We don’t want you to miss out!

Back Mighty Yoks t-shirt

A couple of months ago we made the choice to purchase our website domain name.  If you are like me, all you just heard was, blah, blah, blah.  I really don’t know about all of this website/social media stuff.  Only enough to know that it is a necessity and it confuses me.  I only know what I know,  from hands on,  good ol’ fashioned  figuring it out and the enormous help of my daughter at Chasestudioco.com  who not only has her own beautiful web site, but really studies and likes to learn the ins and outs of all of this blah, blah, blah stuff!

So for all of you who have enjoyed reading our blog, you used to see them here and get notification every time we posted.  And frankly, that is exciting for us to see that people are interested in what we are writing about;  our lives on our little first generation farm!  It did not occur to us until after the fact that all of you who have followed our blog in the past, now have wondered where we went and have not had a chance to catch up with us.

With that being said:  If you are still interested in life on our little farm, please check us out at www.MightyOaksFarmMaine.com

Some of what you see will look the same, some a little different.  But know that it is still us and we, our farm and our web site are still a work in progress!

Be blessed!  Staci


Common Farm Sayings: True or Not True?

We’ve all heard them and many have said them.  But are they all true and what do they actually mean if you are on a farm?  I can’t speak for every farmer, but I can give you some insight into the meanings at Mighty Oaks Farm.


“Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket.”


Eggs are one of those things;  when the hens are laying good, some times you are over run with them and you feel like there is a never ending supply.  But in reality, that time period is brief if you are supplying friends and customers with fresh eggs.  And there is nothing that will make a farm girl cry quicker than dropping and entire basket of eggs and having an entire days worth of work (for the hens) go down the drain.  AND…if you have a large flock like we do, putting all of your eggs in one basket, will often crack the ones on the bottom. (Putting them in your coat pocket is not really a great idea either.  Don’t ask how I know!)


“Don’t count your chickens before they hatch.”


So many things can happen to incubating eggs.  It doesn’t matter if they are under a hen or in an incubator.  They don’t always hatch.  So don’t be counting on something until actually happens.  You can eagerly await, you can be excited for, you can be hopeful of, but… know that farming is unpredictable and a learn as you go kind of thing.

Chicken no watermark

“Running around like a chicken with their head cut off.”


My parents and Uncle butchered chickens this way when I was a child.  It was one of those things;   “I don’t want to look.”  “But, I kind of want to look.” “That’s just freaky!”  There are a lot of nerves still in action when a chickens head is chopped off with a hatchet.  This process is old school and I suspect some people still do it this way.  It does the job.  (And I can assure you factory/industrial processing isn’t any more humane)  But the way we butcher chickens is less dramatic, we think it’s more humane, less stressful on the chicken and it protects the end product from getting bruised and battered, giving a much nicer whole chicken in the end.


“Establishing a pecking order.”


There is a pecking order.  Even as day old baby chicks, you can see the chicks jockeying for position within the flock.  The more dominant ones will peck at the lesser dominant ones letting them know who is above who in the order.  They even chest bump in a Sumo Wrestler style.  (It’s pretty comical to watch two, 2 inch tall chicks chest bump each other!) This continues on into adult chicken life, where the dominant hens will peck at the others to get them to stop fighting, the get them away from the food source, to get them out of “their spot” and sometimes I think they do it just to remind the lower ranks who is in charge.


“Mad as a wet hen.”


Chickens don’t really care for the rain much.  So if it is raining out, chances are good, they have found cover and will patiently wait until the rain stops to go venture out.  But in all our years of raising hens, we have never had a hen be “mad” because she is wet.  Or any other reason really.


“Pig pile.” 


Pigs do pile!  If there is more than one, they sleep stacked right next to each other, right on top of each other, what ever way is the most comfortable at the moment.  They are pretty deep sleepers and I am guessing this is a good thing for the poor pig that is on the bottom of the pile.  Even when they are not asleep, they are not really big on “personal space”.

