Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Vinegar and Honey

These two kitchen groceries, Apple Cider Vinegar, and pure Honey make a great health food combination when mixed with a cup of warm purified water, add a little lemon juice to the mix and you become practically bullet proof. Well not really, let me just say that the majority of people who use this combination of ingredients do experience some positive health effects. I guess the thing to keep in mind is that everyone's body chemistry is made a little different by their diet, the type over-the-counter, or prescription medications they use. I would guess that 80% of the people who use this apple cider vinegar, honey, and purified water combination will realize a benefit from it. What are the benefits?

Let me say this before I say that, if you're a breastfeeding mom, or pregnant you should consult with your doctor before trying any of my herbal suggestions. The same would be true for a prescription drug user, drug user, and people suffering from chronic medical conditions like cancer, heart disease, or diabetes. There are some cases where herbs may interfere with your medication and could cause undesired side effects. My goal is to describe the effects, positive and negative, that herbs used by me for medication have had on me, and to let you know that my results may not be the same for everyone who reads about them here or over on my Facebook location.

The dose of the concoction (apple cider vinegar and honey) I have used for the past year is one teaspoon apple cider vinegar, and one teaspoon of raw honey added an 8 oz. cup of purified room temperature or warm water. Taken at night I have seen a glucose level drop of three to five percent by the next morning. The combination apple cider vinegar, honey, in warm purified water is good at regulating the amount of sodium in the blood and helps normalize blood pressure due to the high amount of potassium in both apple cider vinegar and honey, making this blend of nature a good blood pressure equalizer.

More than a year ago I started using apple cider vinegar and honey mixed into a cup of purified water each morning, at least an hour before I ate anything else and over a four or five week period lost two pounds; and that was without the exercise routine I have today. From time to time I get fancy with my apple cider vinegar, honey, and water mix adding a slice of ginger root, or some lemon juice. The combination of apple cider vinegar, honey, and purified water is said to have way more application than just the ones I use it for, the combo is good for your gut and anything good for your gut is good for your skin and overall health in general. I honestly have noticed an improvement in my skin health over the past year from using this combination of ingredients.

Some other examples of the beneficial effect from combining apple cider vinegar, honey, and water is an easing of heartburn, a decrease in bad cholesterol levels, the removal of acid in the body that can lead to a reduction of pain in the joints. It's an energy booster, and very effective against constipation. So far I have only monitored the blood pressure related benefit of this powerful natures mix but it's nice to know that all of the other bodily points of interest listed above are covered in the regular use of the apple cider vinegar, honey, and purified water blend. It has become my morning and sometimes evening tea.

I'm not sure if you can label the combination of apple cider vinegar and honey with a cup of purified water a panacea (cure-all) but this combination of nature's juices certainly has the potential of curing a lot. Gargling with one quarter-cup of apple cider vinegar in warm water, once an hour, at the first sign of a sore throat provides a natural remedy for a sore throat. When bacteria is the cause of experiences diarrhea try sipping some apple cider vinegar and water tea. Because the acetic acid in apple cider vinegar stops the growth of bacteria and the potassium it contains thins mucus just a teaspoon full in a cup of water can drain your sinus, and clear a stuffy nose.

I'm just happy with my decrease in glucose level, and weight loss since I started using this natural drink mix, and while I haven't had the chance to try all of the healing qualities of my apple cider vinegar honey and water solution, I can tell you this though, if the majority of remedies attributed to this combination of healthy ingredients turn out to be true, my medicine cabinet is going to have a lot fewer over the counter medicine bottles.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Growing peppers

Peppers have sprouted and are busy growing in the small planters being nursed along until they begin to produce fruit, or in this case, peppers. I am looking forward to a much larger yield this year because of a little growing secret I ignored last year. I ignored this little growing secret because in my rush to plant, and grow, thinking at the time that all I needed were some seeds and good potting soil. So what is the growing secret, Growth Pellets!

My last years' pepper growing season about fifty percent of the seeds I planted actually survived the sprouting process, and about 10% actually made it to the pepper producing stage. As a result, my Bell Pepper crop was very small and none of the plants made it through the winter months. This growing season because of the growth pellets I used I am closer to 100% of the seed sprouts making it to maturity and that has me smiling.

