Ok, so we haven’t been canning raccoons around here (yet), but we have been doing some major canning…and we’ve trapped yet another raccoon.
I’ll start with the fun stuff – the raccoons. We started trapping these little bandits back in the spring when we were getting ready to plant the garden and when we knew we would be getting chickens (if you didn’t know, they love corn-on-the-cob and are one of the chicken’s deadliest predators).
We have two chest freezers on the porch off the kitchen, and we knew we had a raccoon problem when we went outside to find the lid to one of the freezers open with little muddy foot prints all around the rim and empty zip-lock bags of last year’s squash and an empty bag of chicken tenders. After that episode, they got more and more bold. We could stand at the door and watch them dig in the trash only 3 feet away, and they would never even move.
We quickly decided it was time to pull out the live traps. During the spring, we trapped 9 raccoons, a few opossums, and a couple of wild cats. Don’t form a protest in my yard, all you crazy PETA people: we kindly relocated them to a nice wooded area with a creek on some of our land a few miles away.
We thought we had done away with our raccoon population until a couple of days ago when we discovered footprints all around the outside of the chicken coop. Mess with my chickens??? Not a chance, mister.
We caught him the next night and promptly entered #10 into our raccoon relocation program.
Now, don’t let these cute little innocent-looking eyes fool you…this guy was vicious! I think he would’ve chewed Barry’s hand off if he could’ve gotten his head through the cage.
As for the canning, we’ve frozen close to 1000 ears of corn (about 3/4 as cream corn and the rest on the cob), a few gallons of peas and butter beans, some okra, bell pepper, and squash. We’ve canned tomatoes, pickled squash, sweet pickled cucumbers, and pickled okra.
We still have lots of cucumbers, okra, squash, peas, and butter beans coming in so it’s definitely not over. It always feels so comforting eating vegetables out your freezer in the dead of winter. We normally freeze everything (including tomatoes), and I did want to can more this year. Unfortunately, I only managed to can the tomatoes and what we pickled…guess that’s a start. Hopefully next year I can prepare better to can more – we’ll see.
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