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“Happier than a pig in &%@*.”


Pigs are actually very clean animals.  Probably the most clean farm animal of all that we raise.  If pigs are walking around or laying around in &%@* it is because they do not have enough room.  Pigs will actually choose one area to use as their bathroom.  I’m not sure if they all vote on it or how the “spot” is established, but they as a community pick the spot, and the spot is what they use.  (As a cruel joke, sometimes they pick the spot that is most convenient for you to walk into their area.  Apparently, they have a sense of humor too!)  They do however use mud and will even make mud out of their water and soil to keep cool in the summer.  That is not them being dirty…that is them being smart!


“Why pay for your milk if you can get it for free?”


I mean if the cow is giving it away, why would you go to the store and pay for it?  But let’s be real; not much in life is free.  Not even milk from a cow.


“Wait until the cows come home.”


I’m not really sure how to answer this one.  I mean, if we want the cows to come to us, we just call them, talk to them, start scratching one and they all come running.  We interact with our cows on a daily basis.  It is the quickest way we know of to keep tabs on them.  Do their eyes look good, their feet, their udders, their calves?  Is anyone ribby, scratched, etc. So although this saying implies that cows take their time grazing, etc, we can get our cows to come to us pretty quick.  It’s one of the benefits of a small family farm!

I know this isn’t all of them, but I hope this has cleared up the obvious issue of some farm sayings and their truth.  (You’ve all been wondering right?!)  🙂

Leave a comment with some that I may have forgotten and we will try to address those too!  Until then, stay healthy and be blessed!  – Staci and Jesse

Good Egg or Bad Egg

Who remembers in the movie “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory”,  the “Good Egg/Bad Egg Scale” ?  One of my favorite parts of the movie as a child.  And, most of our facebook friends know that I like to post the “Good Egg Award” every now and again to someone that I think is deserving.

But when it comes to farming, homesteading or back yard chicken raising, there is no Good Egg/Bad Egg Scale.  We are diligent in collecting our eggs daily, so we know that every egg we collect is a good egg.  If you are less diligent, you (if you have a rooster) could end up with partially developed eggs and even without a rooster, you can have old eggs that are just inferior or worse…ROTTEN!  Let me assure you, no one wants a rotten egg.

Aren’t they pretty?!

So what happens when you discover a hiding place?  A rebellious hens hiding place.  A place that one or more hens have decided is much better than the wonderfully built hen house and nesting boxes.

The hiding place.

egg bush

Well… you very carefully start to collect what is there making sure not to drop any! In this case a few were cracked and those I threw to the ground.  The wild turkeys, wild birds or our own rebellious hens will find them and take advantage of the free meal and nutritious protien.

Just like an Easter egg hunt only… NOT!

I brought all of the whole eggs into the house to do the only thing that I really know how to do to figure out if they are still good or not.  The Water Test.  Take a look at the video and you will see one way to tell if they are Good Eggs or Bad Eggs.

So there you have it.  Good Eggs all the way around! If you know a different way to check, please leave a comment.  We have found that the homesteading/farming community has some of the very best and willing teachers out there.  Thank you for sharing your knowledge!  And until next time, stay healthy and be blessed – the Farmers Wife



Are You On Government Aid?

Wow!  That’s a loaded, controversial, non-politically correct question.

But I’ll still ask it…..and then I’ll give you the answer.

YES!!  Yes, you are.  If you purchase your food at the grocery store, you are on government aid.  Meat, Veggies, Dairy, it doesn’t matter.  If it is at the grocery store (and not sourced from a local farmer as some grocery stores offer) you indeed are on government aid.

Part of what the farmer and I love so much about farming is the ability to learn through other people.  The local farming community is most generally very helpful, encouraging and willing to share their experiences with others in an effort to learn and grow.  We in turn like to pass along what knowledge we gain to our customers when we feel that it is of value.

So how about this….

