Limescale in canner
I made your V-8 type juice yesterday and it smelled heavenly! However, I had to use a large kettle that I sometimes use for waterbathing to heat all the juice in to 190 degrees. This kettle had limescale on the bottom, but imagine my surprise when it was all gone when I scooped out the last of the juice! I should have anticipated this, but my question is, is my juice ok or has the ph been compromised by this? I was careful to add the lemon juice to each jar as directed.
I’d imagine that your juice is just fine. The extra lemon juice generally covers such problems. Now you know how to clean your pot! (Vinegar is cheaper and works well, too.) — Jackie
Raccoons in the corn patch
Corn and raccoons…This is our first year growing sweet corn and in one night, the raccoons took out a third of it. The remainder is not ready to pick (small, hard kernels) so we are at risk for losing more. We do not have a dog to turn out into the patch. There are some pretty wild ideas out there for protecting against raccoons. Do you have tried and true suggestions or should I just double the patch next year and share.
You can try putting a radio out in your garden with a talk-station on. That sometimes works. But the only thing that really works is to fence the corn patch. This is one place I like electric fencing. If you run electric fence wire all around the corn patch, (mow the fence line first), keeping your bottom row about 6 inches from the ground, then repeating with 4 more rows, 6 inches apart, Mr. Coon will stay away. You’ll have to check the fence every morning for a few days as there could be spots that were compromised by shocked coons. But after a day or two, you should have no more trouble. If you double your patch next year, more coons will just show up to “share” with you. For a permanent anti-coon system, I advise steel T-posts with 2×4-inch welded wire around the patch with a stand-off electric wire at 6 inches, then at 12 inches. This nearly always keeps the raccoons away. They DO love ripe sweet corn! — Jackie