Thursday, August 7, 2014

Early August 2014

The summer is flying by.

I'm thinking this month will slow down a bit.  We're done traveling.  We've all adjusted to a wonderful sleep schedule.  Having a fourth little person feels more normal and natural now that we've had more than a month to adjust.  I am even finding the energy and time to do a few canning projects I thought wouldn't happen this summer (thanks in great part to Jamey, my partner in all things).

More than ever before, I'm taking one day at a time.  I try to avoid looking ahead to the busyness of fall any more than I have to.  It may be August, but it in some ways it feels more like late November.  I have so much to be thankful for.

zucchini relish (recipe courtesy of Simply in Season

Next year we'll space the rigid fencing out a bit farther.  While we love the idea of a green bean arbor, having them this close together means picking in (and under) jungle-like conditions.  It also means lots of beans!

Back in January, a dear reader named Ann Marie contacted me.  She read that I was interested in trying my hand at pressure canning and happened to be helping clean out her grandfather's house.  She had come across his pressure canner and offered it to me.  Turned out, she is a local reader although we didn't know each other personally.  She allowed us to have it at a very generous price.  It's an All American.  So far, we've only used it for green beans and Jamey's been doing the canning.  I'm warming up to trying it myself but feel like I've been doing enough "new" this summer already:-). 

Our tomatoes are early and huge this year.  I'm not sure why my tomato projects are separating this much in the jars, though. Oh, well.  I was a bit nervous to can with Tattler Reusable Canning Lids again since it had been since last fall since I'd used them but it's been a lot less stressful than I thought (I used the word "since" three times in that last sentence).  I'm getting a 90%+ seal rate so I know there is some room to keep working on my technique but I'm very happy with the results and am so glad to not have to keep buying and tossing lids. 

 Thanks to all the rain this summer, Sam's sunflowers have been doing great.  He's not always excited about going out and cutting them but bringing in the money sure is fun.

More corn is coming! 

Honey bees enjoying a summer evening on their front porches. 

Pin It


  1. Great photos and everything is looking wonderful in the garden. I wish I lived closer to you and could help you a little.

  2. I love the first sunflower photo.

  3. If you ever figure out why the tomatoes separate like that PLEASE let me know. Did you raw pack, or cook them a little first?
    Thanks for the update. Your pictures are beautiful! You and your family continue in my prayers

  4. My tomatoes separate like that also (I cook them first and pack hot before processing the jars). I find that if I shake a jar well the day after canning it sort of all blends together like it should and then doesn't re-separate. Love your blog!

    1. I also hot pack them and process them in a hot water bath. Thanks for the tip about shaking them:-).

    2. Mine also separate, and I agree with the shaking. Once the jars have sealed and cooled completely, I shake them to blend, and they generally remain blended after that. I assume it has something to do with the air inside the tomato flesh which causes it to rise to the top, but I don't know for certain.

      Seeing your blog posts just make my day! I hope to one day have a garden as fantastic as yours.

  5. Looks like you've been busy. I've taken to canning tomatoes with the hot pack method too. It seems like they don't separate as much and I don't have as many jars not seal correctly. I'll be canning spicy V8 juice later this afternoon. It's amazing.

  6. Sunflowers, glorious sunflowers. If I got up in the morning and looked out my window and saw these I'd have the giggles all day long. Wishing you blessings upon blessings. Thank you for sharing.

  7. I enjoy reading your blog! Just been meaning to share that all summer :)

  8. Jane,

    What beautiful pictures of your garden beds. I love the idea of a green bean arbor, I may have to try this next spring. Were contemplating doing bees next spring because there just doesn't seem to be a lot of them around here.
    I always enjoy reading your posts and look forward to the next one.

  9. Hello! For a reason unknown to the lay person, your updates have not made it to my email address. I went to your site today just to peek and found out many things have happened! Lovely to read about the changes in your family. Blessings to you! I have entered my address again. :)

  10. Hello and bless you for all you do! I noticed you have yellow tomatoes, and I planted these along with my others this year for the first time. I'm told they are quite low acid, so am excited to start using them. I also can tomatoes, generally make a seasoned ready to use sauce and can that, but when I'm in a rush (which is often), I will just can the tomatoes. So my question is, do you just mix the yellows right in with the reds? It seems that way from your picture, so just wanted to make sure. We are in Wisconsin, so have not had many ripen yet this year (also got the garden in super late!) Have a wonderful day!

    1. Hi, Kay. We prefer the yellows for fresh eating (they're so sweet) so I usually just can our red ones. Occasionally, if I have too many yellow ones on hand I throw a couple into the mix (when canning straight tomatoes) but try to keep their ratio to reds pretty low. They make the jars look pretty to see a little yellow shining through:-).


Just a friendly reminder, if you know me personally please try to refrain from using my name. There are those who may try to locate me, break into my pantry and steal my pickled beets. Thanks:-).

Please choose the Anonymous option if you prefer not to sign in to comment.

Related Posts with Thumbnails