My pressure canning class today --

Nothing about writing today, so you can skip this if you'd rather.

So, I had my class this afternoon for some hands-on experience about pressure canning. I posted previously about getting a vintage canner at an estate sale. I had the gauge tested, and the gaskets checked out about a month ago at my local Agricultural Extension office. If you haven't taken advantage of your local office, you should check it out -- there may be a class or some gardening tips you can use.

Anyway, for this class we prepared and canned green beans. It was an awesome class, and it was good to get some practice on the techniques. Books are great, but for something that involves that nasty botulism germ, it's good to have someone around to teach you the right way.

After we weighed out two pounds of green beans, we washed them, then cut them into pieces about 2" long. Then the beans went into boiling water to blanch them, and then into the jars. We packed them down a bit, then poured some of the boiling water into the jar, placed a lid on, then a ring. Then we put our jar into the canner.

I wish I'd been able to get pictures of the class, just to show you, but the result is one quart of lovely fresh beans, which we will have for supper tonight. Normally, the canned food would be left undisturbed to cool for 24 hours, and then stored for later use, but since we are having car trouble at our house, and I can't be sure I'd get back next week to pick mine up, I brought it home.

HOT jars! Woo!

I've been doing a small garden this year, trying out the lasagne gardening method. It's a great concept, especially with my red clay and compacted gravel soil. There's a long story involved with the gravel-thing, maybe I'll post about it someday.

This is the first tomato. It was tiny, because the plant had fruited when it was about 18" tall, but it ripened so I plucked it off before some creature got it. We also have three babies on the watermelon vines. and the potatoes are going gangbusters, despite being in the same plot as the tomatoes (not supposed to grow together, but that info came a little late!).

The melons are about twice this size now. If you look just past it, you can just see a tiny bit of red. That's the tomato before I picked it.Well, enough blathering about the garden, and green beans, for the day. Forgive the blurry pictures, I must be shaking a little more than usual.

Until next time, Gentle Readers. Have a save and fun weekend.