmony Farm's Customer Appreciation event and courses on August 8th - or any other day of the year.
Ace Hardware is also a reliable source for jars, lids, pectin, etc.  Ball canning jars are great for use in the freezer as well.  Find these supplies at Ace stores at locations such as:  Sebastopol, Windsor, Healdsburg, Bennett Valley, and Sonoma.


  1. Lisa // December 23, 2009 at 10:22 AM  

    What a great post! Lots of terrific resources. May I link to it next harvest season?

  2. Sono-Ma: Holly White-Wolfe // December 23, 2009 at 12:16 PM  

    Of course! We all help each other by sharing information and connecting. That's why you've been on my blogroll for months! Thanks for all your work to support families!

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