Canning meat plus how to use your canned meat

By Jackie Clay-Atkinson

Although we have a big freezer, I can up most of our meat. We raise beef cattle, turkeys, chickens, and we hunt, so we have a lot of meat. (Besides that, I am always on the lookout for sale prices on various meats from ham to whole boneless pork loin.) Why the heck do I bother canning it when I have a freezer, plus three upper freezer units in our propane refrigerators? Well, many years ago my fairly new chest freezer suddenly quit working for no apparent reason. It left me the huge job of canning up pounds and pounds of meat before it thawed completely and went bad plus (it seemed like!) tons of vegetables and fruit.

Things went well the first day. And night. But by the second day I was getting tired, racing to save our much-needed food. At that time I had eight kids at home and not a whole lot of income. By covering the chest freezer’s top with heavy quilts and only opening it to yank out a new box of half frozen food, I managed three days and nights of canning. But by the fourth day I was exhausted and the food was getting past prime. We carried out buckets of soggy vegetables and fruit to the pigs and chickens. But I had saved nearly all of the meat. It took me a week to recover and I swore that would never happen again. So I started canning my meat. Once it is well sealed and in the jars, that meat is good for decades. No more worries about freezer burned food, power outages, or defunct freezers for me!

Venison canned in chunks and ground

Another advantage is that canned meat is very tender, tasty, and handy. You don’t have to plan your meals around the freezer. If you decide on having a roast beef dinner, you just head to the pantry and pull out a quart or two of beef roast, some potatoes, onions, and carrots or other vegetables, dump them in a covered roasting pan and turn on the oven. In short order you have your dinner, fit for surprise company or your family who has been working hard all day. So easy!

And, best of all, canning meat is very simple. You just need your basic canning equipment and supplies: canning jars, lids, rings, a pressure canner, lid lifter, jar lifter, and canning funnel. Don’t forget, most important of all, your canning book! Even though I’ve been canning all my life, I look at the recipes and instructions every time I can anything.

Luckily, nearly all meat with the exception of fish and seafood is canned about the same way so, in order to save space here, I’ll just give you some general directions on canning meat so you’ll get the hang of it and see for yourself just how easy it really is.

No matter what anyone says, you must…

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EPIC, Coalition Urge Spotify to Abandon Speech-Recognition Technology

EPIC, Coalition Urge Spotify to Abandon Speech-Recognition Technology

In a letter to Spotify, EPIC and a coalition of over 100 recording artists, 69 non-profit organizations, and 10 prominent individuals urged the streaming service to publicly commit not to explore a newly-patented voice-recognition feature. Spotify’s new patent would allow the company to identify individuals’ “emotional state, gender, age, or accent” to recommend music. The coalition letter identified major concerns with the potential technology including emotional manipulation, discrimination, massive privacy violations, and increased inequality within the music industry. Spotify recently stated that the company has not implemented the technology, and claims to have “no plans” to do so. EPIC leads a campaign to Ban Face Surveillance and through the Public Voice Coalition gathered support from over 100 organizations and experts from more than 30 countries.

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How High Can a Goat Jump and Can They Jump a Fence?

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As I’m researching goats for my homestead, I’m constantly hearing goat owners talk about how their goats keep jumping the fence. To me, it seems like a lot of work to go herd them back in so often. So, is this really a thing? Can goats jump fences?

You may be surprised to hear that a goat can jump 5 feet high and an average fence is only 4 feet high. In your mind, you might be envisioning goats leaping over fences effortlessly. However, this isn’t the case as their front legs are weaker than their back legs and they often need assistance from humans in order to make such acrobatic displays of athleticism possible.

It is important to know how likely your goats are to jump a fence. You should also consider what their jumping ability and distance are, as well as if there is a way to stop them from jumping the fence in the future.

Can a Goat Jump a 4-Foot Fence?

A 4-foot fence is great for housing sheep, alpacas and other smaller livestock but it’s not ideal for some goats.