How many times have you ever asked someone, thought about,  or heard someone else ask, “Why is your local meat, produce, etc, so expensive?”  “I can go to the store and get the same thing way cheaper.”

Or how about this one, “Let’s just get rid of all government aid!”

Now we all have our own personal experiences, thoughts, ideas and beliefs in regards to government aid, the price of food and any other topic under the sun.  But in regards to our food there are some realities that we just don’t often think about.


It cost to raise a pig, a cow, a chicken, a bushel of corn, a bag of wheat, a gallon of milk, a dozen eggs, a head of lettuce or a bag of apples what it cost.  If you are a small local farmer, you need to take your starting cost and add what ever feed, maintenance, manual labor, etc goes into it and base your price on that.  Let me tell you…any local produce farmer or livestock farmer is doing it because they love it and they want to help their customers be healthy, not because they are getting rich.  And if you get to know your local farmers you will see that this statement is true.


So why is it that Mighty Oaks Farm pork chops are for instance $6.50 per pound and you can get pork chops at the supermarket (last week) for $0.99 per pound?  Mighty Oaks Farm ground beef would be $7.00 per pound, but you can get ground beef at the supermarket for $2.99 per pound?  Mighty Oaks Farm bacon is $9.95 per pound and $1.99 at the supermarket?

We can ask the same questions, we just have to switch around our way of thinking to get the correct answer.  The question really needs to be, “Why is the food at the grocery store so cheap?” Government Aid.  Yes, it is the government subsidies that enable the big producers of food to keep the prices low.  In fact, many large food producers are paid more for growing/raising less food.  It’s a pretty messed up system.  The government so heavily regulates what the large farms (corporations) do, that they essentially own them.  Their buildings have to be a certain size, they have to produce so much (or not produce so much), they have to treat their produce or animals in heavily regulated ways and many of those ways, lead to disease, failed crops and yet, more government subsidies.  It is a vicious circle.


So the long and the short, please know, that your local farmer, is not trying to rob you.  They are not trying to price gouge, take advantage of you or make a killing.  They are truly in fact, trying to live a more healthy lifestyle and offer you the same opportunity.  It may not always look like that, but turn your way of thinking around and start asking questions from the other side.  Don’t take our word for it.  We encourage you to research, seek out your own information and make choices based on what you find to be true.  We encouraged you to be the healthiest you possibly can and make wise choices concerning who you support.   Healthier people, make healthier families, make healthier communities, make healthier states…Be the start to something good!

Be blessed and stay healthy –  the Farmer and the Farmers Wife

My Favorite, Fun, Entertaining & Homesteading You-Tube Channels

OK…I’ll let you in on a little secret.  I love, love, love learning all kinds of new things from other people.  I also absolutely love seeing other parts of this beautiful country and the way people live without leaving our home in Maine.  I have also found that there are some really funny and real people out there that are sharing their lives for the world to see.  Most of these people are trying to help support their families through You-tube.  So I thought, “Hey, I love watching these channels.”  “It doesn’t cost anything to watch.” “And…every-time someone new watches, subscribes or gives a thumbs up, these people some how make money.”  I don’t get how that works, but I say “Good for them!”

So if you find yourself looking to learn some more about homesteading, country living, large family living, etc, maybe some of these channels would be worth a look.  I’ll put the links up with a brief description of what I like the best about them.


The Happy Place Homestead

The Happy Place Homestead is the latest channel I have come across.  This family is new to homesteading and new to You-tubing.  But let me tell you that the father in this is a hoot!  And the mother…she is real.

canning peppers 008

Starry Hilder

Starry Hilder is just FUN! She has such an energetic personality and is full of joy.  She and her husband live an Off-Grid Lifestyle in the mountains and live a lifestyle I could absolutely see myself living.


Off Grid with Doug and Stacy

Doug and Stacy are will keep you laughing as they share what they do around their homestead to keep it running and keep themselves healthy.  Stacy is wealth of knowledge in nutrition and it is obvious that she is really passionate about sharing information with everyone that wants to listen.


