Tuesday, August 26, 2008


I pressure canned 6 qts of green beans. I lost about an inch or so of liquid and I dont what I did wrong. I spatula'd for air bubbles. I gave it an inch headspace. I was hot packing and I think that I might have packed the jars too much. So I dont know how that much liquid loss constitutes determines whether or not I can store these or use them ASAP.


Is there any trick I should be doing to save seeds ? Someone said in one of my yahoo groups a something about fermenting seeds?? Help !

Doing Not Thinking Challange Weeks 2&3
Yeah well they got combined cuz I was out doing and forgot to post. Lots of excitement...even some pictures and video (oooooohhhh!!) that I will share after tomorrow hopefully. Week two found me harvesting more and snatching up 2 square foot gardening boxes that were freecycled. I should be getting them tomorrow after Bill gets off work. I cant wait!! I made 4 quarts of limed sweet pickle chips and they seem to be a hit. I followed their success with another batch of pickles that I am confident will be crisp! I also made 3 qts of pickled green tomatoes but I made a mistake and pressure canned them instead of boiling bath(and for too long probably too high) and not only were they mushy but I lots a LOT of fluids out of them. Oh but they tasted perfect! So score for learning from that eh?
Week 3 found Bill and I going through the garden and planning what we will do better next year...like say MULCHING! We have been harvesting a super long Cayenne that Im not really excited about...they are not very hot the farther you get away from the seeds...just not what we wanted but we'll make do. Got some Hungarian Wax peppers and seeds from a friend for next year We did pull out 4 watermelon, 5 cantaloup and 1 honeydew. the honeydew was a little under ripe but oh well more where that came from. Saturday I took a half day and Bill and I went out for a drink and music then came home and cleaned, blanched and froze 2- 5 gal buckets of sweet corn on the cob. We had a good night.
Which brings me up to now.. Monday we got out and pulled more pickling cukes and meandered over the beans ...silly us....yeah i have a 5 gal bucket o green beans I gotta do something with soon. I also got more tomatoes. Bill has been harvesting his gourds and getting them ready to dry. Cant wait to see how they turn out. We will be going to the store tomorrow to get more supplies and ingredients and (possibly) a boiling bath canner that is a size that will actually fit on my stove.
Other than that things are surviving...the power bill was higher this month and so was the water bill. Money wise things are tighter than I had thought theyd be. Im working on a more feasible plan to pay off the credit cards and I only have 10 more months on the car. I am seriously considering taking on another job or renting out the 3rd bedroom to help ease up some of the cash flow.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Doing Not thinking 1st Week Update

I got started a little early as you can tell by the last post. Went out in the garden Monday afternoon with Bill and harvested more cukes, 5 more spaghetti squashes, some grape toms (YAY!) still more jalapenos and finally some sugar snap peas (though a small few actually made it in the house lol) Going to do more pickles and Im trying another recipe for pepper jelly...the other one wasnt bad but it was not hot enough. I want to do some pickled green tomatoes...gods know I have a boatload that will not turn for me. The watermelons are getting HUGE and I found 2 cantaloup but they are small. They are hard to find..the grass has reclaimed. Um and the lettuce is going to seed :( grrrr. Got Tues and Wed off. I will be on the attack, grass beware!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Now with Pictures!

So its a long post but its mostly the pictures I've promised.

All the hair I cut off

This is me after I chopped off all my hair

This is the chronological photostream of the backyard/garden:

First broke ground the beginning of June, planting didnt finish til just before the wedding and leaving for Ragnarok-June 19th

End of July/Beginning of August
This is our friend we found in the garden. He was moved over to the gourd patch.

The First Harvest

Some Dried Basil, Thyme and 5 jalepenos...and a bunch of fresh dill that went to my best friend's mom

The Second Harvest aka OMG!

I've given away a 1/4 of the jalapenos already and still have this much!

So I got all my ingredients and equipment out and decided to DO something

So a day later with all my seals (YAY!) I have 5 Qt of whole and speared pickles, and 4 Pts of Hot Pepper Jelly and the dehyrator is drying Basil, Tarragon and Thyme

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Today I got a basket full of pickling cukes. I have 3 spaghetti squash harvested and sitting outside and massive amounts of Sweet Basil, Thyme and Texas Tarragon. Oh and a buttload of jalepenos. I did get a Ball Blue Book of canning and I will be doing some running into town (while Im in getting the sticker for my car) to my local Rural King and grocery to pick up the last ingredients for canning. I am a little amped, way nervous and really wish one of you guys lived closer so I could steal you for the day.

Doing Not Thinking

My goals are to take back my garden and to properly perserve my harvest. With that established it leads me to a question...When you dont have enough of something to perserve a batch can you throw it into the fridge until you have enough? And if you can do that, how many days in the fridge til it HAS to be done?

I think...

I think Im becoming a little depressed...Ok so I know Im a bit depressed. Today while talking with Bill before work I just kept getting increasingly overwhelmed. Things around the house were piling up, the gardens a mess and getting attacked again by the japanese beetles, I haven't canned anything and I worry that my harvest is going to the compost bin en mass, the truck is still broken down and to top it off my workplace screwed me out of over $120 of my last check to which I have no recourse. Plus work hasnt been offering overtime yet we are consistently having customers wait 30min or more to speak to someone. (I'll explain my job later) I am worried about the bills and what Bill will think and a sundry of other thing that kicked me into anxiety overdrive. Overwhelmed is an understatement. This isn't going the way I had figured it would. So finally on my way out to the car I just started crying. Bill saw that and had me come back in and I admitted that I am feeling overwhelmed and feeling like I cant handle things anymore. I got a hug and a kiss and scooted off to work. When I came home on lunch Bill had cleaned the majority of the house for me. Stuff I had planned to do tonight. So I asked him to leave me a to do list for my "weekend" Im pretty sure I can do all of it, which makes me a bit more calm. I still feel a little like crying but I'm tired of it.

I saw Two Frogs blog on Doing Not Thinking....I want to do it. I think it will save my sanity.

Friday, August 1, 2008

I spoke too soon

So Wed night we had wicked storms roll through...my corn is blown down as were most the peppers..the mush that is my garden tried to take my shoes off me....in other news my workplace decided to back date my insurance to the date of my wedding (which they didn't mention to me, just told me I had 30 days from said event to turn my paperwork in) so instead of $30 they took out 120. Im seven shades of pissed and have no recourse. We were suppose to go up to Decatur this Saturday but thats pretty much scrapped. I cried all the way home on lunch cuz I really just wanted to see my folks and show Bill and the Teen the Decatur Celebration...aka HUGE street fair. We wont have the money for gas let alone things like eating and shopping at the event.