Category Archives: Blogging

Oh boy….. been a LONG time.

Broccoli flowers, California

Image via Wikipedia

Yes, I have been gardening but no I have obviously not been blogging.  So I guess I should get back into it.

Have I been growing anything.  You know it!

Zukes, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Tom (lots and lots of them), Peppers (lots and lots of them), CORN, and a few others.  The Tom’s came in nice this year.  I have had over 50 nice red and ripe ones.  Weird since it has been hell trying to make them turn the last few years.

Colored in left…. Hubby wants me to say this?  Plumbing.

I have corn!  I have a few ears again!  And they look great!  I was about to take them down until I realized I had little ears.  I almost did the same thing I did the year before.  I will be pulling my garden soon as the cold is coming in fast this year.  I see snow on the mountains already.

I also have a new blog…. As the Fireweed Turns ( http://asthefireweedturns.wordpress.com/ ) which is a spin-off of a blog I use to have.  Come on over and see what I am talking about if you would like.  I will be keeping this blog for my gardening adventures.

An entry from a Canning Blogger.

Cleaning out the Pantry

Image by Chiot's Run via Flickr

I am going to admit it.  I have NO CLUE how to can.  BUT I have an excuse (don’t we all)!  I am trying to buy a house (still), I have no room to spread out for canning (which is the truth), my garden in not where I live (which is another truth) and I want to get the house done before I start canning, as I like a clean environment. 

But, when I stumbled upon these people’s blog, I had to put them on my blog roll.  1. is because they have some interesting recipes.  2 is due to their straight forward way of explaining how to can certain items and how much in metric details.  and 3. they are really nice people.  I recommend you go and check them out after you read the plug I am going to put into my blog. 

Without further ado:  Putting up with the Turnbells

Top 10 Reasons to CAN and PRESERVE

I am getting ready to host my first canning party and although most of my friends are really into gardening and canning there are a few that could use a little persuasion.  In order to attend my party you must CAN or preserve at least one food item for this year.  My goal is to get more people excited about canning and preserving their own food.  This party is for beginners as well as the more experienced canner.  It is time to EAT UP what we’ve PUT UP!

Top 10 Reasons to CAN:

  1. Know what you are eating.  When you CAN your own food you are in control of what goes into each jar.  And, although you may need to source the produce from your local farmers’ market, veggie shop, garden co-op, a friend or the grocery store you are the one responsible for cleaning, preparing and jarring your food.  It’s empowering!
  2. Eliminate the preservatives.  Too many of us eat too much fast food, over prepared food, frozen junk and food that is more filler than anything.  I’m not saying I don’t like a good cheeseburger but we’ve got to find a healthy balance.  Do away with additional preservatives so that you can enjoy that burger as a treat…guilt-free.
  3. Better than TV.  I’m an artist by profession and used to spend my evenings painting my wood carvings in front of the TV.  I calculated that in an average day I had the TV on for about 5-6 hours.  Now, that does seems excessive and maybe impossible to believe but it’s true.  This left very little time to enjoy the evening communicating with my husband.  Now, Matt and I spend most of our free time growing veggies in our garden, forging the back roads, and canning everything we can get our hands on.  Time well spent. 
  4. Cut down on your CARBON FOOT PRINT.  Growing your own food to can or canning locally produced fruits and veggies cuts down on the fuel emissions spent moving fresh produce around.  Has anyone seen that new show 100 miles?  It’s an experiment with several British Columbia families taking part in a challenge to only eat food that is grown within 100 miles of their home.  Although, this would be impossible for most of us because of our endless need for sugar and vinegar the concept is great.  Why not incorporate as much of this idea as we can and try to be more conscious of where our food is coming from and try sourcing more local produce.
  5. Eating GREAT food is GOOD.  When you are at the helm you can create the food that you enjoy most.  Take the time to season it perfectly or experiment with a new recipe.  Lots of times you will be pleasantly surprised with how good it turns out.  This year I’ve tried lots of new foods and recipes with both successes and failures but it is finding that one great recipe and those favorite ingredients that can turn something in a jar into something you can’t live without.  Like the Tomato Jam…mmmmMMMdelicious!
  6. Reuseable Jars and Lids.  Part of the reason I first started canning was to cut back on our household waste.  Buying food in plastic and tin cans is not only harmful to your health but the by-products and waste just don’t make good sense.  We’ve all got to do our part to cut back on adding to the landfills.  Canning jars are reuseable help to eliminate a great amount of waste.  And I just found out about these cool reuseable lids from Tattler.  Now, that makes canning even better.
  7. Great gifts.  There is nothing in the world like getting a great home-made gift.  Something that a friend or family member took the time to make is better than anything money can buy.  And, although not all of us can paint a master piece or sew an amazing quilt…all of us can read.  So there is no excuse not to follow a recipe to create a unique jar of preserves to give to that special person in your life.
  8. Rewarding.  There is nothing more satisfying that opening a jar of your own home-made preserves.  The time spent putting up countless bushels of tomatoes and cucumbers, fresh fruits and veggies will satisfy you for many months to come.  It’s like having a grocery store with stocked shelves right at your finger tips.
  9. Support Local Agriculture.  These days nothing seems more important that supporting the hard-working men and women that grow the food we put in our mouths.  Why not go to them directly?  You get food that is freshly picked and bred for its’ flavour while preserving agricultural green space.
  10. Because it is just plain fun!