I found these Jiffy Pellet Refills at my local Home Depot, the pellets I originally got started with this growing season came with the Burpee Self-Watering seed-string kit and while the pellets looked different the results were the same when it came to the amount of sprout growth I see this season.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Preparing your garden/planters

One of the first steps in preparing for this year's planting season is preparing the land for planting. In my case, the land equals all of my patio planters and the soil in them. Plants grow best in soil that contains the vital nutrients they need to sprout, develop, and grow big enough to produce fruit, vegetables, or flowers. For me this involves preparing my potting soil, cleaning up the leaves and stems-left-overs from last year's harvest, and preparing the potting soil. Last year potting soil preparation was not on my list, seeds went straight into the potting soil mix distributed straight into the tiny cups on my five plant starter trays, so I decided to give my potting soil some preparation this year to see if I can get a better yield this time round. Last year only about fifty-percent of the pepper seeds I planted grew to healthy sprout that went on to be placed in their adult plant pots.

I plan to add some extra nutrients to those already present in my potting soil, things like a little Epson salt, cinnamon, worm casting, and vermiculite. The worm castings for a little extra nutrient, the cinnamon and Epson salt to protect against fungus and the vermiculite to improve the water retaining property of my starter soil mix. When all of the above is complete I will sew my seeds and wait for them to sprout. This year, just like last year I will be planting peppers, and also finding a space for the new grape vine waiting to be dug in. I'm kind of making this stuff up as I go along and even though I was happy with my small patio harvest last year my hope is that this year more than fifty-percent of my sprouts will make it to maturity. Peppers, tomatoes, and onions are on my planting list again this year; the grapes will add to the long established fruit trees already in my backyard and hopefully, eventually provide a nice red grape crop one day.

The thing I like about planting in a planter, or Pots, is that I can grow my plants inside, or outside and as long as I am careful not to select a planter/pot too large, or too heavy for what I call my mobile plants (plants I move inside during the winter, and outside in spring/summer), and of which I can only really say I used to have two, now there is only one so change plants, to plant when talking about my mobile pot. Added to other indoor plants I find that the greenery they provided indoors can at times be therapeutic, just ask me. I want to say something about some of the indoor plant choices that do well inside, but first, let me say this about planters or flower pots.

Most of my pots and planters are plastic and that is something I hope to change over time switching out my plastic pots and planters for non-plastic, most of which were gifts, or just happen to be around when the planting bug bit me. The reason is just about all of the other planters and flower pots, that are not plastic, do a better job of keeping my potted plant soil from becoming too soggy by helping with the absorption of moisture and preventing root rot. Black plastic being the worst offender that can tend to overheat plants when placed in direct sunlight. Potted plants or plants in planters need to have good drainage make sure your pot or planter has sufficient drainage holes on the bottom for the size of pot you select.

Okay now about those choices of plants that do well inside cherry tomatoes, salad greens, lettuce, and herbs like rosemary and oregano are all inside plant species that grow well indoors. They will need four or five hours of sunlight so a window to the outside world will be necessary. Fill the container as close to top as you can to make sure the roots have plenty of room to grow, cover about and 1/8" inches of your potting soil, tend to them keeping the soil moist and in a few weeks say hello to your new baby sprouts.

I checked with my local nursery and verified that trying to grow grapes inside would not be a good idea or else my house may end up looking like a scene from the movie Jumanji, grape vines like room to spread out, everywhere! A little too much greenery for me. Just remember if you don't have backyard garden space remember your balcony, kitchen windowsill or bedroom will do when it comes to growing your own vegetable garden in a container(s).  Clay soil has a tendency to shrink away from the sides of the pot and drains poorly, and the broken pottery doesn't seem to help the water drainage either when I used clay soil. Blending in some sand, and increasing the organic material in my potting soil mix worked best for the proper drainage in my planters and pots.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Cinnamon, the medicine

Cinnamon has been part of my diet since I can remember, from cinnamon suckers to cinnamon rolls the word cinnamon has always been related to a flavor I enjoy. Not until recently, however, I have given any attention to the health benefits of cinnamon. One of the things I enjoy is reading about different food medicine benefits like this, finding some way to put them to the test, then sharing the results be they, positive, or negative. Since I started using cinnamon for its health benefits I have noticed a drop in my blood pressure since I started using my cinnamon and honey concoction, a fact that even presented some surprise to my doctor during a most recent physical exam.

