Vacuum Sealing Mason Jars

I’ll admit, by the first few weeks of September I’m getting tired of canning. Two runs a day for 2 weeks straight, dozens of quarts, double-dozens of pints, and I’ve had enough of the preparation, the cleaning, the water, the heat. Don’t get me wrong: even at the tail end of the harvest when I’m “canned out”, there is still no greater satisfaction than cracking a canner load of beyond-organic salsa from all garden-grown produce, and knowing I’ve taken another […]

Will it Mail?

The Sequoia needs a muffler. Not big news – I noted it while I was crawling around under it in the previous owner’s driveway, and I used it as the basis for trimming $700 off the asking price. It rapidly got worse when we got it home, and it’s just too “throaty” sounding for a family truckster, IMHO. Time to replace it.

I'm Gonna Need a Bigger Crock

Last year’s attempt at lactofermented pickles was a resounding success, marred only by the whole not-making-enough problem. I ran out of pickles a few months ago, and I’ve had to make do with the soggy, vinegary, sorry excuses for pickles I can get in the store. A sad state of affairs indeed. Building on last year’s success, I went large on the pickle patch this year.


Ever since I got the news that the frame on my truck was going to be replaced, I’ve had the idea kicking around my head that I should take the opportunity to add a vehicle to our fleet that can actually hold all of us. We’re a family of five, and the kids have been jammed three across in the back seat of Mrs. P’s 4Runner since the day Ginger came home from the hospital.

Just Add Water

I woke up at 4:00 AM today, thanks to Gambit the World’s Smartest Dog. My son made the mistake of attempting a furtive trip to the bathroom, which set Gambit to growling. Like he’s never seen the lad before. I think he’s hard of seeing – the dog, that is.

A 5-gallon Bucket of Potential

It’s the most gut-wrenching thing an aspiring orchardist has to do every spring: thin the crop. Amidst the flush of life and potential on display in the many subtle hues of green, an orchardist must bring cold-hearted callousness to bear on his or her bearing trees. Fruit abortion. Plucked in their innocence. Too young…far too young.