So, where has all the pumpkin gone?

A pumpkin stem.

Image via Wikipedia

Alrighty, weird headline.. but I am dead serious.  If you haven’t been in a grocery store to pick up a can of pumpkin, go and see if your store actually has one in their building!  There is NO canned pumpkin in Anchorage, Wasilla, Palmer or in the South Central Region.  I asked someone who deals with the shipments, what was the deal?  The gentleman said that the Libby canning company, who cans pumpkin hasn’t been shipping out for 6 months at least and Alaska hasn’t had any pumpkin shipped in for at least that long!  Whoa?!  On top of it, he said he HOPES that they will have canned pumpkin in by Thanksgiving and Christmas.  Oh man.  Not good. 

Libby cans a bunch of stuff.  Way back when in Alaska’s history, the U.S. Army asked from help from the Libby Canning Co., who had a small rail road in Yakutat for canning fish.  Who would have thunk it right?    But here is what I found concerning Wikipedia:

In November 2009, Libby’s announced that due to poor weather in the Midwestern United States where it grows its pumpkins and a depleted back stock, a canned pumpkin shortage was likely as Thanksgiving approached.[5]

Oh Crud!!!!  And on a website I found there will be another shortage.  CRAP!

So FYI everyone.  As I do not know how to do pumpkin for canning, and I can’t make a pie to save my life.  I thought I would everyone know if you were able to grow your own pumpkins this year.

On the Homefront… first good frost today.  Look for it in your neck of the woods soon.

Going positive and talking about the blogs I have encountered.

After the week and morning I have had, I think it is time to be more positive… so I have decided to talk about some of the blogs I have fallen in love with.

Ozark Homesteader is great.  She and her family have a neat life, and make some of the most down home finger licking food I wish I could be.  Because everyone needs to wish they were some gooey, flakey, yummy delicatessen once in their life.

Putting up with the Turnbells is a great blog, whom does quite a bit of canning and making their OWN recipes.  Oh, what they can do with a zuccini is almost sinful!  But if you are looking for something different and very good…. you should check them out.

Laundry on the Line is a fun blog who has good recipes, what to sew and HOW to sew (which I seriously need to learn myself) as well as just fun stuff.  I think she is on the east coast of Canada… but when it comes to gardening and blogging you really don’t need to know!

Canadian Dirtbags is a cool blog, about sustainable living and how city folks are learning how to do it all by themselves.   They talk everything from no footprint gardening to re-using water to actually making a house out of sandbags!  Take a gander, you will appreciate how hard they work and appreciate what they are trying to accomplish.

Next time I talk about blogs I will try to keep them in certain categories.  Maybe I will do a farming/homesteading or a Alaska only one next. 

I enjoy looking at other people’s blogs.  You always learn something, in which you can also impart your information to them if they are looking for something.  Blogging is fun, to me anyways.