Some goats are able to easily jump fences that stand at 4ft. This is especially true for pygmy or dwarf breeds of goat, who will often use other animals and structures as a ladder in order to get higher. Ensure you check your fence line regularly because these little creatures can be very sneaky!

Goats come in various breeds and heights so the ability to jump a 4-foot fence varies depending on its lineage or what it has been fed for most of its life. This makes sense when you think about how many factors can affect their weight: genetics, diet regimen during growth periods like weaning time in terms of food type and quantity as well as snacks they have had some access too throughout childhood will all be playing an active role in determining just how high up off the ground that animal could go with ease if given enough room at hand—or hoof?

Since smaller goat breeds are a popular choice, many homesteaders have to invest in better fencing and measures to keep them in. Larger goats weighing a couple hundred pounds will naturally not be able to jump as high, but can do more damage to the fence due to their heavier weight.

How High Can a Goat Jump?

Pygmy and Nigerian dwarf goats are two of the most agile breeds in all of goat-dom, to say the least. Their tiny frames make them light on their feet while also allowing for fast climbing! You won’t be able to keep these little guys penned up too well though; so it’s important you have a proper fence with an adequate height that’ll stop any pesky jumping off from happening.

Some homesteaders say that it’s very easy for them to hop over a 5-foot fence, while others say theirs can even jump higher than this! There are many different…

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Benefits of Dogs on Your Farm

Besides being man’s best friend, dogs continue to prove to be reliable protectors, herders and guiders. Farmers have many responsibilities day-to-day, and in times where extra farmhands aren’t available, a dog is your next best companion and helper.

Dogs are integral members of farms. Almost any dog breed or mutt can be trained to assist you on the farm, whether it’s through herding livestock, warding off predators or just being there to keep you company on longer days.

If you’re considering adding a dog — or a few — to help with your agricultural needs, read through these benefits of dogs on your farm.

1. Livestock Herder

The major benefits of having a dog on the farm come when you’re able to put the dog to work. Dogs are bred for specific purposes, and you can train almost any dog to work on a farm. However, certain breeds like collies and shepherds work better as herding dogs. Whether you primarily work with livestock or have a small herd of cattle, a dog can significantly help you by herding them.

The livestock herding dogs have a specific purpose — to round up and move large livestock numbers safely and effectively at the command of your voice. Although it takes a lot of training, herding dogs can move cattle with swift movements and eye contact. This makes your job a lot easier and only requires a little bit of movement and vocal or hand commands for your dog.

2. Reliable Companion

The number one reason why people get dogs is to have a reliable companion. Farmers choose to have dogs for the same reason. Those who work in agriculture full time don’t get to leave their farms much because of all of the tasks and responsibilities of having a farm.

You might just want a dog to love, and a dog will love you back. Many studies have shown that dogs make people happier, less stressed, and more productive, all of which are positive perks on a farm. Plus, they benefit physical health because of their need for exercise.

3. Protector from Predators

Some farmers complete their chores late at night, so having a guard dog will protect you from night predators. Dogs will alert potential danger by barking. They have a keen sense of sight, smell, and hearing and can sense a threat before you can.

A dog can protect both you and your livestock, so it’s worth it to have a dog on a farm for protection alone. Besides protecting your farm from dangerous animals, a dog can alert you of potential intruders or even criminals on the run.

4. Pest Controller

There’s no need to use a chemical pest controller when you have a dog on your farm. Terrier breeds are suited specifically to chase away pests and vermin. Mice and rats have a habit of getting into feed, so you want something that will frighten them away.

Vermin carry harmful diseases and…

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Can I Use Plastic Bottles For Canning?-Home canning guide

Plastic bottles for canning

Today, home canning has become more widespread than ever. Home canning is a technique used to preserve food so that it lasts longer without losing its taste and nutrition. Home canning can be beneficial and timesaving, but it may cause severe complications if not performed the right way. In this blog post, you’ll get to know whether to use plastic bottles for canning.  Keep diving and learning! 

Further Reading: The Rules You Should Know

Can we use Plastic Bottles for Canning?

NoYou cannot use a plastic bottle for canning. To understand the reason, one must comprehend the mechanism of canning.

