A couple notes about canning and pickling. I decided last summer, after my first garden, to get set up for canning this year. I am not sure what I expected, but this is clearly a hobby, not a practicality. I spent about 4 hours this morning and early afternoon canning/pickling, okra, green beans, cucumbers, and banana peppers. It is interesting, and I am enjoying it, but it is also a lot of work. There is satisfaction on a number of levels. There is a pride in self-sufficiency (although I am very thankful I don’t have to depend on this food for a subsistence) There is the knowledge that the food I am putting up is drug and chemical and capitalism free. That is satisfying. It is just cool to eat food out of the garden. There is an amazement at the miracle of growing things, the pleasure of watching a bean , for instance, go from a little seed in the palm of my hand, to a delicious pickled treat on the fork of one of my daughters. I have philosophical interests in gardening, and socio-economic and political reasons why I think it is a good Idea. And probably the biggest benefit is that I really like spending time working in the garden. It is therapeutic and stress reducing. But I have to be honest and say the amount of work, on a purely practical basis, involved in producing a pint jar of beans, compared to the $1.19 or so it costs to buy it at the store…, well, let’s just say, no one need be disillusioned that this endeavor is somehow cost effective.