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jenvan

Any "home-canners" Out There?

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Thanks for the welcome! My goal for next year is to start Raspberries, Blackberries and Strawberries. Have you guys ever made Crabapple jam before? Personally, I think it sounds disgusting, but we have a tree that's ready to fall over with the suckers and my husband really DOES like it! In what area of the country do you live? I'm in Kentucky, so fall is sort of a "concept" here! While the trees lose their leaves, etc., we often don't get a hard freeze until November.

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KY--not so far from me, I'm in Indy (IN). I am hoping for a longer fall this year--hate it when it goes from 85 to 45 degrees in one week!

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Guest Viola

I've never made crabapple jam ... but have made crabapple jelly and it is really wonderful. Mom and Dad made it here the last few years, because Mom is addicted to canning everything in sight. :lol: Anyway ... I think Dad ran the crabapples through our juicer before they made the jelly. But the old way of doing it, is to cook the crabapples then let it cool and put it all in a clean pillow case and squeeze all the juice into a pot, then follow directions on your Certo box, or what ever pectin you use. The real old way of making it was to cook the crabapple juice until it jells with it's own pectin. You must add the correct amount of sugar of course. :rolleyes:

I'm a long way from you two ... abuot 3 or 4 hours north of Spokan Washington.

Raspberries are easy to grow, but strawberries take a lot more work. We have both. Slugs are the biggest pest of strawberries, and birds of course, so you have to net them well and set slug traps. Also you need to keep the 'runners' (baby strawberry plants) cut off during the berry season.

The only thing that seems to bother raspberries is the deer (they eat the plant) and the ants like the sweet berries. But neither are a major problem.

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do you like bread and butter or regular pickles?

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ck out some of these pages with recipes:

http://www.montana.edu/wwwpb/pubs/mt9607.html (this calls for some sugar)

http://www.thatsmyhome.com/general/polish-dill-pickles.htm (no sugar in this one)

i'm looking for an end of summer recipes with green tomatoes and peppers in it.

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Hi Guys --

Jen, you are close -- 2 hours -- we do the same thing 85 one day, 45 the next, 90 the weekend, then "possible frost".

Shirley, thanks for the information about the crabapple jelly--I don't have a juicer, I have a canning "ricer" -- do you think that would work, or would too much fruit get in? Also, I've never made jelly with Certo or any other pectin product. I read previously that you prefer Certo -- is that right? I think I'd rather try using that then cooking the jelly forever! You are pretty far away -- but in a great area of the country! I have a friend who lives in Gig Harbor and another in Olympia -- I think Washington is a beautiful state. You guys have LOTS of Starbucks there, though -- I was shocked when I saw a Starbucks in the middle of the lingerie section of a department store! Also, for the slugs -- do you do the whole beer trap for them? Also, we have had a huge problem with ants this year. I prefer to be an organic gardener, so I don't like a lot of sprays, but have had to use them --these guys are huge and hardy! Any suggestions???

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Guest Viola

I'm not in Washington state, but North of it in Canada :P But you are right, Wash. is a beautiful state and Starbucks IS all over the place. :lol:

Yup, do the beer for slugs, but also if you go out right after a rain, or after sprinkling, you can put on gloves and pick the slugs off the plants and drop them into a jar of water, then dump the water after said pests have had too much to drink, to put it politely :lol:

Ants ... put out a lovely saucer of something sticky, like syrup .. or if they are in your trees, you might try a product called "tangle strip" It's a sticky tape that you put around the tree trunck with the sticky side out. The bugs get stuck and die there. That way you do not worry about poisons. And your ants can't breed the aphids, so you get rid of them too. BTW .. ants do farm aphids! The aphids produce a sweet sap that the ants like.

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Shirley -- thanks for the info! BTW: my roses had aphids this year -- now I know why they were so prolific! Haven't been to Canada yet - my parents have, and LOVED it. Liked your spin on the slug swimming pool! Talk to you soon . . .

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Guest Viola

Oh, I forgot the safe way to do aphids on rose bushes :lol:

Just mix a little hand, liquid dish soap and water in a spray bottle. It works on all aphids. Won't hurt your plants or animals or for that matter, young children :rolleyes:

Around here squash bugs and stink bugs ( a fir bug that looks like a lg. squash bug with wings) Yuk! ... all go swimming, either in a bucket or down the toilet when they get in the house.

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i used the soap and water routine for aphids (per shirley's advice) and it worked like a charm this summer :)

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Anyone have any tips on getting squirrels to stay away from pumpkins? I want a put a few out this year but last year, within a few days, the dang squirrels had eaten through them!!