Dirt Patch Heaven

Dirt Patch Heaven is a long time You-tuber.  She has some great content.  I personally like her older how-to videos better than more recent ones.  But they are worth the watch if you are interested in smale scale homesteading.

Mom new profile edit

The Fundemental Home

This family is fairly new to You-tubing and homesteading.  But it is pretty clear that they have been frugally living for quite some time.  If you have a large family, I would encourage you to check out her channel and see if there is something you can glean from them.

And speaking of BIG Families…

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Big Family Homestead

This diverse channel has such a diverse topics, there is sure to be something for everyone.  If you need a little boost of energy, just watch this guy for a minute.  He is engaging and his wife seems to be as sweet as pie.

So there you have it.  My list of favorite You-tube channels.  Just click on the blue titles to go to their channels.  If you watch any of them, please make sure you subscribe or give a thumbs up.  You truly are helping these families put groceries on their table and it is costing you nothing!

Have fun, stay healthy and be blessed! – Staci

The Sweet Smell Of…. Home Made Deodorant

One of the things I have been wanting to make for some time is deodorant. It is also one of those things where when one of us would run out, I didn’t have the time or the supplies to try it.  BUT…recently, the timing worked out.

The farmer and I are both concerned with the food choices we make and along with that, the products that we put on our body.  Our skin is the largest organ of our body and yet, many of us think nothing of smearing, spraying or rubbing in concoctions that are made up of all kinds of nasty chemicals.  Where do you suppose those chemicals end up?

So with that being said, we were recently dangerously close to the end of the deodorant tube, I decided now was the time.  I searched for a recipe for home made deodorant that has very few ingredients. That’s how I like to roll! If I find a recipe for something that has just a few ingredients, I can add more if I care too, or if not, just be happy with a simple and easy recipe.

If you are interested in giving home made deodorant a shot, I would encourage you to try this one.  It is simple, easy to make, most ingredients you may already have and the best part….IT WORKS!!

Imagine, using products that all say 100%!

If in the future you get all wild and crazy and want to try some more elaborate recipes, you will at least have the basics down.  Keep in mind this recipe is for Deodorant NOT Antiperspirant.


2 Tablespoons Baking Soda

6 Tablespoons Cornstarch

2-3 Tablespoons unrefined Coconut Oil

10-20 drops Essential Oil

10-20 drops Tea Tree Oil

1 empty, washed and dried deodorant container

Mix the two dry ingredients in a small bowl, warm your coconut oil (any way you like) until it is liquid or almost. Mix the coconut oil into the dry mixture.  Then add your drops of Tea Tree Oil and Essential Oil.  Mix well and then spoon into an old washed and dried deodorant tube* or use another container of your choice.  

***This recipe filled the old deodorant tube and there was some left over, so I put it in a jar and just use my fingers to apply. 

I skipped the Essential Oil because I wanted to experiment with just the basics.  I happen to like the scent of Tea Tree Oil and it does not make the farmer smell like a girl, so he is cool with it too!  In the future, just for fun, I will add some essential oil and see what I like best.

Take a look at the back of this old tube that I re-used.  If I were to make a label for our home made deodorant, there would be 4 natural ingredients listed and NO WARNINGS!

I will say, it is winter and today was actually the first warm day.  I can see that allowing your arm pits to perspire (like  is something that will take some getting used to.  (most of us are just accustomed to a dry – unhealthy pit)  But for us it is worth it!  Any little thing we can do to help our bodies function the way they should and be healthy is a good idea in our book.

If you are brave and try it out or if you have in the past; leave a note in the comment section.  We would love to hear your thoughts on home made deodorant and what your experiences were.  Until then – Be blessed, Staci

Every Animal Has A Purpose On The Farm – Livestock Guardian Dogs

The farmer and I decided a long time ago that if we were going to farm, that we couldn’t farm foolishly.  Now that doesn’t mean we haven’t made our fair share of mistakes.  Because we certainly have!  We like to learn by doing and some times that even means doing it the wrong way.