Canning involves keeping food in airtight containers, mostly jars, heating the containers at a sufficiently high temperature to kill all the germs in the food, and then closing the airtight jar’s lid. It creates a semi-vacuum as air cannot enter or exit the container. Bacteria need oxygen gas for their activity, which is not available in the container, and the pre-existing bacteria have been wiped off. As a result, bacteria can not develop in the food. In this way, we can preserve food without a refrigerator.

Now, coming back to the question, can we use plastic bottles for home canning? As mentioned above, we cannot use plastic bottles for this purpose. Following are some reasons:-

1. No Vacuum:

Photo by CDC on Unsplash

We cannot create a vacuum in an ordinary plastic bottle. As a result, bacteria can grow in the food and spoil it.

2. Low Melting Point:

Companies don’t make most plastic bottles for home canning. Home canning needs extensive heating. There is always a risk factor that the bottle may melt or become soft. It can ruin the food.

3. Loose Lid:

Even if a plastic bottle has an airtight lid, chances are there that lid might become loose because of heat and other environmental conditions. It is always advisable to use a glass jar.

Complications of Adopting Wrong Home Canning Methods

Photo Credits: Living On the Cheap

  • Do not opt for cheaper options like using plastic bottles for home canning. If your home canning fails, it leads to botulism. Botulism is a lethal disease caused by the bacteria Clostridium botulinum. 
  • Food spoils unevenly faster that ultimately causes wastage of food.

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Houseboating in Wine and Water Country

Lake Berryessa, only 45 minutes away from beautiful Napa Valley wine country is the largest body of freshwater in Napa County, sprawling 23 miles long and plunging 275 feet deep.

Stop and smell the grapes in nearby Napa at one of the several wineries that line the Silverado Trail and Highway 29. Or play a round of golf at the Chardonnay Golf Club which consists of three different 9-hole golf courses rolling over 150 acres of breathtaking landscape. Weather is pleasant in the Spring ranging from the 70’s-80’s and heats up to around 96 degrees in July, making every season enjoyable. 

Glory Hole, near the Monticello Dam, is a sight that is not to be missed as it is the largest morning glory spillway in the world narrowing from 28 feet to 72 feet in diameter and drops a mindblowing 200 feet. In high water it spills into the funnel rather than over the dam, and exits on the south side of the dam. It cannot be approached by boat or swimmers for obvious dangers, but it can be accessed from the top of the Monticello Dam parking lot. You can also hike to the Spillway Overlook on the Stebbins Cold Canyon trail, a 5.1 mile fairly difficult adventure. Another great trail is called the Putah Creek Arm at the northwestern end of the lake. Take the “Pope to Putah” rail which leads to a ridge on the western side. A fairly new trail, this moderate hike has about 1,000 feet elevation gain and can require caution due to steep areas that can be slick after rain.

Wanting a bit more freedom? Take your kayak or paddleboard to the open…

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Caring for your chickens in winter

By Jackie Clay-Atkinson

As winter approaches, we all are thinking of ways to make our livestock and poultry as comfortable as possible when the cold weather hits. Visions of blowing and drifting snow swirl in the backs of our minds. But even in the coldest areas of the country, our chickens can remain comfortable and happy even when blizzards rage outside and the temperature drops.

Because I’ve lived most of my life in northern climates and have always had chickens, I’ve learned a lot about keeping them safe and contented during winter months. Let me say, it is amazing how much chickens enjoy going outside on sunny days, even in the middle of a sub-zero winter. Just like the chickadees in the pines, our hens sunbathe against the south wall of their coop, singing and cackling happily just like it was summer.

But they do have a few needs that should be met to keep them healthy.

Our chickens happily sunbathe outside even when it’s sub-zero.

We like bedding chickens with wood shavings. It insulates the ground and is easy to clean out come spring.


In extreme northern, cold climates, it’s best to provide the chickens with an insulated coop. It need not be fancy but adding a few inches of foam board insulation to the walls and ceiling of the coop really helps keep the birds warmer, especially when icy winter winds blow. This insulation does need to be covered with something such as plywood, OSB, or boards as chickens will pick and eat this insulation. It really isn’t good for them, and having big, gaping holes in the insulated walls does nothing to keep the chickens warm.