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Guest Viola

Squirrels are a never ending problem. Aside from eating pumkins, they eat beans, cucumbers and steal the sunflowers right off the plant. That does look pretty funny when you see a little squirrel draging a big sunflower along the fence line. :lol:

The not so funny part of squirrels is the amount of song bird eggs they eat, and how many full grown song birds they kill right at the bird feeders. They really are far worse than any cat we've had. You can get a live trap for them and move them to the other side of town, which of course will give someone else a headache. But a week after you do that, another one will move in. The only semi permanent solution is to do away with them, and I say semi permanent, because there seems to be a never ending supply of them in the bushes. Especially here because we have wild hazel nuts and oak trees, along with huge white pine that is a super source of food for them. :(

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You poor things! You have REALLY mean squirrels! :( The only thing I know about getting rid of them is when you plant bulbs: cover them with compost & manure, then pine needles as mulch -- they won't touch them. (Neither would I, personally) There's a site on the internet about getting rid of chipmunks -- I had to go there earlier this summer, maybe they have something about squirrels. We ended up being lucky -- a hawk decided to make our back yard a home, and Ta Daa! No more chipmunks. Of course, we had to take our 4 lb. dog out to go to the bathroom on a leash. Now we have an owl -- evidently the rodentia population is ample in our neighborhood! Good luck -- I hadn't ever heard of a squirrel eating a pumpkin! (Hadn't heard of them eating birds, either - yikes.)

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yeah--at least my squirrels are still vegetarians!! poor shirley has the "carnivorous squirrels!"

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Guest Viola

I'm surprised they suggest pine needles, as pine cones are a major source of food for them. At least white pine is ... the cones can be over a foot long and the seeds inside them almost the size of a small peanut.

Do you have the red, or black, or grey squirrel? We have the red, and they can be very carnivorous.

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We have gray squirrels. They're actually very friendly, a little skittish, and pretty funny to watch. My cousin had one that entered her house through an open window when it was very small. It became the household pet (among the other dogs). It's name was peanut. I totally freaked out when I went in her house and saw this squirrel sitting at the dog's bowl, screamed, and the squirrel looked at me like "What -- is there someone in the house?" I had a baby squirrel which had evidently fallen out of the tree try to follow me into the house -- he/she must have thought I was going to be more friendly than I was. I was running around, with it running after me (this was before I had this stupid disease). My daughter was laughing so hard, she was bent over, trying not to wet her pants. I kept yelling "Open the door NOW or you're grounded for 6 months!" She was laughing so much she had trouble getting the key in the door! Finally, I ran onto the porch, the baby squirrel ran around the shrubs, found a saucer which had water in it and decided to get a quick drink -- remembered that he was trying to get in, and then stood on the stoop of the storm door with its little front paws on the door, looking in. My daughter still teases me about the killer squirrel!

We also have lots of squirrels on campus at the University of Louisville. They are VERY tame. I feed the squirrels here (my husband says that most people want to get rid of them, I feed them -- go figure). But, it keeps them away from the bird's food. I haven't seen red squirrels, but they don't sound like anything I want migrating this way.

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Guest Viola

Nope, not on steroids :lol: They are called White pine, and the needles are very long as well. They get to be very big trees. When the trees are young it's fun to 'pet' them. The long soft needles feel almost like fur. lol We have fir trees too, but they don't feel like fur ... just the pine trees. I will have to go out and take some pictures of the tree and cones. :P

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wish i could get some of those pine cones for winter decorations :) i'm going to try and scavenge some here to go with the acorns i got camping last weekend. do a little martha stewart type fall decorating :)

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Guest Viola

Yes, they are very popular for craft projects. We have numerous different cones here and they are great to mix up in a basket with a string of tiny Christmas lights woven among them. :) It makes a wonderful table centre.

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We have pine cones which are medium length and not too fat. If you soak them in water, they close back up, then you can cram them into wire wreath frames. As they dry, the pine cones open back up, and you get this really pretty, full wreath. We also have the little squatty, fat ones that you can hot glue, too! If we want those large, lush pine cones, we usually have to go to Florida or at least further south -- they have what my dad calls "scrubby pines" -- but the pine cones are HUGE!

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i just have to share what i did last night... this is my 3-fold squirrel deterrent plan, based on what i've read. we'll see if it works!!!

i first washed the pumpkins down in bleach water, then i coated the outside of each in tabasco sauce, then sprinkled black and cayenne pepper on top of that and around the pumpkins. if that doesn't keep them away--i must have super squirrels!

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