Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Young Farmers Break The Bank Before They Get To The Field -

Young Farmers Break The Bank Before They Get To The Field -

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

(Mis) Adventures in Canning 2013 - Summer Squash

I should have read this before canning my squash. So don't make the same mistake I did.

Canning Granny: Canning Yellow Summer Squash: Here's what my research on canning squash revealed... seems it's not like the USDA has had a huge outbreak of bacteria in home cann...

Apparently the reason there’s very few canning recipes for certain vegetables is because they’re very prone to botulism, and summer squash (and I’m assuming kohlrabi?) are among them. You can pressure can summer squash because that takes the temperature up to 240 degrees, to the point where most of the bacteria is no longer harmful, but a hot water bath is ineffective at killing the bacteria because it doesn’t get hot enough for long enough. A three-hour hot water bath, for example, might kill the bacteria but it would also destroy all the nutrients in the food.

So fail: me.

Luckily we only have a dozen or so jars of inedible food. It physically pains me to throw away food and doubly so with this one, due to the amount of work involved. Next time, I need to pay A LOT more attention. Canning isn’t baking or cooking. It’s preserving, and food that isn’t preserved properly can kill you. No one needs to die over a mediocre pickle.

Chock it up to experience and better luck with the green beans. 

Monday, August 5, 2013

Adventures in Canning 2013 - Kohlrabi

File:Chou rave 2.jpg
It’s been a few years since I canned and I’ve never been very proficient at it. Mostly because I tend to can stuff in ways that no one actually wants to eat. Like my refrigerator squash pickles. Spice was good, texture was horrible.

Lesson number one in canning: if it’s a piece of fruit or veg you wouldn’t eat before it goes in a jar, you won’t want to eat it any more when it comes out.

So this year instead of trying to can massive amounts of vegetables all at once, I decided to break it up. And also find new recipes, especially for things like summer squash that 1) doesn’t freeze well, and 2) everyone insists they only eat fresh. has been an AMAZING resource for new recipes. It’s the only website I’ve found a decent canning recipe for kohlrabi. It’s supposed to be a refrigerator recipe, but I read somewhere that if you hot water bath any low-acid fridge recipe for 10-15 minutes, you can store them out of the fridge. Which is great for us since it seems like everywhere is our massive 800-square foot house is desperate for storage room. Especially the fridge.

(Yes, that reference to massive was sarcasm.)

Kohlrabi Remoulade

This recipe for kohlrabi would probably can fine, sans mayo. Maybe plan on adding that just prior to serving.

Shredded Kohlrabi Pickles

This was the kohlrabi recipe I canned. It looks a little odd, especially after the hot water bath. But it’s a decent pickle. The STC took some into work and one guy made a whole sandwich out of the stackers I did. I’ll try and get some pics up this week. Maybe shoot for that instead of posts. I’m excited to get pics and video of the pullets to share. The Offspring loves hanging out in the yard with the hens, and helps at night when I go do chores and turn the compost. So glad the kid gets to experience life on the farm and seems to enjoy it. More adventures in canning to come, Stay tuned!

Friday, August 2, 2013

Farm Exercise

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Fitting in Exercise

Farmers' newest chore: Fitting in exercise

Not to be snarky at commercial ag, but that is one advantage of being a small, grass-based business. We still pretty much do things the way we did fifty years ago, so we stay physical and in good shape. I just listen to an iPod while checking fence is the biggest difference.