Tag Archives: canning

We Felt The Need To Honour These

These are the last of our canned peaches from last season and they are the best we have ever done.

The secret was adding cinnamon to the syrup.

Before that, we would add different mints from the garden, but this year Gerri went with cinnamon and it was a total winner. She just threw some sticks in as she boiled it and voila! It was a wonderful treat all winter long.

Now we are looking forward to canning two cases this year.

Come on, who likes to ration yourself and still run out? Not us.

Third Generation Of Mealworms And A Little Update

Yep, the little farm is going quite well, in my opinion. Other than when the screen busted out of my top drawer, that is.

I guess I should get some more hot glue sticks

I think I had weighed it down too much, because I kept adding to it, and not thinking about the strain on the screen and glue. When large worms, pupae, and beetles started showing up in the drawer below, I reached in and saw the problem. Now everything is in the large bottom drawer, at least until I fix this up.

Nobody’s getting out of there until I let them

Good thing I bought the sieve set.

[easyazon_image align=”none” height=”345″ identifier=”B00IIW98LE” locale=”CA” src=”http://granolalight.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/510GYeBohL.jpg” tag=”chathetop0f-20″ width=”500″]

This isn’t the exact same as the one we bought, but they don’t seem to have it any more. It was about $10 cheaper than this one, and free shipping, so you should shop around to see what you can find. The nice thing is that we use it to sift the worm castings for the red worms as well. It works fantastic for that.

Anyhow, I also wanted to mention our project worms.

You may or may not have heard that mealworms can safely digest styrofoam, and turn it into soil-safe frass(poop). The only problem is that nobody has tested the actual worms to see if they are toxic. Well, they might have, but because they didn’t like their findings, maybe they didn’t publish them.

I’m just kidding. I shouldn’t accuse science of wrong doing, just because I suspect it. I just don’t understand why you would test the frass to make sure that it’s not toxic, but wouldn’t test a handful of the worms while you are at it.

I mean, you have the equipment right there. Literally. You just tested the worm poop with it.

Anyhow, that just means that I will have to keep this farm segregated from the other.

We don’t want the chickens to be eating potentially toxic food, and we sure don’t want to sell toxic worms to our customers.

Yeah, you heard me. We have three customers that occasionally buy some worms for their pets. We’re not going to get rich off of it, but I am socking each $3 away until I can buy this with it.

[easyazon_image align=”left” height=”500″ identifier=”B006P2KG0Q” locale=”CA” src=”http://granolalight.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/31sIh8pbYcL.jpg” tag=”chathetop0f-20″ width=”500″]

Eventually I want to go to this one, but at close to $700, it will be a while.

[easyazon_image align=”left” height=”247″ identifier=”B003UNNE3E” locale=”CA” src=”http://granolalight.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/31Z9DzrEKIL.jpg” tag=”chathetop0f-20″ width=”196″]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

While we can’t go to full on homesteading right away, we are trying to acquire the skills and tools we will need for when we do get there. To finance the purchases, we aren’t using our wages from our regular jobs, but I took a very part-time maintenance job that bought us the distiller and we have the eggs bartered away until this summer, but after that we will be able to put the money from a couple dozen a week into the fund. We will also probably break even soon from the soap business, but I think that anything we make from that will go back into upgrading our equipment to some more efficient systems.

Soon we will be getting a pressure canner, but we are still researching which way to go with that. Apparently the [easyazon_link identifier=”B0000BYCFU” locale=”CA” tag=”chathetop0f-20″]Presto 23 quart[/easyazon_link] is not as high quality as the [easyazon_link identifier=”B00004S88Z” locale=”CA” tag=”chathetop0f-20″]All American 21 1/2 quart[/easyazon_link], but there is much less maintenance, and it’s less than half the price. Many people have had their Presto for over twenty years, so we figured that the savings are worth the risk. I don’t see them at thrift stores very often, but I don’t know if it would be worth chancing a used one that you don’t it’s history.