What we meant and agree’d upon was that any animal we had on the farm that we were spending our hard earned money to buy food for and care for, would need to have a purpose.  Of course, we had to grandfather in our at the time old black lab, Bull and our house cat.  (Don’t get the farmer going on the cat thing OK?)

Even the Livestock Guardian Dogs get to spend a little time inside the house.

So how did we justify getting another dog?  And not just one other dog….but two! Well, we really did have a need;  and a need that they have successfully filled.

belly dogs

We live in the country and the country has fox, coyotes, hawks, bear, possum, raccoon and an  abundance of other wild animals.  All of these animals are predators, meaning that they are enticed and intrigued by a meal of chicken, young turkeys and small pigs.  A pack of coyotes will even attempt a calf in the right situation.   We particularly had an abundance of coyotes and fox.  They killed our chickens and some times they even ate them.  But most of the time, they just killed them ate a little bit and then left it.  What a waste! And what a way to watch our investment of time and money go right out the window.

That’s where our Livestock Guardian Dogs (LGD’s) came into play.  As I started reading about how other farms protected their investments from predators, it was easy to see that the most successful deterrent was an LGD.  A Livestock Guardian Dog is a very complex creature.  It is not a Guard Dog, a Herding Dog, a Hunting Dog or a Sporting Dog.  It is a working dog and a very serious one at that!  


These are a few of the qualities of a LGD.

  1. They are loyal :  more so to their animals, then the owners, although they are wonderfully loving dogs to people.
  2. They think like no other and have a mind of their own. (Truly because what they do is instinctual and they truly know better then us in regards to predators.  No matter how smart we think we are)
  3. They have a memory like no ones business.
  4. They look like they are sleeping all of the time, but they are not.  They are most always awake and using senses other than sight.  (not kidding)
  5. They are gentle giants:  They are big, strong, fast and fearless.  They mean business when they are working, but they like nothing more than a good old belly rub when they are “off duty”.
  6. What ever terrain they can see, is theirs to protect.  (This can be a problem:  the further they go, the further they can see)

These are just a few of the qualities that a Livestock Guardian Dog has.  I’ll dive in a bit deeper into these qualities on separate blog posts. But for now, let me leave you with this.

Don’t get a Livestock Guardian Dog breed (yes, there are several breeds in this category) unless you have a job for them to do AND acreage.

Know that they WILL do their job.  You can’t stop them, it is instinctual.

Know that they are worth every amount of time, energy and money that you put into them as they will protect your livestock and flock investments.


If you truly desire to homestead or farm, we would encourage you to make sure every animal has a purpose before you buy or get it.  It is easy to fall into the “oh, it’s so cute!” trap and end up with a homestead full of animals you spend a lot of money on and give you nothing back.  Talk to others in your area in a similar living situation and see what the “need” really is as apposed to the “want”.  Be purposeful with your investments of time and money and make sure everything you do and everything you have, has a purpose.

Be blessed and remember;  if you are interested in Livestock Guardian Dogs, please “Follow” us on facebook so you don’t miss out on the next blog.  – Staci

3 Thieves In The Night

What would you do if in the middle of the night, someone came to your house to steal your stuff…your food?  What if they came and walked all around like your things were just entitled to them and took what ever they wanted?

Well with a string of burglaries recently in the area and the topic of gun control that plasters ever social site and news site, this is a topic the farmer and I find ourselves talking about fairly often.  What if?  Well…safe to say, we have always said if someone came to rob us in the middle of the night, they would soon find, that they picked the wrong house.  (use your imagination)

So what happened when we started seeing tracks in our yard?  Tracks in the snow, walking right up our driveway and right next to our house.  We investigated and kept a watchful eye, just like anyone else would do that was protecting their home, family and possessions.

