Schmidt Homestead

Our new home in Woodburn, IL

Monday, July 30, 2007

We had lots of company this weekend. Emily came out Friday afternoon and stayed till last night, our friend Karen came out on Saturday, and Steve’s friend Jared came with his girlfriend on Sunday. We ate well, and Karen and Emily experimented with some of our veggies. I’m acquiring a taste for beets!

We set up a temporary daytime pen for the chickens, and they love pecking at the ground and dustbathing in the dirt. We're beginning to think that both chickens are hens (after a consult with some folks online), so we're going to call the darker one Hazel. Steve got most of the chicken tractor finished – he just has to give them a ramp to get to the second floor and cover the outside in chicken wire.

We tried canning green beans. We used the pressure cooker and followed the instructions, but when the cans came out, some of the water was missing. We’re pretty sure it bubbled out of the jars and into the pressure cooker, but we can’t figure out how to keep it from happening. We had the lids screwed on ‘finger tight’ like the instructions said. The lids still popped like they were supposed to – even though the water only covers about 2/3 of the beans.