We are also looking at food dehydrators as well, so if anyone has a recommendation for anything, we are always happy for any information we can get. Amazon reviews are okay, but actually hearing, firsthand, of other people’s experience is the best way to gauge quality and usefulness.

A Couple Of Updates

It’s been pretty busy here this summer with the chickens, [easyazon_link identifier=”B00F540B5K” locale=”CA” tag=”chathetop0f-20″]worms[/easyazon_link], mealworms, soap, and both of us working full time, so it’s been hard to get in here to post anything.

I guess I can start with the surprise [easyazon_link identifier=”B00WM6BIMO” locale=”CA” tag=”chathetop0f-20″]apricot[/easyazon_link] trees.

It's possible that these trees are frauds
It’s possible that these trees are frauds

We were told that the three fruit trees in the yard were supposed to be ornamental pear trees or something like that, but last summer one produced some measly plums, and this year the other two produced two different breeds of apricot.

Needless to say we were surprised and excited. We have been picking up grounders for jams, sauces, and [easyazon_link identifier=”1629145866″ locale=”CA” tag=”chathetop0f-20″]liquor[/easyazon_link], because the trees are quite shaded and the only fruit ripening was twenty feet in the air and out of reach for our little [easyazon_link identifier=”B0014E7J9Q” locale=”CA” tag=”chathetop0f-20″]stepladder[/easyazon_link]. This fall they will be getting a pretty severe hack job to get them to a manageable level, but until then we will try to make the best use of their bounty.

We have also registered Dirty Bird Soap with the province, and will be applying for a business license with the district this week.

This means that we are really loving it, and plan to keep at it as long as we can be creative and viable. It’s not something that we are planning on getting rich with, but when we are retired and self sustaining, it will definitely help us out with not having to work as a Walmart greeter to make ends meet.

Not that there is anything wrong with that, but it would mean that we would have to be close to a Walmart, and who wants that in their life?

These will be getting cut shortly and getting themselves prepared for your armpits
These will be getting cut shortly and getting themselves prepared for your armpits

After a great couple of Saturdays at the Hudson’s Hope Farmer’s Market, we had to spend this weekend making seven batches to play catch up with. We have run out of a couple and almost ran out of a few more.

This isn’t a complaint, it’s excitement that you feel coming through these words. We get pretty stoked up about how our creations are received, so we were pretty much vibrating as we churned out the loaves this weekend.

The top shelf is Wildfire. So far it's our best seller, so we made two.
The top shelf is Wildfire. So far it’s our best seller, so we made two.

Notice how light our [easyazon_link identifier=”0987472275″ locale=”CA” tag=”chathetop0f-20″]canning shelves[/easyazon_link] are looking? That’s getting remedied right shortly, because we hit up the Okanagan fruit lady for twenty pounds each of peaches, roma tomatoes, and black plums.

Here’s what most of the peaches look like now.

There was a bit of shrinkage
There was a bit of shrinkage

We’ll finish the tomato sauce tomorrow, and the plums should be ready in a few days, so that will give us a couple of nights for soaping, gardening, and maybe even eating a couple of meals this week.

That’s pretty decent, if you ask me.

All in all it was an exhausting weekend of soap, rendering [easyazon_link identifier=”B0009IG124″ locale=”CA” tag=”chathetop0f-20″]beeswax[/easyazon_link], canning and trying to manage the rest of life, but as I sit here in this filthy kitchen, typing out this post and staring at what will garnish a lot of [easyazon_link identifier=”B00LGLHUA0″ locale=”CA” tag=”chathetop0f-20″]bowls[/easyazon_link] of ice cream this winter, I can’t help but to smile and dream of when I can be this kind of rushed every day.

When you have the right partner in crime, every day is an adventure.

Happy Canada Day! I know it's a bit late, but this is where we were.
Happy Canada Day! I know it’s a bit late, but this is where we were.

Have a great rest of your summer,

Chris

P.S. Look how big the baby [easyazon_link identifier=”B00GFZLWWY” locale=”CA” tag=”chathetop0f-20″]mealworms[/easyazon_link] are getting.

For reference, the outline is a slice of potato.
For reference, the outline is a slice of potato.