Tracks in the snow

And then one morning in the early hours I saw them!  Actually, I only saw the boldest one at first.  I quietly alerted the farmer.  He was being caught in action and I didn’t want to take the chance that he would hear me and run.

As the farmer came down the stairs we looked back out to access the situation.  And out of the shadows of the woods I saw two more thieves! Three of them…all making their way right to our house.  Right in our yard!

So I did what any good farm wife would do.  I SHOT THEM! 

Thief #1

With the camera.  And here they are.  One by one, they made their way to our pigs area to eat from the grain bin.

Thief #2 and #3

OK.  These thieves got off easy.  And we actually will be blessed if we catch them in the act again.

The whole gang
Mug shot of #1

We are thankful that we have such issues out here in the country.  We wouldn’t have it any other way!

Be blessed – Staci

When Home Made Makes You Smile

By now, most people who read our blog or catch us on facebook  at Mighty Oaks Farm know how much we try and make as many of our consumables as possible.  In most cases, making your consumables yourself is healthier and in many cases cheaper, uh-hummm…more cost efficient.

One of the things that I make is Tooth Powder.  Tooth Powder is made with all natural ingredients, you can customize it to your taste (literally), it is inexpensive and you are not getting any fluoride or other harsh chemicals or additives that you would find in a normal tube of tooth paste.

It’s not pretty, but it makes you pretty!

Keep in mind.  Tooth Powder is a powder, not a paste.  Different texture completely.  This is one of the reasons many people like the powder.  Some people have very sensitive gag reflexes and have a difficult time with paste.  This may be a great alternative for them.

I have to say, that after using this tooth powder, the farmer and I have found two substantial benefits outside of the cost.

#1  Say good-by to halitosis aka….morning breath.

#2  Our teeth are whiter.

OK,  On number one, yes everyone has morning breath to some degree.  Just a fact of life.  But it didn’t take more than a day or two of using tooth powder for me to see a significant difference in my own mouth when I woke up in the morning.  I didn’t say anything at first because I thought is was just a fluke.  But after a while, I asked the farmer,  “Have you noticed that your breath is not as bad in the morning?” He said, “Actually, now that you mention it, yes!”

Whiter teeth….Now once again, because I stink at thinking ahead some times, I wish that I had thought to take a before picture so there would be some visual proof.  But, I did not.  I can tell you however, that our teeth are whiter (due to the activated charcoal that is in the tooth powder). Yes, your tooth powder is a pretty shade of gray when you are brushing.  But who cares if it works!

Our teeth are clean, our teeth are healthy, our breath is fresh.  I can’t really ask for more than that.  Tooth powder is super easy to make and if you want to test out a “home made” product, this would seriously be my recommendation for a great place to start.

No harsh chemicals here.  Just all natural goodness!

I’m sure that there are many, many different recipes out there.  This just happens to be the one that I use.  The ingredients are all either things you would have at home or easily found at a health food store or on line.

4 Tablespoons Bentonite Clay

2 Tablespoons Baking Soda

2 Tablespoons Calcium Powder

1 Teaspoon Salt (I recommend Real Salt, or some type of fine sea salt)

1/2 Teaspoon Activate Charcoal

15 to 20 drops of essential oil, your choice (cinnamon leaf, clove, peppermint or spearmint all work well, but whatever you want your mouth to taste like is what you use)

Use a spoon to stir it, not a toothbrush.  It just looks like that is what I’m doing here!

Mix it all together in a mason jar or container of your choice.  Make sure it has a lid so that you can give it a shake now and again.

This one batch will last quite some time.  HINT:  You can split it up into smaller jars and write names on the lid so everyone has their own if you would like.   If you decide to give it a try, leave a comment and let us know what you think.

And until then – be blessed, Staci

I mean who doesn’t want a super giant close up of their mouth to be shown to the world?!

Our Intimidating Beans.

