Saturday, May 7, 2022

May Garden 2022

 


I am again drinking mint and lemon balm tea fresh from the garden. I plant my mint and lemon balm in large half barrels to keep it from becoming invasive and taking over my gardens. 


Sweet potato slips are coming along nicely planted in my wire rings. Only drawback I see so far to this growing method is that they have a tendency to dry out more so than even with the ground. 


Asparagus are loving the cool and wet spring temperatures right now. Lots of it going in the freezer. 


And baby peaches I got plenty!


Broccoli and cabbage starts are now in the garden beds in their new homes.


My first baby Juneberries or Serviceberries on year 2. Not bad and I may root some more. 


And last but not least my recently separated rhubarb crowns have put out new growth and seem happy in their new homes. 


Blessings from The Holler

The Canned Quilter

Thursday, May 5, 2022

More Spring Garden 2022

 


Thursday morning cup of hot tea here as I listen to thunder rumble in the distance. Rain is forecasted for the next 2 days so I will put the garden away and concentrate on some housework and cooking. Thought I would share some more pictures of the gardens. The gooseberries above are swelling now and all the 8 bushes have berries on them now. 


Yesterday I got all my broccoli and cabbage plants in the boxes. They were the perfect size and ready for their permanent homes in the garden. Planting them right before rain will allow them to acclimate for the next two raiy days and not even wilt. Also got some romaine plants in the garden and bok choy. The red beans are breaking the soil.  Garden 2022 is well on it's way.


The black currants are now blooming and the black currant bushes I set out to root have all rooted also. I am sharing some on them with a young neighbor couple. 


And the green peas around the property planted on fences are now blooming. 

Blessings from The Holler

The Canned Quilter

Sunday, May 1, 2022

Spring In The Garden 2022

 

above: Bees working the blueberry  blooms

Happy May Day from here in my garden! April 15th is the average last frost date and right on schedule the flowers are emerging and the bees are humming. Such a busy time of the year for us and although it has been a cool and wet spring temperatures are back up in the 70's regularly now. Such a busy time of the year for us between mowing,  weeding and planting. Lots of dandelions popping up in the beds to dig out and spring weeds grow quickly here on the plateau. 


I was thrilled to see the columbine that I started in milk jugs last year from seeds blooming with abandon in my beds. At my old farm the hummingbirds loved these so I am hoping that they will spread and help to draw and feed the hummingbirds. 


The hosta are filling out nicely all over the property scattered under the trees in the shady areas and I dug some up and separated them as they were getting pretty thick. The snowball bushes are past the top of the fence now and loaded with blooms this year. Daylilies are up but no blooms yet and same with the peonies. 


The bees are loving the garlic chives and regular chive blooms. 

And the Iris blooms are gorgeous as usual. I just wished they lasted longer as the spring rains can be rough on them. 

Yesterday I discovered one of my hens setting on a nest so looks like I will have spring chicks and all of my birdhouses are full of activity also. 

Hope spring is visiting for you all and the beauty of it is being enjoyed. 

Blessings from The Holler

The Canned Quilter

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I can also be found at 

https://thebackfence.freeforums.net/




Monday, April 18, 2022

Canning Pulled Pork


In previous posts I wrote about finding a good sale at the small local owned community IGA on pork butt for $1.69 a pound and buying 20 pounds. This little store is about 10 minutes down the road from me and employs a full time butcher. I try to give them business and keep my dollars in my community. Now on most things they cannot compete with the large stores but they can run some good meat sales. 

 Facing a rainy week last week I wanted to play around with a new to me skill of canning pulled pork. Now if you do a search there are all kinds of recipes and videos on this but I have never done it before personally. There also seem to be several different ways of doing it. Cold packing raw meat, precooking and canning cooked meat. I personally opted to precook my meat. I also used my old stand by pulled pork sauce as the liquid to go into the jar. I noticed some people just use a bottled BBQ sauce and some did not use a sauce but rather just covered with broth. Make it your own. As long as it is pressure canned for 75 minutes pint or 90 minutes for quarts you should be golden. Play with it and do what your family likes.  


I defrosted a couple pork butts from the freezer that had been somewhat trimmed and deboned. It probably was about 4 pounds but after cooking out the juices and fat maybe 3 and a half. 


O Wise One put them in a skillet and just lightly seared them on the outside. 


Then I added them to my largest crock pot and cooked on high for about 4 hours. Just until basically they were barely cooked.


Then we allowed them to cool and cut them into pieces or strips that would stand up in a pint jar. 

I then added them to hot pint jars. I managed to get about 13 ounces of meat to each jar. To each jar I added some sauce. 

Shredded Pork Butt Sauce

1 onion finely chopped
3/4 cup ketchup
3 Tbsp tomato paste
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp ground mustard
1 tsp cumin

3 - 4 pound pork Butt

I simply mixed this up and heated it on the stove and put some evenly in each jar over the top of the meat. Then I took my bubble tool and removed the bubbles. If necessary I topped any that needed it up with some hot chicken broth leaving a 1 inch headspace as usual. I debubbled again and wiped my lids really good. Then add lids and rings.

I pressure canned my pints for 75 minutes in the pressure canner at 12 pounds pressure ( for my altitude). 


I ended up with 8 pints for about 3 pounds of meat. 


Full disclosure even though I did try to remove most of the fat it is impossible to remove all of it. So in each jar once cooled any remaining fat will rise to the top of the jar and form a fat layer. I simply took a spoon and removed that layer and sent it to the big dogs as a treat on top of their food. Anything you can meat wise even some soups and such you will see this fat layer and I just try to keep it to a minimum. 


Once that fat layer is removed the meat shredded beautifully and I just simply added the sauce in the jar back to the meat and heated. One pint was perfect for us for making 2 pulled pork buns. One for each of us and served with a pint of those BBQ beans I canned the other day warmed up and some oven sweet potato fries from last years sweet potatoes. It was a perfect meal for two. 

At the end of the day we really liked this recipe and I will do some more of these. You just cannot beat these for convenience especially for two people. A great quick lunch or supper. Next we are going to try these on baked potatoes. 

If you give this a try come back and let me know how they turn out for you and what changes if any you make.

Blessings from The Holler

The Canned Quilter

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I can also be found at 

 

Thursday, April 14, 2022

Beneficial Insects In The Garden

 


Just a heads up to all you gardeners out there. As you are doing that early spring clean up, pruning and all around gardening be aware of the beneficial insects out there. As I was pruning some winter kill out of my black currant bushes I ran across the above egg sacks of praying mantis. I was careful not to disturb them because I hope to encourage a healthy population of praying mantis in my garden. They are excellent for helping to keep the bad bugs down. 

Blessings from The Holler

The Canned Quilter

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I can also be found at 
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