As I mentioned I have always enjoyed the taste of cinnamon and now I seem to be enjoying a health-related positive effect of cinnamon too. Personal discoveries by me lately with regard to the medicinal use of cinnamon has me singing the praises of this really neat food medicine. To me, cinnamon is the perfect combination of something that tastes good and is good for you. Cinnamon suckers may be stretching the good-for-you thing a little bit and maybe the cinnamon roll but cinnamon tea, along with cinnamon and honey are some of the ways I have added cinnamon to my diet. I've also gained an entirely different appreciation for the cinnamon I find in cookies, cake, apple pie, apple turnovers or my morning oatmeal.

I also realize that not everyone may enjoy the taste of cinnamon but my hope is that after reading this even a cinnamon hater will be at least willing to try cinnamon for some of the really neat medical properties this famous tree bark possess. If I had a planter big enough, you can bet I would be trying to grow me some cinnamon too because in my opinion cinnamon is one of the best food medicines a person can add to their diet, and while I have not yet had the pleasure of experiencing the pain relieving properties of ground cinnamon some studies have shown that cinnamon is a better pain reliever than Ibuprofen.

I also wanted to take this opportunity to point out this word of caution, some of the herbal medicine publications I read caution to be careful where herbal and pharmaceutical medicines meet. Therefore I will echo this same caution. If you are taking a doctor prescribed medication, you might want to check with your doctor, to see if taking a herbal medication on a regular basis would be considered safe to use with your doctor prescribed meds. There are several Herbal PDR online that should be helpful understanding the different effects some herbs might have on you.

The use of cinnamon has shown positive results and worked well against neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, meningitis, brain tumors, and multiple sclerosis. Cinnamon can help balance hormones which can aid fertility for couples who might be experiencing difficulty starting or add to their family.  Cinnamon also contains many of the nutrients the human body needs on a daily basis like manganese, iron, calcium and fiber, cinnamon may even reduce the proliferation of cancer cells.

Until now I never really looked at this natural ingredient for all of its wonderful healing properties, a natural medicine that taste good in my opinion. I know I will not be able to grow all of the herbs, fruits, and veggies that I want or need in my small garden but because of cinnamon's ability to act as a natural food preservative,  reduce the pain of arthritis, and menstrual cramps, take on bad cholesterol, and regulate blood sugar, cinnamon will definitely be part of my kitchen medicine cabinet from now on.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

In the Memory of my Cantaloupe plant.

The herbal garden I started this past summer is off to a good start, several of my plants (peppers) sprouted and out-grew their respective temporary starter cups ending up in their very own flow pot. Currently, my experimental home-grown food specimens are officially still on winter break, but I plan to pick up where I left off now that spring is here again. Once my plants reach their flower pot or planter stage I will continue the fertilizing routine from this past planting season, where I feed them on diet of Fish Fertilizer, once ever week or so, with an occasional sprinkling of Epson Salt for potassium.

If these first few seedlings can grow, with me as their farmer, then I will plant more in the hopes of one day having an onion, peppers, and garlic harvest good enough to last me throughout the winter months. This past year's lesson, for me, was all about pesticides because of my misuse of an insecticide that cost me a perfectly healthy cantaloupe plant. When I went to a real planting pro (my neighbor) who often shares out of her garden with me, to find out how their garden grew such a nice variety of different fruits and veggies even though I hardly ever saw her using any kind of pesticide.

To my surprise, she admitted that she does on occasion use pesticides but vert sparingly, and very directed, meaning she didn't wholesale spray all of her plants just to treat one ailing plant (the way I did). The pesticide she chose to use was always carefully selected, and used. She also went on to explain to me how she had practically engineered her planting space (she grew her plants in pots the way I did) so that there were no heavy dependents on pesticides.

She told me that she planted things in her garden that would attract the kind of insects that ate the plant-eating pest. Which of course went way over my head when it came to understanding what she meant. She informed me that my scorched-earth policy, of wipe 'em all out, wasn't really the best plan either since most pesticides were indiscriminate in their bug-killing ability. She said that in her garden she worked for more of a natural balance that she could occasionally tip in her garden's favor so that the good bugs, always outnumbered the bad. An early day lesson learned, for her, happened when she used so much insecticide to kill the pest, her plants were no longer eatable.