I love learning how to do new things.  I like to figure things out hands on.  I’m not scared of failure.  If you fail at something who cares? You either learn some more and try again, or you say “the heck with that” and move on.  Well that’s what I do anyway!  BUT…when your new skill involves open flame, hot water, high pressure, scary directions and scary stories from well meaning people, some times your new skill can be intimidating.  Even if it is only beans.  (OK, there are all kinds of jokes running through my head right now.  But I’ll spare you and let you make up your own!)

My Great Aunt Eleanor’s bean pot.  I’m guessing 60+ years old.

One of the things on my list of “things to attempt” this year is canning with a pressure caner.  Although I have some experience with water bath canning, I have never owned or even witnessed someone using a pressure caner.  But I’ve heard stories! Scary stories!!  I’m kind of a fly by the seat of my pants kind of a girl. I don’t really like patterns, directions, instructions.  I don’t measure things when I cook, I substitute things.  You get where I’m going?  So to do something that you REALLY need to pay attention to and REALLY need to follow directions was a bit intimidating.  BUT…We did it!  (that’s right, the farmer and studied the directions, followed through and then stood in front of the stove for over an hour watching the little gauge and adjusting the heat underneath the pot together.  (Who needs date night when you can watch a pot of beans pressurize!)

The long and the short.  Now that we’ve used the pressure caner, it’s not scary any more.  We had ultimate success, with a couple of small failures.  I’ll point those out as I run through the pictures step by step.

Made some beans in the bean pot.  

Then I got out the canning jars, lids, rings, and other essential equipment and made sure that all were washed and ready to be used.  I then filled the jars with hot water in the sink so that the glass was ready to accept hot contents.


One by one, I put my jars next to the pot so that if I spilled them, I would only get one jar dirty, not all of them. (I learn by doing remember, use your imagination)  And with each jar, I used this great little funnel to help guide the contents in. 

The scary instructions said to make sure that there was 1 inch of space between the contents and the top of jar.  So, I measured just to be sure.  No one wants a glass jar of beans exploding everywhere because there was too much pressure and not enough room for expansion. 
I put 3 quarts of water in the bottom of the caner, per the instructions.  (It says to NEVER run out of water in the caner.  But you can’t open the caner during the process, so how are you to know.  SCARY!!) Put the little rack thing in the bottom and then placed my jars on top with the lids and rings just hand snugged, not too tight. 
Then again, followed the very scary instructions and did our best to keep the pressure at 10 pounds for 1 hour and 20 minutes.  Apparently going over 10 pounds is OK.  But going under 10 pounds….Very Bad Things Can Happen! (that’s what the very scary instructions say anyhow) 
After the pressure had released and it was safe to take off the cover, I removed the jars and set them on a towel on the counter.  This is where one failure comes in.  Even though I washed the caner before using, as you can see, there is some really gross film on the outside of the jars.  Nasty! So although, it didn’t effect the food inside, I learned that I should have done a better job of washing the brand new caner.  
Of course as I was washing that “stuff” off the jars. (which came off easily with warm water) I noticed another failure.  Some of the jars did not have enough liquid in them and the beans are exposed.  Apparently all this means is that the ones exposed will change color and be dry.  But they are perfectly fine to eat and not harmful in anyway.  Whew!!  OK, note to e self; next time put more liquid in the jars.   


And lastly, I did label the jars with the contents and date.  Because no matter how good I think my memory is. (Oh trust me it’s good.  Just ask the farmer.  wink, wink)  Some time in the future I will say to myself, “those are clearly beans, but when did I can those things?” And…I took off the rings and will store them without.  The jars stack better, they are not necessary and in fact some say that they should not be stored with them on as they can hold moisture in the bands and cause mold or rust.  Some days though, I let my rebellious nature win and I leave them on!!

So there you have it!  Success with the all intimidating bean!  Moral of the story:  Just go for it. You may find that the intimating thing you keep putting off, becomes a fun and easy thing for you to do.   In fact, I’m thinking about changing my title from Farmers Wife to Bean Queen.  😉

Be blessed  -Staci