The vegetables in the garden were a little slow ripening this year because of the weather, but they all came on like gangbusters. Right in the middle of all this canning, I missed the bottom step on the basement stairs and fell. My right elbow smashed a gallon jar full of dry macaroni shells and I cut the tar out of my elbow. Seventeen stitches later, I kept on canning corn and trying to bale hay. The corn went fine … baling hay hurt like hell. But the hay’s all finished (and without rain, may I add). Of course, we’re in severe drought now, so it made haying easier. Luckily, the hay was good this year because of earlier rains.

And Will was slowed down for two weeks. Seems like he had a bladder infection. At first we figured it was the flu. After starting on antibiotics, he’s much better. But he was one sick puppy for a while. And it made him mad because he wanted to keep working on the barn. But now he’s better and yesterday he started nailing down rafters again. And today, he’s more than half finished. You can’t keep a good homesteader down — for long anyway!

I’ve managed to can up tons and tons of sweet corn, corn with carrots, corn with peppers, and corn with peas. The corn’s starting to get overripe, so I’m letting that go on to dry to make cornmeal with. I’ve never had better corn with huge cobs. It liked the heat this year! Now I’m on to tomatoes. Yesterday I canned salsa and made tomato puree, which is in the oven cooking down. So today I’ll be canning tomato sauce. Boy, the kitchen sure smells great at canning time.


  1. Corn Cob Jelly: I know lots of people make corncob jelly, but I found a recipe for corncob syrup in an Amish cookbook published by Gramercy Books.
    You boil 6 corncobs for an hour in 3 quarts of water, Strain the juice, add 3 lbs of brown sugar and enough water to make 3 quarts. Boil to the consistency of maple syrup. There weren’t any canning instructions with this recipe. I’ve thought of trying this and adding a teaspoon or two of vanilla, as my family really likes that flavoring. The recipe didn’t say fresh or dry cobs, just washed cobs. We have plenty of cobs at harvest time to try this recipe out.

  2. So sorry to hear of the fall and infection. We feel your pain. My husband had shoulder surgery and I have been hit by kidney stones. Almost 1 a day. It has prevented us from getting in wood and canning much. We hope we can recover in the next couple of weeks to salvage the end of the season. Glad your hay was put up in time and I am jealous of all the canned corn. We were lucky to get 12 ears this year. (We will plant alot more next year). Keep up the great work and blogs. I hang on every word!

    Danielle in Michigan

  3. Thanks Jackie!

    I have been using plain popcorn to grind with our Whisper Mill to make cornmeal. This year I decided to try and dry it myself since we had some given to us. I can’t wait to try cornmeal made from it.


  4. Laura,

    We let our corn mature and dry on the stalk. Then bring it in and husk it. When it is very dry, you can rub one ear against the other and the corn pops off the cob into a large bowl. Then we grind it with a grain mill. Sweet corn makes very good cornmeal.


  5. Pratical Parsimony,

    Well, our inverter had buzzed off and the house was dark in the morning. If I go down and snap it off, then on, the solar panels have charged our batteries enough to go again. I was lazy and didn’t want to go back for the flashlight so I used my cell phone as a light, holding it down by my knees. I thought I was on the floor, but was on the second step up. When I realized my mistake, I was “flying” through the air, trying to get my balance. I had a gallon glass jar on the floor, next to the basement wall, which my elbow smacked. You can bet I don’t have any more glass jars by the stairs any more and I’ll go back for the flashlight in the future. Too soon old, too late smart, as my Dad used to quote. The arm’s a lot better and I get stitches out tomorrow. It healed great! It must be all that fresh air!


  6. So sorry to hear about your fall, and yes, watch that elbow that it doesn’t get infected! Wondered why I hadn’t seen your post, from now on I will start praying. Maybe once the barn is finished y’all can start slowing down a bit and you can enjoy the fruits of your labor. You have accomplished so much in such a short time on your homestead!

  7. Hope you both are feeling better, It is a bummer hurting yourself and Will getting sick. Cranberry pills help better then any other medication. I take them at the first sign of trouble.
    Your corn looks wonderfull.

  8. Jackie,

    How are you drying your corn for corn meal?

    If you are leaving it on the cob to air dry, how do you get it off once dry?

    I know that probably is a no brainer but I hung corn to dry (shucked all the way, tied around the shucks, then hung. Now I’m wondering how to get it off the cob. It should be good and dry now.

  9. Dumbwaiter was my first thought. So, how did you cut yourself? Fall on the jar? I am so envious of your canning picture. I am not capable of canning that much right now. A back operation stands between me and my canner!

  10. Sending blessings and healing your way–knew something was up when we didn’t hear from you for a few days. What wonderful bounty! You are truly blessed.

  11. So sorry about Your fall and Wills illness glad your both on the mend, wish I could have been there to help you out. Your bounty looks fantastic and will taste good this winter.

  12. glad you and will are on the road to getting are right you can’t keep a good homesteader’re jars of corn are a beautiful sight.we were also blessed with a very good crop this year. it is very satisifying and relaxing to see all those jars of food and know exactly what is in them. take care of yourself and happy canning.

  13. OUCH! Doesn’t it always seem things like this happen at the worst possible time! We don’t heal as quickly as we used to either. Take care of yourself and thank you so much for sharing your adventures with us!

  14. So glad to hear your accident was not could have been. I have missed the bottom step a few times myself and was forced to add those non slip strips to the edge of the steps and then put a rubber type mat at the bottom. Then I had to clear an area around the mat. I would like a railing to hang on to if I fall again, but it is on a list. Take care of yourselves. Thanks for sharing the good and the unforeseen.

  15. wrap that elbow up good when you are out–Will, all this hot weather requires much more of fluid intake, even if you don’t feel thirsty, drink lots when you are working in this heat. Jackie, you too, we all love you both so

  16. I’ll add my wishes for a speedy recovery to all the previous notes! take care and yes, we are not as young and spry as we used to be….and think we still are! again, take care.

  17. Pat and Candace,

    A dumbwaiter wouldn’t have helped; I was not carrying anything when I fell. Luckily! I have thought about it though for carrying jars down. So far, I only do a few at a time, very carefully.


  18. I am so sorry to hear of your fall. It is bad enough to fall but to get such a nasty cut makes it so much worse. My hubby has had that happen to him twice in the back hall of our church. He didn’t bother to turn the stair light on in a dark stairwell and missed the step at the bottom. I solved the problem by putting a light colored throw rug at the bottom of the stairs so there was a contrasting color to mark the bottom of the steps. Of course, turning on the light first might have prevented those falls, but he is always in a hurry. Will pray for a quick healing for both of you.

  19. I’m glad we are all in the same boat from time to time. I haven’t done acrobats this years, but have in years past. Probiotics will help Will get more stablized with those antibiotics. Both of you take care. We all love you so much and you are our idols…… we are all genuinely concerned about you all.

  20. Wow Jackie…sorry for the injury…you are one tough bird! For Will’s bladder infection…nothing better than corn silk! :) Happy Harvesting

  21. sometime when we are doing so many things at once things like this happen slow done abit.Glad that Will is getting better That sure is beautiful corn ares did not do anything this year to hot and dry Take care of yourself Jackie

  22. Always the worst happens when you least expect it. Take care of the elbow and yes, consider a dumbwaiter. Even if you’re still going up and down the stairs, let the device carry the jars. And now you know to move the breakables out of harms way!

  23. So sorry to hear about your fall. Be careful you don’t get an infection. Have you ever thought of putting in a dumb waiter. I find my ballance isn’t as good as it used to be when I was younger.

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