To make matters worse it seems that she had also misidentified the plant-eating pest, sorry I didn't ask her which one, to me a bug, was a bug, so I thought to myself great! Now I have to be an Entomologist too!? The good news is no, you don't need to be an expert in that branch of insect zoology. I found that some of the people at my local nursery could be very helpful when it came to identifying the flying and crawling creatures that also enjoy my plants. You will need to capture one of them, though, at least that's the way I did it. Showing someone at a nursery, or perhaps even a Home Depot or Orchards Garden Supply store should allow them to help you select just the right insecticide for your needs.

For sure the lessons I have learned over this past growing season will come in handy with this years back porch garden crop. I may even try planting cantaloupe again this year, and this year, the cantaloupe will make it!

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Kitchen Counter-top Garden

Throwing away good food is wasteful so I have to admit that when it came to using green onions in the past I had been very wasteful. When I was younger and had a pet rabbit I would save my plant and veggie bits and pieces for them to munch on. Today I tend to see all food scraps as garbage to be cast aside in favor of the chosen parts, for the meal being prepared, I hung on to all the good parts of the fruits and vegetables I was working with and cared less about the other unused parts of those food items. That was until I decided to give an idea I had once read about a try. From and article I read, I learned that several of the food items I was discarding could have provided me with an almost endless supply of romaine lettuce, celery, carrots, and green onion, for cooking if I had only taken the time to do the following, so!

On the topic of green onions, over the winter months when it was too cold to think about planting anything outside, I started regrowing some of the onions I cook with in my kitchen. Pictured here above on top of kitchen my miro-wave oven, my normal position for them is the kitchen window. I have been surprised to see how some plant foods like the green onions can regeneration themselves, hydroponically. So if you use the onion pictured above that goes by the name of spring onions, green onions, or scallions, you can generate your own, close-to-endless supply of green onions to add to some of your favorite dishes.

To get started simply cut off the bulb part of the green onion with the root attached, leave at least a half-inch to one inch of the onion shoot. Stand them upright, submerge the root in water, and you're good to go. You should notice some growth in a few days. Recycling, or changing the water once a week should be enough to keep your food scrap, counter-top, garden growing. You should see green shoots in about a week that, in my case anyway, continued to grow rather rapidly. When the shoots are five to six inches long you will have the option to leave them in their hydroponic growing container, switch them to a planter, or plant them in your outside garden. For me, nothing beats the kitchen counter-top closeness when it comes to keeping my cooking herbs and spices nearby. The green onions will continue to regrow themselves indefinitely, just cut off what you need and allow the green onion plant to grow some more.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Prostate Health

Every once in a while when I'm looking through some of my entries on my Food Medicine Pinterest page I come across an interesting bit of information about health and the relationship to herb, or health food and men's prostate health the topic of this note. I make no medical claim here only a suggestion with the herbal cocktail you'll find at the end of this article. All of the listed ingredients are good for your health in general, but in this instance, I hope to apply the suggestion of herbal healing energy to the male prostate. Onions, garlic, and tomatoes should all be part of this year's crop for me. The Onions and garlic having a head start since I started growing them last year; tomatoes will be added this season.

For men, looking for a way to reduce the negative effect of free radicals on prostate cells it's believed that the antioxidants in veggies can accomplish that goal. Over a period of fourteen years, a study of some thirty-two thousand men seems to support the veggie antioxidant connection. The study showed an eleven-percent lower risk of BPH (or in medical terms Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia) or the term I finally understood; an enlarged prostate. The study compared the men who did eat their veggies to men who did not eat their vegetables regularly. The amount of vegetable that was used in the research added up to about one and a half serving daily or, about three cups of veggies per day.

I come from a family of T-Rexes, or true meat eating carnivores who for the most part have always believed that there was room on this earth for all of God’s wonderful creatures---right next to the potatoes. So it has taken me a while to incorporate more veggies into my daily diet. When I was younger I honestly felt the man did not fight his way to the top of the food chain to eat plants! But if you live long enough and pay attention to the effect a bad diet and poor health on friends and family, sometimes even on yourself you eventually make the connection (at least that is the way it was for me). These days I have some wisdom from years of dietary ups and downs, and witnessing the effects a healthy diet has to offer especially when it comes to energy, stamina, and health in general.

