Tag Archives: canning

A New Gadget

17 Jul

With a big garden for a family of one, I tend to have a lot of opportunities to play with my food.  My nephew said he wanted French style green beans.  I ordered a bean Frencher.

Now I just need the garden to cooperate.  I have lots of lovely bean blossoms,

green bean blossoms

but the beans aren’t setting.  We’ve just been too hot.

purple bean blossoms

My sister brought me some beans from her garden.

I got to play with the bean Frencher!

It worked quite well.

These will go to my nephew.

The little farm hand and I worked on the rest of the beans.  They will go home to his family (my other nephew).

Now I just have to wait until fall to see if the cooler weather will let them set beans then.

Tomato Press

6 Jul

If you’ve been following here for a while, you know I can a lot of the vegetables from my garden.  I tend to use old equipment to prepare them.  I’ve been a bit concerned about my old food mill.  It’s from the 1940s and I’ve already replaced the spring once.  I’m not sure I can find another one.  I tried really hard to find a new one that works, but the two I tried last year both ended up in the recycling because they really were not functional.

The old food grinder is another one I’m worried about.  It’s getting harder to use.

Once again this summer I’m trying to find replacements, and I think I might have actually done it.  I got a tomato press.

While I was at it, I got the accessory kit that included a grape spiral, and screens for berries, pumpkin, and salsa.

Since we are in raspberry season here, it seemed like a good thing to try it out.

My mom picked a lot of berries to make jam.  If you have ever had wild raspberries, they have great flavor, but they have lots of seeds.  She wanted to get rid of the seeds.

We put the press together and before I ever turned the handle, there was juice coming out.

It was fast and easy.

All the seeds and stuff that came out the end, we decided to run through again (because she was fine with pulp).

It cleaned up easily. One of the most amazing things–the suction cup actually held it the entire time (and it comes with a clamp too)!

I think I may have found the answers to my canning needs.  Now I can hardly wait for the tomatoes.  I have exciting new things to try now that I have this handy dandy gadget!

This is not an ad; I am not getting paid for this (I really should though); I just didn’t know they made an actual tomato press and wanted to share my exciting discovery!

2019 in Review

31 Dec

It seems like 2019 has been a rough year, and I got to thinking about the old days when I actually used to link to blog hops and visit lots of blogs.  One of my favorite posts was always the year in review post, so I thought I’d go back and find the list and do one for this year.  Here is 2019 in review.

1. Me. This one comes from last March.  I try to avoid the front side of a camera, but I can’t help but take a picture of Aurora checking out the kids.  She does adore the babies, and I’m glad she’s willing to be close to me.  We’ve come a long way in the area of trust.

2.  I love you.  It was scary to have Leo go through surgery this fall.  He’s been my snuggle buddy for a long time.  I do love him.


3.  Still Laughing.  These girls crack me up.  I really did laugh at them following the hay wagon to eat while we were baling.  It’s not like they didn’t have a whole pasture of fresh grass.  Silly girls.

4. Winter Wonderland. Last winter was one of those years that saw record numbers of snow/cold days off school.  I definitely got in practice shoveling with all the paths I had to make for the goats. But it was beautiful.  I don’t actually mind winter horribly bad as long as I have electricity for water and can manage to get my chores done.  Although, I did get a bit tired of climbing over the bottom of the dutch doors and taking alternate routes to be able to feed everyone.

5.  Birthday.  We have so many birthdays around here, but we don’t do much in the way of celebrating.  I will say, one birthday I wasn’t sure we’d make in 2019 was actually a hatch anniversary. Mama Phoenix turned five in May.  We’ll see if she makes it to six-years-old.  She has certainly had quite the unusual year.

Mama Phoenix

6.  Friends.  These two make the strangest friends.  But they seem happy with each other’s company.

Sky and Bob

7. I Was Inspired.  This past year was certainly one that inspired me to try new things with knitting–hats, scarves, rugs, dishcloths, and all kinds of things.  It has been a lot of fun.  I do think my round rug that I knit with cored yarn from Maybeline is my favorite so far.

8. Spring Fever.  For me spring fever means spring break kidding.  Although, this last year, I was horribly sick while we were kidding, and it didn’t work out well.  Here’s to a better kidding for 2020.  Although, I am also celebrating having healthy kids.  The copper has made all the difference in the world.

Joani’s triplets: Peter Pan, Wendy, Tink

9. Travel or Vacation.  This one is hard.  I don’t travel or take vacation really.  My whole life on the farm is one giant staycation. Maybe I should try to leave the farm at least once next year.

10. Summer Days.  This year, my summer days seemed to be dominated by gardening and scooping manure.  That was a job that I was quite happy to have done.

Dahlia (with Aphrodite below)

11. A Day in My Life. The perfect day in my life is a day in pasture with the animals.

Penelope front (Pepe behind)

12. All Smiles.  I love when the goats smile.  It makes me smile too.


13.  Autumn Harvest.  Farming has been rough the last few years, but I am lucky with how my beans turned out this fall.  But it is the tomatoes that gave me a record harvest. I filled my pantry and gave away a ton of tomatoes and canned goods.

14.  Family or Home.  I did a lot of work on my home this year, but there’s still a lot more to come.  I have to say, I am enjoying the new windows this winter.

15. Celebrate.  One thing I got to celebrate late this month was paying off my garage!  It is all mine.  However, I refuse to call it a barn no matter what.  Even if there is a llama and a goat in it right now.

Haley, Wanda, Cinnamon, Bonnie, Blaze and Tony peeking over

16. Let’s Do It Again!  I had so much fun taking classes at C&M Acres that I plan to do more of them.

17. I Miss You.  Obviously, Snickers is at the top of my list for those I miss this year.  This image is from April.

Snickers Doodle McWhiner

18.  Beautiful.  I need to spend more time wandering with my camera this next year.  I enjoy all the natural beauty out there.

19.  Dress Up.  I am pretty pleased with how my llama coat turned out.  It’s probably not what dress up is supposed to be, but we haven’t played dress up for quite some time around here.  We might have to do that again this coming summer.


20.  Macro.  I didn’t actually do a lot of fun photography this year.  It was just too busy, but I was really thrilled to do the newborn shoot for my great-nephew, Grady.  I love the way this macro collage turned out.  I actually have it hanging on my wall.

21.  Holidays.  I’ve pretty much already decided this will be the image of my calendar next December (2021).


22. My Favorite.  My favorite pasture birds are the bobolinks.  It really makes me happy that they nest back there, especially since our songbirds are in decline.

23.  Don’t Ever Change.  Well, everything changes, but if I could truly pick something not to change, it would be my beautiful farm.  I love the life I have here.

24.  Just Because…So There!  I can’t help it. Pluto is cute and sweet, and I do adore him.


25. Hopes and Dreams.  I really do want to keep making soap and expand my artistic endeavors.  I think getting my soaps and a few other items in the store was a good start.

I guess we’ll see what happens in 2020.