The first blog is the toughest?
I love to use these few days between Christmas and New Year's to reflect and reset and plan. Mostly plan because that's a very me thing to do. This past year has been scary and inspiring and overwhelming and rewarding and just incredible. Deciding to really start up a farm - to really invest time and money and emotional and physical energy has been daunting to say the least. People always use phrases like "taking a leap" or "jumping in" and they aren't wrong - it feels that way! Kevin and I have so many projects and skills we want to accomplish and the more we learn, the longer that list gets.
The first skill I set down to learn this past year was canning. I had helped as a kid, but only in the limited way we let kids "help" with such things. Being the nerd I am, I grabbed my glasses and dove into all the articles, science videos, tips and tricks I could find! My Pinterest boards started filling with recipes and articles with titles like "Top 10 things never to do when canning" and "I wish I knew this ten years ago! Pin Now, Read Later!" You know the type of things I'm talking about, right? I chose a staple for my first experiment - green beans. We didn't plant much this year while we worked on getting things ready and so I went to the farmers market and bought what seemed like a gigantic bag of green beans and got to work. Kevin and I snapped...and snapped...and snapped...until finally we were ready for trial number one!
With the instruction book close by, I nervously began checking all the seals and sterilizing all the jars and lids. Then we loaded all the jars and put them in the pressure canner. I swear, I probably checked the dial gauge every 45 seconds for the entire time they were under pressure. Then I turned the stove off and waited quite impatiently for the pressure to drop so I could open it up and inspect the fruits (vegetables?) of my labor.
All in all it was a very successful first attempt! All my jars sealed and despite all my anxiety and obsessing over the process, it was a lot of fun. I couldn't help but feel so connected to my family - my mawmaw especially. I kept thinking about stringing beans with her on the front porch every summer and how great it was to grab a jar off the shelf in the winter and know I had a part in making them. And now, at 29, I get to do it again for myself and for my family. I'm glad I get to carry on this lifestyle - especially at a time where it feels like so many people are moving away from it.