Thank you all for you kind words. I’m back after one of those crazy weeks where I spent way too much time on the road. I have three days ahead of me with no obligations beyond local ones like church and picking up my CSA milk order. I do need to get some work done. I’m out of granola and yogurt, bread and pickled beets. I need to get to the root cellar and see if the few beets I have are still crispy enough to make pickles with. If not, they will sit in the cellar until our pigs arrive. We’ve had trouble find piglets this year. The litter we had set aside didn’t make it so we’ve been scrambling to find a replacement litter. There are some Tamworth crosses in NY that we can purchase so I guess that will be the solution. I don’t think we’re doing two pigs this year. I would rather get just one and then buy a 1/4 side of grass-fed beef from our neighbor. My meat chickens will be slaughtered on the 24th. I plan to freeze half and can half. 20 birds is a lot of meat to process in one go. I plan to have two canners going. One will be cooling while the other is on the stove. I have even considered using my third canner. If I have Maggie, Karen and Bruce helping and if I get the prep work done the day before and if have meals ready to serve and if have Phoebe occupied and if I turn the ringer off the phone and, and, and have I lost my mind??? Three canners! Maybe that’s crazy. But really. A lot of the canning time is spent waiting. That time could be spent preparing the next load. We’ll have to see. I’m debating about jar size. I was thinking quart but I want some smaller jars for the nights when there are fewer of us eating. I’m not sure how many jars 10 chickens equals as I don’t know the finished weight of the birds.

I have a series of training coming up. I’m doing a 4 part food preservation training for Berkshire Botanical Gardens starting next Wednesday. I’m also doing the NOFA conference and the Mother Earth News Fair again. All have been very well attended and a lot of fun. I love food people. There is always a lot of laughter and I always learn a lot. I will say that there is a sense of urgency among my attendees. People want to learn how to grow, prepare and preserve food. I’m not getting a lot of hobbyists; I’m getting people who believe that having these skills will be a necessity.

This leads to my next announcement. I’m setting up a website. I have a name but not a lot else. Preserving Abundance will be offering a series of videos teaching the ins and outs of all kinds of food preservation. I will be adding videos on bee keeping and gardening, cheese making and bread baking. There will adventures in foraging and wine making too. My DIL, Magggie will be my co-host and videographer. I need to buy a better camera and come up with a schedule of topics but I hope to be up and running by the end of August.