I wrote all the names on slips of paper, folded them up, put them in a RedSox Hat (of course)…and had Ms. Rebekah pick a name. The winner is Katy K , who wrote :

I will be working on buying more food from the US, starting with my usual grocery sources (Jewel, TJ’s, farmer’s market, Costco) and looking for alternatives elsewhere if I can’t find them.

I noticed recently that most of the grocery store tomatoes were from Canada!

Congrats, Katy! Send me an e-mail at Aliciakplummer@yahoo.com and let me know if you want the fingerless mittens or the yarn as is!

And keep checking back for our next giveaway!

Each Wednesday, I’m going to bring you an American company that’s super-local to my area. Most likely, you’ll have something similar in your area too. To see the biggest impact on your economy, buying “wicked local” is one of the best ways to do it. When I do spotlight these places, I’ll try to focus in on ones that are super affordable-equal to or less than the general going price in our area. (But, I can’t make any promises)…

Ok, so you’d really like to buy local but don’t want to break the bank. Igetthat. The supermarket flyer offers enticing sales on things and it’s so convenient. Well, to follow up on my farm stand post, we’re going Blueberry Picking.

Blueberry picking, like going to the farmer’s market, is a great family adventure. We took the girls a few Sundays back to Crabtree’s in Sebago and had a blast. Our oldest loved running up and down the rows of blueberry bushes (and clearly more ended up in her mouth than her pail!). It’s going to be a repeat trip, I just know it.  I’d definitely reccomend going in early morning, or on a cooler day because the blueberry fields can get really hot. The sun was beating down on us! The little tin pails used to collect the berries are super cute and make satisfying ‘plink’ noises when you drop the berries in.

 

Now that I’ve told you everything you already know about why you should go pick blueberries, let me give you a more monetary motivation: savings. In more ways than one. Our local Bridgton Hannaford sells blueberries (in season prices) at 7.97 per pound, or 10.64 per pound if you want to go organic. It gets more expensive in the winter. Yikes! On the other hand, if you pick your own at Crabtree in Sebago, you get your berries at…wait for it…1.95 per pound.

 Let’s say that freezing blueberries for winter is something you’d like to do and you want two pounds to freeze (that’s enough to nicely fill a one gallon ziploc bag. Here’s how it’d break down:

  • Hannaford Regular: 15.94
  • Hannaford Organic: 21.28
  • Crabtree PYO: 3.90

In other words, you could buy about 4 pounds of blueberries you pick yourself versus one pound at the store (and that’s the non-organic price!)

Wanna tie in the lesson with your kids? Read these!

  1. Blueberries for Sal by Robert McClosky
  2. Blueberry Mouse by Alice Low
  3. Blueberry Pie Elf by Jane Thayer
  4. Blueberry Girl by Neil Gaiman
  5. Jamberry by Bruce Degen

Blueberry season is ending soon, so head on up to Crabtree’s and pick some berries to freeze for winter so you can enjoy them all year long. They go great in pancakes, pies, smoothies, jams, and I have a delicious blueberry scone recipe compliments of Angie that I’ll share with you tomorrow!

http://www.crabcoll.com/blueberry/homepage.html

So you may or may not have found the giveaway requirements hiding somewhere here on the blog yet…but I decided in the meantime to make a multi-dimensional giveaway. Let me explain! I picked up this delicious, soft skein of Quince and Co’s Lark, a worsted weight yarn in the color Nasturtium (a nice, carroty orange). Perfect for fall.

“Alicia, but where is this yarn coming from?” you might ask…I’m so glad you did! Quince and co’s company is based right out of Portland, Maine, and uses wool sourced in the US. In their words:

We offer wool yarns that are sourced and spun in the US. Known in the trade as “territory wool,” our fiber comes from Merino, Rambouillet, and Columbia-based sheep that roam the ranges of Montana and Wyoming. All our wool and wool-blend yarns are spun in a New England mill with a venerable history. By sourcing our wool in the US and manufacturing our yarn locally, we minimize our carbon footprint.

I just want to add that for being a “Made in America” kind of company, their prices are very reasonable. My friend Ange picked up two fat skeins of Puffin in Marsh for her first knitting project. It’s going to be gorgeous. I highly reccomend starting with this yarn for a new knitter because it knits up fast and is so,so soft! Ah, but I digress…

So here’s the deal on the giveaway- Quince and Co. didn’t sponsor me in any way. (Gosh, I WISH!)

 I went to Knitwit and bought this myself. (If you’d like to skip the giveaway and go straight over to Knitwit, it’s a lovely store: www.yarnonthebrain.com) and you can also go here to check out Quince and Co’s great yarn: www.quinceandco.com !

 I may go back and get more to make Rebekah rainboot liners (see my Little Bean Rainboot Liner Pattern on ravelry if you’re curious).  The prize is your choice: If you’re a knitter, you might want me to mail you this yummy skein as IS, so you can knit with it. If you’re not (orjustdon’thavetime) you can request that I knit this up into a pair of cute little orange fingerless mittens for fall.

Why fingerless mittens? Well, the yardage matches the project size. They’re great for fall, for walking your dog, taking a jog with your stroller (and child!) and those chilly days when real mittens or gloves just aren’t necessary yet.

Won’t you feel great walking around with a nice soft piece of American economy on your hands, literally? Keep searching all the posts for more giveaway info!

🙂

I promised you a good, basic farmstand recipe and I shall deliver!

You will need: Tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, fresh basil, and balsamic vinagrette.

STEP ONE: Slice tomatoes. (thick slices, thin slices, chop-chop…whatever you like)

STEP TWO: Slice mozzarella. (peel it, dice it…whatever looks pretty)

STEP THREE: Chop up some basil. (throw in pine nuts if you’re feeling wild)

STEP FOUR: Drizzle gently (or liberally) with Balsamic Vinegar!

Delicious. Easy. Fresh. Healthy (for you AND the economy!)

Think you’ve got something better? Share!