Five Ways Ripelist Can Make or Save you Money

Although Ripelist started as a way to eliminate food waste in our backyards, the app’s potential uses stretch far beyond this. As I think of the implications a tool like this has I honestly get goose bumps and begin daydreaming of a day when the majority of our food comes from local sources, including our own neighborhoods!

As the co-creator of the app I’ve spent a lot more time thinking about this than most so I wanted to share a few potential uses you may not have thought of. Here are five:

1. Make Fruit Pies for Later

This is good if you have an overabundance of fruit in your yard or can get local fruit cheap when it’s in season. The key is to make a bunch of pies at one time and then freeze them. The first pie is a lot of work but to make 3 or 4 or 10 at the same time, your return on investment goes way up! They will keep up to 4 months in the freezer if wrapped properly so if a neighbor has a hankering for homemade strawberry pie in September, well, they just may mistake your forethought for a miracle! –Here’s how

2. Swap Your Local Meat Share

Buying meat in bulk from a local farm like Kookoolan Farms is a great way to get the best quality meat at affordable prices. The problem for some though is that it’s just too much. If you buy a side of beef and can’t fit it all in your freezer, well, offer it for trade on Ripelist. Although you can’t legally sell meat products without the proper licensing, you can certainly trade it! Whether it’s eggs, vegetables, or other types of meat that you need, see what your neighbors have to swap for you local grass-fed steaks!

3. Swap or Sell Extra CSA Veggies

CSA’s (Community Supported Agriculture) are on the rise and they’ve become one of the most important sources of income for small local farms. They are also a great way to make buying local produce more affordable! The problem for many though is getting through that heaping box of fruit and veggies before it goes to waste. If you have extra or know there’s an item in your box you won’t use, put it on Ripelist! What you won’t use may be exactly what your neighbor needs.

4. Eggs that Pay For Themselves

Have you been thinking about raising chickens for eggs? Well, you’re not alone. Due to the limited space, and low maintenance needed to raise them, backyard chickens are becoming much more common in urban/suburban areas across the country. There are plenty of  resources out there to help you get started. By raising your own chickens and selling just enough eggs to cover their cost, you’ll have free eggs and a fun new hobby! I guarantee your neighbors will be lining up to get your fresh eggs.

5. Homebrew Swap

Are you a homebrewer? Share your one-of-a-kind libations with others on Ripelist. You can’t sell alcohol without a license of course but there’s no law against trading it! Trade with other homebrewers and compare recipes or offer it in exchange for something else and save money on your grocery bill.

I hope this is food for thought and please, share any ideas you have as well. I’d love to hear them!

You can download Ripelist for free from the iPhone app store.  

CSA Box Waste

CSA Food Waste and How to Avoid It

Of course you love the idea of joining a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) who wouldn’t? Fresh, local produce straight from the farmer conveniently delivered twice a month and also probably cheaper than picking it up at the farmer’s market every week. The problem is, last time you tried it you ended up with clumps of soggy Swiss chard and moldy tomatillos in the back of your fridge because you simply couldn’t get through everything before it spoiled. It was a waste of money and a waste of good food!

You’d like to think that you’ll do a better job this time around of cooking your way through that perpetual box of greens but the reality is there’s always going to be times where, for whatever reason, you just can’t. Fortunately, this is exactly what Ripelist was built for.

Those who are familiar with Ripelist know it works great for sharing surplus from the garden or homemade Kombucha with neighbors but it’s also a perfect solution for the CSA blues. Too much Kale? Post it on Ripelist for sale or trade. Is that bulk meat order from your local ranch a little too much for your freezer? Put it on Ripelist and see what your neighbors have to trade! It’s not only a solution to food waste but if you offer your extra for sale or trade, it will actually save you money and help you connect with like-minded neighbors to boot!

If you are considering signing up again this year for a CSA, don’t hesitate. It’s still the best way to get fresh food while supporting your local farm. Just make sure you’ve downloaded Ripelist if you do. It just may be the answer to your CSA blues.

Visit www.ripelist.com for more information or download Ripelist now for free from the App Store.

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Cottage Food Operations, The New Rules

In the last five years or so, there has been a relatively quiet movement taking place in the halls of U.S. state governments. A small but growing minority are being granted special exceptions to long-established laws. This group, in all their spicy, smoked, pickled, baked and otherwise flavor-bursting varieties, are cottage food operations (CFOs), or put more simply, homemade food businesses. Continue reading →

Is an Affordable Local Food Diet Possible?

Well, it’s now been confirmed. There’s enough local food for everyone! That’s right, according to a UC study put out this last month, there is enough locally grown and raised food for 90% of Americans to eat 100% local (food produced within 100 miles). That’s an encouraging statistic to be sure but, before I put on my party hat and partake of the locally sourced vegetable platter I have one aching question. Why does it feel like we’re still a far cry from that reality? I ask this because yes, despite the growing number of local food choices available today, my squash does occasionally have a Mexico sticker slapped on it and my Florida Orange juice well, I think it’s from Florida. The simple truth is, eating 100% affordable local food diet is still not convenient for most folks.
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Good Eggs, Bad Eggs

I was in a large warehouse store a few weeks ago standing in the giant refrigerator that houses the eggs and dairy and I was faced with a choice. In front of me were two different cartons of eggs. One contained regular large chicken eggs and the other, for a few dollars more, contained the same thing except it had that seductive FDA Certified Organic stamp of health prominently displayed on it’s label. Continue reading →