When it comes to the male prostate I should mention that Omega-three oil is believed to actually cut the prostate cancer rate. The theory made it to the testing stage when mice, genetically engineered to develop prostate cancer, were given the Omega-3 as a treatment. The Omega 3 in the fish oil actually slowed the progression of the disease to a crawl. The study focused on males with a family history of prostate cancer but the results were truly eye opening. The Omaga-3 fatty acid in fish oil capsules appears to have the beneficial effect of slowing progression of prostate cancer significantly. I would prefer to get my Omega-3 from eating the fish, whenever I can, but just in case fish is not on the menu for tonight fish oil capsules are the next best thing.

A piece of fresh fish (also chicken or turkey) on a plate loaded with vegetables just might be a life extender, maybe even a life saver for some.  Government information source  Here is the recipe mentioned in the beginning, for a pretty neat Smoothie to help with men's prostate health.

3 tomatoes
1/2 bell pepper
1/2 red onion
2 tbsps lemon juice
2 tbsps oatmeal
A dash of Himalayan salt
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp turmeric

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Success with Peppers

The success I had with peppers I hope to repeat this planting season, I started my seeds off in small nursery planter boxes, keeping them inside, only allowing them out occasionally for direct sunlight.

When they were large enough I graduated them to plastic cups giving their roots a chance to begin taking in nourishment, I fed them with Liquid Fish Fertilizer.

From the plastic cup, my peppers and onions were moved to their growing pots to complete their growth

The entire process took about six weeks from planting seeds to fairly full grown plants and I waited for another four to five weeks before I had any sizable pepper. At this point, I'm still not quite sure what I did right, or wrong, as in the case of my cantaloupe plant. 

The cantaloupe plant is the one line of leaves in the middle/green planter. Not long after this picture was taken I began using plant bug killer on my peppers, the cantaloupe plant soon after began to wither and die, no autopsy performed. The peppers were fine with all the spraying. The cantaloupe plant was also sharing the planter with a pepper plant, which I don't believe was the problem, but if I  plant another cantaloupe plant this year it will be in a planter all by itself, and way away from my bug spraying.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

What's in the food we eat?

I read some scary news this past week that left me feeling even more determined to learn how to grow my own food. At least some of it anyway. What boosted my determination this past week was hearing about fake rice. So naturally, I did a search online to see if there was more information to back up what I had read and there it was. The information I found came from Viet Nam so I'm not sure if any fake rice has ever made it to America, still food wise, I had never even consider the possibility of counterfeit rice. The scary part was that the fake rice was made of plastic and equal to no nutritional value.

Now I can honestly say I wasn't planning on growing rice but damn! Maybe I should. Anyway, after digesting what I was able to learn about the fake version of this food I also read that there was a way to identify the fake rice from the real rice; that made me feel a little better. Real rice has a tendency to settle to the bottom when placed in water, the fake rice floats and doesn't sink. Fake rice also smells and burns like plastic, but I do not recommend the burning method to testing. From what I could see the fake rice was always mixed with the real rice so that people got the same package of rice with only half the actual rice, I guess.

I really want to think that this kind of thing only happens in other countries and I have yet to read or see anything that suggests that fake food item can be found here in this country where I learned a few years ago some people in Europe were told they had been eating horse meat, sold as regular beef. With regard to the fake rice  I did do my best to see if I could identify the label on the package in the video I saw to see if I ever run into any plastic rice on my grocery shelf, something that would be highly unlikely, just the ideas, however, will keep me checking the rice I buy from now on.

I mention all this as a point of interest and not as an alarm. I'll save the alarm until I find out for sure plastic rice is being sold in the United States. I can't see imported food being subject to the same scrutiny as the food grown here so I imagine if there ever is any problem with food, that food will have come from another country. Meantime not in addition to sharing advice about growing veggies and fruits don't be surprised if I also end up sharing rice planting information. 

