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If you follow me on Facebook then you got to see these pics on Sunday. Saturday and Sunday were Canning Days in our house. We had so many cucumbers from our garden that it was time to do something with them so they didn’t go to waste.

After visiting the farmer’s market on Saturday and buying okra, green beans, and dill, we made several jars of pickled okra and dilly beans, and then a few jars of pickles.

Despite my mom always using fresh grown dill, we opted for the dry. But the dill I bought did not go to waste. I dried it in our food dehydrator and stored it for more canning later.

On Sunday morning, we picked black berries with our neighbors. Then we came home and made 10 jars of jam. Then we made more pickles. And we pickled the onions and peppers that you saw in yesterday’s photo.

Next up with be more pickles and some tomato sauce once the tomatoes ripen. Needless to say, we were exhausted by the end of the day on Sunday, but we were proud of all of our work. It will be quite yummy this winter!

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peppers

I couldn’t resist a photo of these peppers and onions from our garden in this nice green leaf bowl.  This year was our first time making some pickled peppers and onions.  They remind me of those “summer harvest” decorative jars you can find in places which no one ever really eats because they make nice counter-top decorations.  Ours will definitely be eaten!

365 of Me: 201/165

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While picking berries yesterday, I spotted TENNESSEE on one of the railroad ties. (The black berry bushes are next to a railroad track.) It brought back fond memories for me of picking blackberries with my parents, and my mom making cobblers and jam back home. We had blackberries right in our back yard.

I’m headed home to Tennessee for my high school reunion on Thursday for a long 4 day weekend, so this was a nice memory and a quaint reminder of my upcoming trip.

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365 of Me: 200/166

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Wow! Hard to believe today is the 200th day of the year. We spent the morning picking blackberries with our neighbors for about three and half hours this morning. It yielded about two gallons of berries which we split between us.

I put two quarts of berries in the freezer. Some were used to make a nice cobbler. And the rest became 10 jars of jam!

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Today we hit the Ferguson Farmer’s Market. It’s quite the event. We only went twice last year and this was the first time this year. They only have it on Saturdays from 8 to noon. There’s live music, lots of produce vendors, craft vendors, some food vendors, a meat vendor, soap vendor, olive oil vendor, spices, you name it. A little bit of everything. We walked away with a fresh loaf of bread, some okra, fresh dill, and green beans.

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swings

Doesn’t anyone like to swing anymore?

This is a swing set in a park near my house where I like to walk, especially during the spring months on my lunch break. I always see kids on the fancy plastic play set, but no one is ever on the swings. The swings were one of my favorites as a kid. I miss that old swing set we had in the front yard.

One day I’m going to overcome my inhibitions and go play on the swings.

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lily

July is drawing to a close. The 200th day of the year is fast approaching. And the last lilies are blooming. These shorter, darker, day lilies always bloom late in summer. Just when I think they aren’t going to bloom at all, their stalks shoot up and the blooms open. These are located in the front bed along the driveway. I have plans to rework this bed come October, so these lilies will be divided and the majority of them will get a new home along the new pathway I showed you a few days ago.

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flower

Midnight Marvel Rose Mallow. That’s the name of this unexpected bloom we found in the front flower bed on Sunday.  We bought it because its leaves complimented our red cannas that grow along the front of the house. We never expected to see it bloom this year, but it must be doing well because it has several more blooms on it ready to open.  All the green foliage you see on it is new.  When we purchased it, all the leaves were that deep wine color.

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sidewalk

Well, now we know where the sidewalk ends. Just kidding. On Sunday, we moved a small part of our garden path to start a new extension we are going to make in the yard, which in turn, will give more room for flowers.  We only had enough stones to go so far.

More flowers will cover up that ugly retaining wall, and the good news is most of the flowers going in that spot are coming from our yard. We are going to move some and divide some of the others that have gotten too big.  So, that makes this project very affordable for us.

Here’s a sketch showing what will be added to give you an idea of what it will look like by next year:

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So where did those stones come from you ask? Well, we had just added them along our veggie garden this year, but the look never was quite right. We also decided to move them to start the new path because we want to extend our veggie garden next year by another 4 feet. So here’s a pic showing where the stones were and showing where the extension will be on the veggie garden.  A gardener’s work is never done!

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Yesterday I bought 12 ears of corn at the farmer’s market to cut off the cob and put into the freezer for winter. 12 cobs made about 7 half-quart size bags.

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I used that cool trick you see online where you cut the end of the cob off while it’s still in the husk. Then, you microwave each cob for about 2 minutes and then you can squeeze the cob out and all the silk is supposed to come right off too. It didn’t pull all the silk off, but almost all of it. It definitely made the corn much easier to clean.

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I had quite the assembly line going with one cob in the microwave while I cleaned another, let another one cool, and then cut the kernels off another.

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Then I added about 3 cups of water, some salt, and a dash of sugar. I stir it and bring it to a slow boil for about a minute or two. Then I turn off the heat and let the corn sit and cool before bagging it.

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I let the bags sit about 30 minutes to cool some more, and then put them in my freezer. Great for side dishes during the holidays or to add to hearty soups in the winter. Now that I have a deep freeze, I plan to do this at least one more time and add another 6 or 7 bags to my stock pile.

I never knew that “putting corn up” was so easy until my mom recently told me how to do it. And I’m glad she did. It’s a yearly tradition of hers that I can now carry on.