Tomatoes from our garden
The temperature here has been over 100 degrees for days now and the grasshoppers are back. Needless to say I think our garden is done. I was amazed we were able to save some of our tomatoes from the grasshoppers and the heat.
I canned my very first tomatoes… 8 pints yesterday and I’m hoping to get at least 8 more!
Canned fresh tomatoes
The grasshoppers are eating our corn so fast it’s ridiculous. Dave picked a few ears that weren’t fully done growing because he wanted to at least taste the corn this year. Oh and it was delicious… so sweet and tender that it makes my mouth water when I think about it… there just wasn’t much of it.
We read somewhere that if you spray your garden with a combination of soap, oil, and garlic that it would make a natural insecticide. Dave’s out there now spraying the mixture on our garden. We’re hoping it will kill those pesky grasshoppers.
I just hope and pray that we don’t have another hot summer like last year. Our poor alpacas are tired of the extreme heat and so are we!
Pressure canner cooker
My pressure canner cooker finally arrived. I’m so excited about getting started canning. It’s one heavy duty cooker and I’m proud to say it’s made in the USA! You’ll never guess the name of this pressure cooker… it’s the All American Canner Cooker, what a great name.
I’m not cooking alpaca today… actually Dave helped me pick our Italian green beans. We had two sacks full by the time we got done picking not to mention a few chiggers too. I washed the green breans and then went to snapping them. They were so fresh… they were snappy beans!
Snapped green beans
I was a little nervous since it was my first time canning. I had to keep referring to the directions. I wanted to make sure I did everything right. It’s really not that difficult to can. It’s only difficult if you don’t fully know what you’re doing and that’s about where I was at.
I actually did it… look how beautiful my green beans turned out. Dave kept looking at the jars in total amazement. He couldn’t believe I did it because he knows how much I don’t care for cooking. We picked more green beans and all in all we ended up with 19 pint jars of green beans. Our plants are still flowering so there’s a good chance we’ll have to pick more soon.
My canned green beans
I have to say I really enjoyed canning. It’s not quite like cooking. With canning you have something that will last a long time plus when I do cook I’ll have more choices and hopefully it will make cooking easier. Also it’s good to prepare for the future because you never know what the future will hold. I’m ready to find something else I can can! lol
Canned green beans
What’s cooking… in my house usually very little. Anyone that knows me knows that I’m not much of a cook. My old way of thinking… I prefer to go out to eat rather than cook. So what does this have to do with alpacas? It has everything to do with country living and a simpler lifestyle. I’m finally realizing I need to change my way of thinking. I’m trying to get back to the basics of living off the land, farming, and raising my alpacas. I have to remind myself it may be a simpler way of life but no one said it would be easy. Let’s face it… it’s hard work but I love every minute of it.
I recently made friends with my neighbor Kathy and she offered to teach me how to can & cook country style. The other day she came over to let me know she was canning green beans and I was welcome to come to her house to learn. I was so excited and I couldn’t wait to get my first lesson in canning!
I found out it’s not that hard to can fresh vegetables… in fact she made it all seem so easy. We canned quite a few jars of green beans that day. Before I left she gave me a couple of jars of green beans and a jar of meat that she canned previously. I didn’t know you could can meat and it cooks right in the jar so basically all I had to do was make gravy and heat it up. With her simple instructions I was surprised how easy it was to fix the whole meal and it came out delicious too.
I took a picture of the jar of green beans… it represents my determination to learn to cook and can this year. We planted a large garden this year so I’ll be busy canning whatever our garden produces. I think some of our seeds got mixed up… there’s watermelon growing where the sugar snaps were planted… too funny!
Now I have to get busy buying all of the necessary equipment to carry out my canning plan… I’m going to have fun with my new adventure!