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Kicking the Sugar Habit

The, I quit sugar, twelve step program reduced to just three steps for convenience. You have probably already heard that sugar is harder to quit than the recreational drug cocaine; I've heard that so many times I can only assume it's true, until now. Now I'm planning to take on my own sugar addiction. I am not mad at my parents for getting me hooked on sugar when I was younger I could be persistent, persuasive, even a little dramatic when I didn't get what I wanted. I'm sure that in the beginning, my parents thought the could control my intake of sugar too.

Sugar is a habit I have tried to break several times in my adult life so this won't be the first time I have "quit for good." I have never been a drug user except for the over the counter types used to treat most human ailments, nor have I known anyone going through the methadone treatment for heroin, at least I don’t think I have, so when I hear that sugar is a harder habit to break than cocaine I would have to believe so.

So the twelve-step part of my plan may also be more related to alcohol addiction, but my interest in quitting sugar, again, is genuine and driven by some data I read back in December 2015. There is hardly a day that goes by when the American humans don't take in enough sugar, in one day, to eventually equal more than 140 plus pounds of sugar per year, according to an article skimmed during my travels. However, in my case, this sounds totally true and since my ears have become more in tune with the negative effects of processed sugar news they immediately locked on to a report on my local news, the pulled me out of my home office listen and realize that a lot of my annual allotment of sugar was coming from my favorite coffee drink I order on a regular basis from a national coffee making establishment I frequent. Turns out my coffee drink actually contains more sugar than a similar serving of coke (a Cola, not the other kind).

Add this to all the other places sugar hides out in my daily diet and I can see why the sugar habit is so hard to break, by-the-way I'm talking mostly granulated processed white sugar. So here’s my plan, rather than bore you with all the negative things that sugar can do to your body if you let it. Or scare you by clouding my theories with facts, like sugar is actually good for your brain, let me share with you the three steps I plan to take to banish processed sugar from my diet for life, or this Easter, whichever comes first.

Okay, I know I joke around a lot but this time I plan to make some personal head weigh when it comes to eradicating processed granulated sugar from my daily diet. Since I have notice that my sugar use runs in a cycle throughout my day, week, month, and year that I am sure does add up to the almost 140 plus pounds of sugar per year I likely average, so!

Step I
Find a way to break the cycle. I realize that to do this I need to come up with a suitable substitute, eating more fruits and veggies should fill that bill but it’s going to take maybe just a little more because sweetening my coffee with fruits and veggies will not work!  I'll start by breaking my processed sugar intake cycle; maybe see if I can work in the new organic Agave sweetener I got for Christmas and wondered what the heck for!

Step II
Cut in half every sugary thing I eat a day, and make myself not increase my sugar intake each day just so I end up averaging out the same old sugar intake. Okay, this may not make sense here (talking mainly to myself here) but I actually think I can do this. If it’s not a fruit or a veggie, or perhaps my Agave sweetener, cut it in half! Where coffee is concerned it becomes Tall rather than a Grande!

Step III
In a week or so see if I can limit myself to one bite so something sweet a day (containing the drug sugar) I got to pace myself don’t want my serotonin level to tank. Must maintain serotonin level! Must! So if I make it this far I think I can do this. I don’t plan to make the mistake I made when it came to cutting down on salt, stopping completely cold turkey and feeling awful until someone said: “hey, you need salt you know, but in moderation”. I learned my lesson then from the almost unintended suicide by lack of salt incident, never to overdo it when it comes to a new health challenge.

So that will be my goal sugar in moderation and hopefully, my three step program will get me there, stay tuned! Full disclosure, I would start tonight but I just bought a pie today; hate to have to throw out, so next week for sure.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Pepper update from back in 2016

My peppers blossomed, and bloomed and offered me a small harvest of Bell Pepper. I plan to plant even more this year. Since I am new to the planting business it has taken me a while to develop a planting method that works for the entire variety of vegetables I plan to grow. This year I may even add grapes to the mix. The Orchards store where I got last years seeds closed this past Christmas season so I will need to make a short road trip to my local Home Depot for this year's seeds and planting extras. Where fruit is concerned I also tried my hand at canning for the first time this past season and was quite pleased with the way my plum jelly turned out. I didn't plant the plum tree, it was here when I moved in. Until this past season, I had also, for the most part, ignored the plums giving most of them away. I'm glad I gave canning my plums a try this past planting season and had I not given away about five or six jars of my work my first canning experience would have lasted me one whole year.