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It’s that time of year . . . to head on over to Apple Annies. Apple Annie’s is a pick-your-own farm. They have an orchard and a separate site for vegetables. We went last year, for the first time, with Nana & Papa. Most memorable moment: Mud-caked shoes. We had a great time and were busy canning in the following weeks.

Apple Annie’s has a cornered market. They make you pick your food. And then they make you pay for it. And a hefty payment it is, by the way. Not cheap. No sir. Those tomatoes we bought picked are worth more than gold.

This year, we were prepared, but on our own. This time Nana & Papa toured the West Coast, having a blast I might add. I brought my muck boots to avoid the mud this time. Ain’t I schmart? Found out that I didn’t need them this time. That’s okay, it’s better to have and not need, then need and not have. Right? Someone really wise taught me that.

This year we waited patiently for the peaches. Waiting. Waiting. Waiting. Then the weather turned cool. Yes, cool. Cool for Arizona that is. That would be under 95 degrees F. Then, all of a sudden the peaches weren’t ready. Then, all of a sudden they were and we had three days to pick them. Oh vay! But, we got ‘er done. We had a great time. We also picked close to a ton of apples. I still have two bags of apples to “deal” with. Apple pie filling? Yes. That’s on my to-do list.

We made peach butter & canned peaches in syrup. Yum. I made quite a lot of applesauce. I dehydrated several apples. Ate them all. Dehydrated more. They make great rabbit snacks, by the way. They also make great boy snacks. Freezing apples chunks is great for smoothies, too.

We canned loads. I mean LOADS of tomatoes. Good thing, because I’ve already used several jars. I used them to can salsa and make spaghetti sauce. Honestly, Matt made the sauce, but . . .  you know. Matt and I work as a Canning Team. Team Barker, canning nerds.

Our pantry, garage, and for a while every empty surface in the kitchen/dining room housed all the canned items. Not to mention all the canning we’ve been doing with our garden veggies. What to do with them all? I dunno. Eat them, probably. Crack that seal, baby!

We are becoming canning experts. Water bath canning, not pressure canning. That’s for next year. For now, veggies are either pickled or frozen. But peaches . . . are savored. YUM.

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Farm Fatale,

Juju Bean


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