Or, like a house, you can use fiberglass insulation between the wall studs and rafters. But, again, you do need to cover it with siding or the birds will peck and pull it apart. Besides, it becomes a great attraction to nesting mice.


Do make sure the coop has ventilation, however. You do not want to create an airtight building because moisture buildup, due to breathing and manure, can create respiratory problems such as pneumonia and disease. A simple crack on the down-wind side of the coop which can be covered with a flip down board in storms is adequate.

A south-facing window will not only let in the sun’s warmth during the winter but also light to keep those girls happy and singing all winter long.

Yes, chickens can and do live happily in uninsulated coops but breeds with combs will sometimes have their combs frozen during cold spells. The combs will swell and darken and finally fall off. It doesn’t seem to bother the chickens but I don’t like to see that happen. Having breeds with rose combs, which lay tighter to the head, will prevent this as will having an insulated coop.

The roosts are best constructed of round poles, about an inch and…

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Controlling All Money Is Necessary in Order for the Ruling Class to Dominate the World

By: Gary D. Barnett

“The Federal Reserve System is not Federal; it has no reserves; and it is not a system at all, but rather, a criminal syndicate.”

~ Eustace Mullins

Money has been said to be the root of all evil, but that is not exactly correct. The root of all evil lies in the hearts of men, and those that control the money and monetary systems are able to control humanity, and in the process create and perpetuate evil. Money itself is like any other useful tool or commodity in that it allows for trade, commerce, and wealth to prosper. Money is normally only used for evil and immoral purposes when rulers and governments, state criminals in other words, gain a monopoly on the issuance, taxation, and control of it, and use it to control others. This cannot happen in a truly free society, but then, free societies no longer exist.

When men succumb to criminal behavior in order to gain illegal wealth, whether in the private or ‘public’ sector, it is a felonious act, but when the most powerful seek to gain control over the entire monetary system, it is for the purpose of gaining total control over entire populations. This is what is happening now in this fake Covid fraud, which is leading to a reset and complete restructuring of all monetary systems. Make no mistake about it; this is about power and control, and it should be understood that without control over the money, control over the people is not possible. That is why this effort to digitize every transaction, eliminate cash, manipulate and possibly seize precious metals, and to control and regulate all crypto currencies, is so vital to the powerful criminal syndicate called the ruling class, and so devastating to the rest of society.

This all began with the Federal Reserve System, which has been a criminal organization since its inception, but has grown into something much worse. This private operation, its central banking partners, and the fractional reserve system, have caused all of the recessions, depressions, ups and downs, and extreme volatility in this country and beyond since the early part of the 20th century. This is a world banking system, and has become the head of the snake of world monetary policy. The U.S. government and governments around the world are now controlled by what has become a global banking cartel with the goal of global domination. In addition, governments that are controlled, the large fascist corporate sectors, including technology, medical and pharmaceutical, and world health organizations, all work together as partners in crime.

It is no secret that this crime syndicate called the central banking system, is actively pursuing a grand agenda of monetary consolidation never before seen in history, and with every part of government and its large corporate allies participating in this takeover, this is obviously a major attempt to finalize this coup in order to reshape the world so that all control will be held by the few…

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Goats or Sheep for Homestead? Here’s How to Choose

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Choosing the right live stock is one of the first steps of creating a proper homestead. Choosing between goats and sheep can be most confusing as their differences might not be that apparent to inexperienced eyes.  So, if you are struggling to choosebetweengoats or sheep for homestead then this article may give you some closure. 

If you have to choose just one, goats are the better option for your homestead. Sheep and goats are both important assets to have on any homestead, but the choice between them often depends upon your preferences. Sheep can be difficult work with at times because they tend to be flighty creatures who don’t like being held or touched by humans; this isn’t such a problem for farmers that simply want wool from their flock. Goats, as intelligent animals, will require more of an effort when it comes to training them than sheep do – however in return you’ll receive meat (sometimes), milk production if bred correctly during mating season has passed, mohair which is valuable textile fiber used for making fabric** and other textiles****.

