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TrustGone posted 9/5/2013 09:08 AM

I just found out I won a 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place ribbon for my canned produce at the State Fair. I have the best tomatoes in the whole state of Texas. I am so proud of me. My WH is estatic and says he has not seen me so happy in the last 2yrs.

MovingUpward posted 9/5/2013 09:11 AM


purplejacket4 posted 9/5/2013 10:08 AM

Please place in mail immediately!

jo2love posted 9/5/2013 10:10 AM


Pentup posted 9/5/2013 10:18 AM

Congratulations!! We need pictures!

Kajem posted 9/5/2013 10:23 AM


EvenKeel posted 9/5/2013 10:25 AM

I had to open this thread based on the could mean sooo many things

But it meant what I thought - how exciting.

Now how are they judged? It is strictly on the appearance of your canned items? Or do they open them and taste them too? I was just at a fair this weekend and the canned items looked intact but the pies and cakes all had a piece taken out of them.

Just curious and expanding my knowledge base

Crescita posted 9/5/2013 10:54 AM

That's incredible! Congrats!

ajsmom posted 9/5/2013 10:55 AM

That is HUGE!

I've been to your State Fair - it's a BIG fair.

ETA: Like everything in Texas...



[This message edited by ajsmom at 10:55 AM, September 5th (Thursday)]

tushnurse posted 9/5/2013 14:20 PM

Trust I want to strike a deal!!!! I absolutely love home canned maters. My Gram always did it. I never learned the craft, or want to invest the time. However nothing is better in February.

I will send in trade one bottle of my very best honey for one jar of your maters!

PM me if you are seriously interested....

TrustGone posted 9/5/2013 15:16 PM

Thanks everyone. I never expected to win anything, but it really helped my self-esteem to know I was good at something. I know my Mom would be so proud of me if she were still alive. We always had a huge garden growing up and I have continued the tradition.
I won 1st place for my canned tomatoes, 2nd for my hot pickled cherry tomatoes, and 3rd for my green beans. To answer your question... The canned tomatoes and green beans were judged on appearance. The pickled tomatoes were judged on taste and appearance. I can't wait to go to the fair and see them on display. Canning your own food is so satifying and it taste so much better than what you get at the grocery store, especially in the winter time. Next year I am entering a new thing called Chicken Pickles...It was too late this year to enter them as they had to have time to pickle and I didn't know how they would taste...They are the best pickles I have ever eaten. My WH has already eaten two jars.

Crescita posted 9/5/2013 17:23 PM

Next year I am entering a new thing called Chicken Pickles...It was too late this year to enter them as they had to have time to pickle and I didn't know how they would taste...They are the best pickles I have ever eaten. My WH has already eaten two jars.

These sound magical! What all is involved or where might one find some? My google skills are lacking

metamorphisis posted 9/5/2013 17:45 PM

That's awesome!

unfound posted 9/5/2013 18:16 PM

Congratulations! That's a big deal!

TrustGone posted 9/5/2013 21:29 PM

I found the Chicken Pickles at the Farmers Market in Dallas and bought a jar. Then I tasted them until I got what I thought was the right ingredients and copied it. I couldn't find how to make them on goggle, but the people that make them have a website: I think mine turned out almost as good as theirs if not better. Let me know if you want to make them yourself and I will send you my reciepe that I used.

inhishands55 posted 9/6/2013 00:47 AM

When you can your tomatoes do you hot pack them or cold pack them??? I have done both...

I am like you...I use to can everything..I even canned bell peppers stuffed with cabbage...They are wonderful with pintos or any other kind of bean...I got the receipe in a ball brothers canning book...It is an old one 1982..I have been canning for 40 years now..

I just put up grape juice tonight...Really easy...I might put up some grape hull jam with the rest of my grapes that came off of mine vines...

Do you put up pickled okra??? I have a receipe that you cold pack them..They are never slimmy...

inhishands55 posted 9/6/2013 00:49 AM

I forgot to Congratulate you on your Ribbons...What an accomplishment...

Some of my friends have tried to get me to enter my canning in the fair, but I never have...

Keep up the good work Girlie...

click4it posted 9/6/2013 00:49 AM

wow!!! Way to go #1!!!

TrustGone posted 9/6/2013 07:42 AM

Thanks again guys.

I cold pack my tomatoes. I think they taste fresher that way. I also cold pack my pickled okra. It placed 10th, so I guess that wasn't too bad, but it didn't get a ribbon. My aunt was telling me the other day how to do pickled okra without processing them at all. She said to get the brine really hot when you pour it over the okra and to work really fast. She said if your brine is really hot the jars will seal. I am going to try that way next year. I put a pod of jalapeno in each jar to spice them up a bit. I also use a really old ball book. I have a new one, but I like the old receipes better. However the hot pickled cherry tomatoes I used the new book for. They won second place. It called for white wine vinager but I used red instead. I thought it made them really pretty and I added a couple of cilantro leaves for decoration. They are really good in a salad in the winter. I hate store bought tomatoes in the winter, they have absolutely no taste at all.

Hopefully as fresh vegetables continue to rise in cost, more people will go back to growing their own. It is a little more expensive at first than fresh because you have to purchase the jars, but you can't beat the taste. Even fresh vegetables at the store are no comparison to fresh right out of your own garden. As far as the cost, it goes down after the first year because you can reuse the jars, which helps save the environment. You just have to purchase new lids every year, which are really cheap. Also I like being in control of what chemicals I use on my garden. I try to keep it as organic as possible. Unfortunately with the grasshopper invasion this year, that was impossible. I used to try to grow canalope and watermelons, but the grasshoppers always eat the vines before they are ready. Fortunately they are not fond of tomatoes. If anyone knows an organic way to get rid of grasshoppers, let me know. I have goggled it, but everything they suggested has not worked. I have millions of grasshoppers due to the pasture land I have. I tried to grow sunflowers to feed the birds in the winter. They got huge, but the grasshoppers chewed them to bits.

I was telling tushnurse that I read how bees were being killed by cities spaying for West Nile and if we kill all our bees, we will all starve to death. I had never really thought about that before, but it makes sense. As our population continues to climb and our land is taken up by housing developments and concrete, people will be forced to eventually go back to growing their own food or starve. I am sure that will not happen in our lifetimee, but eventually it will become a problem. Just a thought on how goverment does not think about our environment like they should.

I also make my own compose, using cheap potting soil. I have a large barrel that I just throw my vegetable scraps in and add a little dried cow manure and potting soil. It really helps to add nutrients back in the soil (and the smell is minimum if you cover the scraps with potting soil) I also rotate my plants every year, so one thing doesn't totally take a certain nutrient out of the soil. It is a cheap alternative to using expensive store bought fertalizer and is ecofriendly. I don't know a cattle farmer one that wouldn't let you have some dried cow manure. Just food for thought, pun intended.

[This message edited by TrustGone at 8:28 AM, September 6th (Friday)]

Crescita posted 9/6/2013 12:51 PM

TrustGone, I would LOVE your recipe if you donít mind sharing!

Regarding the grasshoppers, have you tried free range chickens?

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