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Here's a visual reminder why we should stockpile... these fresh produce shelves were photographed last night at our local market. The store isn't expecting to restock for another few days. Plenty of onions but little else.

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What happens to the food in the freezer when the power goes out? It thaws and you either eat it or throw it out, right?

Nope, pressure canning meat not only saves that possible loss, but it also provides safely preserved, good tasting meat for quick, meals.

I dry can ground beef which will be used later in any recipes that call for loose, browned ground beef such as meat sauce, tacos, etc.

One pound of ground beef fills a one pint jar. Brown the meat, drain off the liquid, and loosely fill sterile jars removing air pockets as usual. Tapping the jar on the counter will help settle the meat into the jar without tamping.
(the little bit of fat in the jars is harmless and was forced from the meat during the pressure canning process). These jars each contain one pound of beef which fill the jars to the bottom ridge and became packed down during processing.

Wipe the jar rim with a cloth dipped in vinegar, add lids and rims, and process for your altitude; 75 min, 11lbs for pints or 90 min 11lbs for quarts at elevation below 1000ft according to the USDA directions for beef. This Canning Times is what I use.

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Reusable lids for canning jars. A few years ago I learned about reusable lids for canning and although I bought two boxes of lids and rings at that time, I just used them for the first time and now need to buy more!

When I started canning last week and was trying to locate my supplies which I lost track of during our move. I found my two boxes of reusable lids and opted to finally give them a try.

Now I wish I had used them much sooner.... not only are they easy to use, I won't need to worry about running short of lids in the future....which was the case this year.

The box contains 12 white lids and 12 "rubber" rings. They use regular metal rings to keep them on the mason jars. There are plenty of good "How to" videos on You-Tube for using these great lids.

The only "con" I have found so far is now I must use labels on my jars instead of writing on the lids as usual.


Just returned from Akron, Ohio where I was born. Did not recognize much after 40 years but enjoyed the peacefulness, natural beauty and the kindness of the people there. I got to eat the famous Ohio tomatoes and corn from the farm...REALLY miss that.

Back to work....

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Just a reminder...

Hurricane season is here again, and Florence appears to be heading our way. Where she will land is still unknown for certain, but all the charts indicate the same course, straight towards us.

Our weather forecast for this coming week calls for thunderstorms through Thursday.... then Florence for the weekend...

The grass will be a foot or two tall by the time the grounds dries enough for it to be mowed. The pigs should be happy since they will have plenty of water for their wallow.

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Made first batch of peach preserves yesterday. Haven't done any canning in a couple of years and it felt so good to be starting again with fresh local peaches.
We scored a good price on Saturday buying 2 bushels for only $20. The last time we bought peaches we paid over $30 for 1 peck. These jars represent one bushel. Will do the second bushel today.
I made some using my old, tried and true method of using just peaches and sugar and boiling until it coated a spoon. The other jars I made adding SureGel, which went much quicker, and maintain the bright yellow hue. Some of these jars set well, three jars didn't and are more syrupy.
It takes much more time doing it the old way, but it is more reliable.
I also did a few jars of eating peaches, cut-up peaches in a light syrup (jar to the right in photo)... 3 jars to the left and those behind are preserves.
This was the first time I used Tattler lids. For those who are unfamiliar with these lids, they are reusable.

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Hurricane Florence may be heading our way. We are located on this map in the area behind the "E" in Raleigh. Glad we have our stockpile, and emergency preparations up to date. Today we will prepare the yard by putting away anything that could become a projectile . Better to be safe than sorry.

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Finally ordered the first trees for my orchard. After looking around for bare root trees at good prices, etc. I discovered where they give you 10 trees free just for joining. Memberships are an affordable $15 and $25. So, I opted for ten flowering trees such as Dogwood, Crabapple, etc.

I ordered six apple trees, 2 peach trees, 2 cherry trees for the new orchard. Also, getting two old fashioned lilac trees. Getting two forsythia and a Red Maple as free gifts for spending a certain small amount.

It will take a few years before most of the trees bear fruit, but just getting to watch them grow will fill my heart as I have been dreaming of having my own orchard, however small, all my life.

Arbor Day ships the trees at the best time of the year for planting according to your zone. For us, that is between Oct 1 and Dec 12. So we will be laying out the planting areas this week and begin prepping the "holes" to receive the trees.
Because our soil is mostly white clay we must order a truckload of compost and garden soil or topsoil.

finally I have been able to get back on. Note to self "GET A NOTEBOOK FOR ALL
We are going into spring here, meaning the weeds are growing well even with out much rainfall.
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