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Ask Jackie headline

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Jackie Clay answers questions for BHM Subscribers & Customers
on any aspect of low-tech, self-reliant living.

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Jackie Clay

Q and A: Ladyhawk and Crystal, feeding raw potatoes to pigs, and Clear Jel

Friday, November 16th, 2012

Ladyhawk and Crystal

You are an inspiration. I really enjoy your work and have learned a lot. My question is a personal one about your animals, if that is ok? How did Ladyhawk the Fresian and your little roan burro turn out? I was reading an old “Ask Jackie” that had pictures of them and I got to wondering how they grew up!

Ralph Armstrong
Marana, Arizona

They grew up very well! Ladyhawk now stands 17 hands and is a beautiful big girl. Nothing scares her. You can shoot right underneath her chin and she doesn’t flinch. I haven’t had time to train her yet, but that won’t be much of a job. I’ve already sat on her back. Our baby burro, Crystal, is never going to be a big girl. She was a twin and has stayed on the smaller side. But she’s a sweetheart and still would rather do nothing but give hugs and beg attention. I want to train her to drive and hope to find an old governess cart to drive her on some day. That would be so cute! I’ll try to get a couple of pictures to put on the blog. — Jackie

Feeding raw potatoes to pigs

I have been told not to feed raw potatoes to pigs. I don’t understand, do they poison the pigs or what?

Cleo Tebow
Glacier View, Alaska

The reason you don’t feed large quantities of raw potatoes to pigs is that they aren’t palatable to them. Both pigs and chickens prefer (and eat more) potatoes when they are cooked. No, they aren’t poisonous to them. We feed a few cull potatoes and peelings to them all the time. They’ll eat these up but don’t like to eat pounds of them, uncooked. — Jackie

Clear Jel

I cannot find Clear Jel anywhere and we live in between two or three Amish settlements. The only thing I can find is a Fruit Pectin mix. They said it is very close to the same thing. Is it and if so how much do I use to make apple pie filling to can?

Nancy Foster
Dallas City, Illinois

I don’t know about their Fruit Pectin. Clear Jel is a refined corn starch but as far as I know the Fruit Pectin mix is pectin for setting jams and jellies…not the same thing. You can buy bulk Clear Jel from, Bulk Nuts 4, and Barry Farm Foods. I think Barry has the best pricing. I’m surprised you can’t find it at local stores as it is a commonly used item among the Amish (and us canners!). — Jackie

6 Responses to “Q and A: Ladyhawk and Crystal, feeding raw potatoes to pigs, and Clear Jel”

  1. Glenda Says:

    I purchased Clear Jel through this past summer. Victorio Clear Jel is $7.04 for 1 lb with free shipping if you are a Prime member.
    Amazon, also, stocks and ships Barry Farm Clear Jel.
    Hope this helps.

  2. Nancy Says:

    thank you very much! I ended up not being able to do my apple pie filling because of not being able to find the “right stuff”. Will get it off the internet I guess.

  3. Nancy Says:

    I have a 6 foot plus tall son who has an on the small side arab gelding. He looks like a grasshopper on him. Would love to get a Fresian for him and I would like one and I am only 5 foot tall.
    But I have a barn full and do not need any more horses.

  4. Anita Says:

    I too looked high & low for Clear Jel at all my local stores and no luck! The only place to find it is on the Internet. Since I was ready to can apples right then I just canned them without and when I make appple pie I will add the thickening then.

  5. Shannan Says:

    Jackie, you and your readers are the only ones I know to ask. Is there somewhere to find Clear Jel recipes? I have both regular and instant and neither came with any hint of how to use it. Thank you

  6. jackie clay Says:


    My book, GROWING AND CANNING YOUR OWN FOOD, has recipes using Clear Jel for apple and blueberry pie filling. Type Clear Jel recipes into your browser and you’ll also find many recipes and instructions on several sites.


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