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All posts for the month July, 2013

I did it!!!!! I canned!!

Published July 23, 2013 by z24racerchic

Well I took a nose dive into canning when I got bombarded with cucumbers.  I didn’t have enough stuff to make the juice so I did three jars at once.  I figured I better try it on something BEFORE our 50 tomato plants fruit turns red.

I struggled with it. I was afraid I would screw it up somehow, but I didn’t. I filled my waterbath canner up halfway full.  Turned it on.  Put the lids in water and turned them on and then kind of followed the directions on the packet of Ball bread and butter pickle spices.  One problem, it says it makes 2 quart jars…Wrong! I put the sugar and vinegar in the saucepan.  Then opened the packets and picked out every single clove (YUCK).  I put some cinnamon in and let it start boiling. 

When the canner water was about boiling I put the jars in my oven on the rack and turned it on to 200 degrees for 10 minutes.  My mom used this method.  Other people have.  Ball doesn’t have it listed, but oh well. 

I filled them and let the process for 20 minutes to be sure.  Took them out and was mad because all of my cucumbers shrunk and there was nothing but juice on the bottom and pickles toward the top of the juice..UGH. 

I went to my mom’s to visit and came home and saw two jars had popped!! YAY.  I checked them today and two lids stayed on, one came off.  I put that one in the fridge only after a taste test. Am going to start some dills tomorrow.  Super excited!

I also have froze 4 loaves of zucchini bread, gave one to the parents and one for us.  Froze two bags of homegrown peaches and a small pack of green beans!!

Making progress

Published July 14, 2013 by z24racerchic

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With all the rain we have been getting here I was a little worried about the garden, but everything is doing well except for the corn.  I have learned they need lots of nitrogen and that is why they are tasseling early.  My tomato plants are taller than me (I am 5’6),  I have already picked almost two dozen cucumbers and a good batch of green beans.  I also have harvested our green onions. I have used the onion part and have diced up the green part and put in vacuum sealed bags in the freezer for winter soups. 

Some progress I have made in things I am learning and wanting to do are the following:

-Invested in a freezer.  I put a Kenmore 7cubic feet on layaway at Kmart and picked it up a couple weeks ago.  I am planning on putting pico de gallo in there, possibly some peaches, etc.. Hopefully, some meat also!

-Saved some cucumber seeds and let them dry for next year.

-Harvested the green onions as above.

-Made two batches of refrigerator pickles.

-Have got canning supplies. still need pint jars.

-Have got some seeds for next years garden and put them in an air tight jar.

-Rearranging and reorganizing our garage for more shelving to get more stockpile items.

-We were blessed with two rain barrels, food grade plastic, with spigots that we put on blocks on each side of the garden. This is something we were going to tackle by making our own out of garbage cans. I was so happy when I got a message from a friend that she had a couple extras.

I am excited about the progress in the garden and the blessings of veggies we have had so far. 

More thought on future

Published July 12, 2013 by z24racerchic

The other day it was announced that two coal fired power plants are closing in my area. I live within a 10 mile radius of four plants. One of them is closing and the other is about an hour away. This is almost 400 area jobs. The power plant closing near me just spent $265 million on a scrubber for new epa regulation.  Now they cant afford the new upgrades.

This may not sound like much in job loss but when you live in a rural area that most jobs are either in coalmines or gas wells it is.

Besides what this will do to our local economy, I am very worried about the news that gas prices are supposed to skyrocket.  I am happy the obamacare mandate has been extended so I have a little more time to prepare.  I have insurance, but the effect this will have on our economy will be horrible.

I did get one thing off my list of a freezer to store more frozen food including garden goodness.  I have green onions in there now for winter soup.

What are you doing to prepare?

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