Well guys, the peas have started coming in, and Deb and I are fixing to get a workout. We picked three 5 gal. buckets, yesterday afternoon late, and I guess we shelled about half of them last night.
A couple of people have asked if I had a pea sheller, and I replied that yes, we do. They then asked what type, and I told them it’s an older model. Well, you know how people are, and they wanted to know all about it…
So, I’ll take the opportunity now to fill everyone in about our sheller, okay?
Unlike many of the newer models, this sheller will do ANY type of pea or bean, no matter. One of the main reasons we like ours so well is the fact that it mashes NO peas or beans. Not the first one…zero! This in itself is really pretty unusual, and I looked at quite a few prior to deciding on this model.
It cost a little more in the end, but as time has passed by, I felt I made a pretty dern good decision. Looking back now, I can’t say the same in regards to many of the decisions I have made in my life, but this is one I can take a little credit for.
Some other things I looked at that impressed me with ours, are its appearance, it’s lightweight, no electricity needed, and the toughness it has shown throughout the years. Just a good, well-built sheller. Anything with all these plusses today are either hard to find, or non-existent!
It’s actually 54 years old, but again, you’d never know it. Its shelling capacity today is just as good, and might even be better than the first day it came home with me. It needs no oiling, and has never broken down, or “throwed” a belt, and the best thing of all…it’s made in the USA! In my opinion, it can’t be beat!
I guess the only negative about this particular model is that from time to time…it gets a little “lippy!” I’ve learned through the years though, that I can put it outside for a night or two, and once it comes back inside, it works even better, and the only thing you hear out of it then is simply…peas hittin the bottom of the pan! I just love mine!
The model name…DEB. With these first few paragraphs this morning, I may have just lost the “best pea sheller” I ever had! LOL!!
Seriously, Deb and I are fixing to be busy as bees getting these peas picked, shelled, washed up good, and canned. Our pressure cooker holds seven pints so when you can up 100-150 quarts, it is a little time consuming.
We use a Presto pressure cooker, and as I just said it has a seven quart capacity. This model seems to hold up very well, and hasn’t caused us one minute’s worth of problems. It works well, and although this is our third season canning with it, it has canned A LOT of different things. In other words, we’ve put it “through the mill!”
With this being said, our next purchase, if and when, will also be a Presto model.
When shelling, we use two pans that hold almost “to a tee,” two cooking’s per pan. With that being the case, this will give us about 28 quarts put up per these two pans. So…we shell two pans full, then shell again during each cook.
We’ll pick and shell today too, so I hope in the Wed. column we’re able to put up a video or two showing us canning some peas for the ones who haven’t canned before. I know when we first started canning, I wish I’d have looked around more for some canning videos. To me, if I can see something being done first hand, I seem to grasp a hold of it better.
We picked our purple hulls first, and got a bucket and a half off them, and we started the black-eyes next. We also picked about a bucket and a half from them to, before it started getting too dark to see. We have 5 more rows of them to pick today, and we’ll start shelling again.
Our crowders aren’t ready yet, possibly another week, and our cream 40’s will be ready in the next couple of days for a first pick. Deb loves those little peas but they’re harder to shell than the other types, BUT they are really good tasting peas. We ain’t looking forward to shelling those guys, but we ARE looking forward to eating them!
Our okra is coming on now, but I’m concerned with the fact we MAY have planted it a little late, so our yield overall may not be as good as if we’d have planted it a little earlier in the year. The last couple of nights have been in the fifties here, but we still have plenty of good hot days ahead unless we have an unusual fall and winter.
These cooler nights also mean our pasture grass won’t grow as well either, so supplementing the cows with hay isn’t too far off in itself. We keep mineral out for them year round, but watch it much more closely as the days become colder.
The days becoming colder means little to no nutrients in the grass, so they have to get it from other ways. These are through range mineral, mineral blocks, and molasses blocks too.
After the first frost or two, the cows begin foraging, and this means they aren’t too choosy in regards to what goes “down the hatch” at this point! Palmetto’s, oak leaves, cabbage palm fronds, or just about anything that makes a belly feel full becomes part of their diet.
This kinda sounds like me, cause if I’m hungry, I’m GONNA find something to eat, and this means just about whatever looks filling to me!
Winter coming will soon have an effect on our bees too. We checked the hive Saturday, and it looks as if they’ll have enough honey, to keep them over the winter. With little to no blooms appearing during the winter months, these gals need to store enough honey to get them by.
Once spring hits, we’re hoping to be able to make a split, and increase our hive, plus start getting some honey for our use. We kinda got a late start hive-wise, on account of our first queen that hatched not coming back to the hive, but the second queen did, and she’s doing a really good job. The hive is plentiful, and is in good shape.
So, winter is just around the corner, even for us here in Central Florida, and this means no fresh vegetables again until spring, once our okra and peas are done that are in the garden now. But, through our canning, and what freezing we do, Deb and I will still be enjoying our garden’s bounty, even though there happens to be no garden again until spring!
For those out there who don’t grow a garden, we’ll throw out there once more that it would be a good idea to start gardening. Fresh vegetables, better tasting vegetables, and more importantly, better quality vegetables are grown in your own backyard garden than you could possibly hope to get from the grocery store!
Once starting your garden, then you’ll be able to see firsthand the pleasure derived from simply working it, and then the fulfillment of seeing it grow, and then start bearing its harvest. These are some things we feel you guys will be able to grasp once you take that first step, and put some seeds in the ground!
Not only just the benefits of fresh, nutritious, and good tasting produce, but also you’ll be able to reap the benefits of good, quality family time. Gardening does “soothe the soul!”
Speaking of gardening, I’m gonna have to get up and get started this morning. As I said, the weather has turned a little cooler, and with this being the case, every once in a while my pea sheller has a hard time getting started up.
So, let me go on and get going already because sometimes I literally have to “kick start it” on mornings like this. If you purchase the same model as mine be very careful kick starting them, because mine has a tendency to “kick back” from time to time! LOL!
We hope you all have a wonderful day, and God Bess you! Deb says to keep a smile on your face, and one in your heart!
Dub and Deb