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Back to the Future - Freezing Corn the Zero-Carbon Way

| 8/30/2012 2:10:50 PM

North Americans just have no idea how much energy goes into getting food on our plates. If we did, we’d all walk around in a big grateful daze saying “Thank you farmers, thank you Jolly Green Giant, thank you cheap energy….” and never get anything done.

I used the “Back to the Future” tag in my title for two reasons. The first is my obvious attempt to bring traffic to our website. It’s conniving and underhanded but I do it anyway. I can only hope that someone searching for the Michael J. Fox movies will end up on our website by accident and buy our books.

The other reason is the sustainability/homesteading/back to the land concept of “putting food up” and what an insane amount of energy it can take. Lots of hippies and homesteaders who claim to have a low carbon footprint and to be independent, are using a whack of coal-powered electricity or propane to be independent, so frankly, I don’t think it counts.

Today was CSA day and as usual, once Michelle left to do the deliveries, I stay behind and clean up. This involves getting out the snow shovel to push the assorted excess vegetable detritus out of the kitchen. Thank heavens it’s a farm kitchen. This wouldn’t work in one of those pristine suburban kitchens.

As I was harvesting corn for the boxes this week there were a lot of ears with insect damage and holes that had been pecked by birds. We usually just eat this corn ourselves, but there were more than enough for a few meals so I decided to freeze it. So I went back to the garden and picked a few more ears that I knew would be overripe before next week’s delivery.

Actually, before I went back to the garden I started to heat the water. You see, I had decided to make this corn “zero-carbon.” I decided to not use any propane. So I put some hot water in the corn pot. The hot water from our tap right now is scalding because of our solar thermal system. I also put the kettle into the solar oven to warm it up.

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