If you want to make an informed decision, you can find more details if you just keep reading.

Goats vs. Sheep – Which Is Better for Homesteading?

Whichever option you choose, it’s going to benefit you ultimately. But it also depends on the facilities you have at your homestead and the efforts you’re willing to invest. 

Sheep are perfect for small homesteads in the rural area. They’re straightforward to deal with besides being smart and intelligent. Moreover, they suffer from fewer illnesses compared to goats. They’re relatively more docile than goats, who happen to be the king of troublemakers. 

Besides, sheep will always eat grass as they are grazers. Goats will also turn to grass, but not with the consistency of sheep. They will also prefer to eat shrubs, twigs, and other leafy greens. You won’t be successful trying to keep them off of anything in their line of sight. Fortunately, that also includes weeds!

Sheep, on the other hand, will mostly eat grass except for areas on which they relieve themselves. 

You will hardly find a day without commotion with goats around. They make incredible companions and care a lot for their owners. However, they are a master of the art of escaping and try to jump over your fence. So, you’ll also have to keep fencing costs in mind if you choose to get goats for your homestead. 

With sheep you have to keep their wool sheered in the summer to keep them from overheating. But goats can’t stand wet places, so you’ll need special shelters for these animals too. Sheep are typically scared of new people and environments, due to this fact they don’t like being held or restrained either.

So, you’ll find better comfort in handling goats in this situation. That includes vaccination, deworming, and trimming the nails. Plus, the dairy products and meat of goats are healthy and have a lot…

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Sustainable on-Farm Storage Systems

On-farm storage systems hold the grains, fruits and vegetables farmers work tirelessly to satisfy consumers’ demands. However, they have exceeded the yields for grain and corn these past few years, and current storage options have not been able to keep up.

This has caused tons of produce and animal feed to rot. The food industry already contributes a considerable amount of waste to landfills that has accelerated climate change, and this adds to it  Food waste is a massive problem in the United States, so farmers are seeking other ways to store what they harvest in an environmentally friendly way.

Here are some sustainable on-farm storage systems that save food from being wasted and limit energy use.

Grain Drums

Grain drums made from steel are one of the most sustainable on-farm storage options. Steel is a highly durable material that can withstand any weather and keep moisture out of the grains. Additionally, they are often made of recycled materials.

Steel drums can be built to take up space vertically rather than horizontally, which saves you real estate that can be used for more planting or livestock pastures. They can store grain for a long time, so it won’t spoil and go to waste as quickly as it would in plastic drums or containers.

Investing in a steel drum will provide you with years of use. If it breaks, you can fix it rather than have the entire structure replaced. Also, having on-site storage allows for continued harvest, which reduces the amount of grain that goes to waste from harvesting too late.

Solar Dryers

Farms have benefitted from solar energy for some time now. Farmers install solar panels to save money on electricity for their farms, and this power can also be used to improve storage systems.

Rather than letting the air and sun dry fruits and vegetables, dryers filter the harmful ultraviolet rays that can damage produce and reduce nutritional value. Additionally, the process is sped up because the dryer’s temperature is much higher than what’s outside.

Solar energy is free and can be reused repeatedly by farmers, and the dryers allow them to produce more fruits and vegetables. The dryers only hold crops for a short period to let them completely dry. However, less food goes to waste this way, making it a sustainable option.

Root Cellars

This sustainable on-farm storage system keeps root vegetables fresh. It’s an old farming practice that aligns with modern sustainability. Root cellars keep produce at a lower temperature and away from the shade to prevent spoiling. They use the earth’s natural temperature below the ground, so there’s no need for electricity.

Additionally, root cellars don’t take up much space because they are built either below the ground or on the side of a hill. No above-ground structures take up valuable farmland. These would be great for farmers who grow smaller crops or produce for a local community rather than large-scale operations.

Before creating a root cellar, consider…

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