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  1. ccr in MA
    June 17, 2016 @ 11:16 am

    Elvis certainly loves Paul! I mean, sharing her fuzzy ball?


  2. Melinda
    June 17, 2016 @ 11:24 am

    I never comment but feel you should know how much I appreciate your efforts to educate me about things like pesticides and animal testing.


  3. Marisa Franca @ All Our Way
    June 17, 2016 @ 11:25 am

    Elvis sharing is a very good thing! Usually cats bond with one person and that’s it. That’s the way it was with out three cats. Oh they’ll tolerate being petted and cooed by others but their little hearts belong to one person. NOW!! Where were you with your canner idea when I had a kitchen full of steam trying to can dozens and dozens of green beans, tomatoes, applesauce, etc. That could have saved many so many hours. Paul could even have come over and sealed the jars 🙂 Nah, I wouldn’t ask that of the both of you but I would certainly have come over and borrowed yours. Have a great weekend.


  4. Penny
    June 17, 2016 @ 11:35 am

    Bless you, you are fabulous and make my entire week!


  5. Jeannette Olton
    June 17, 2016 @ 11:36 am

    When you freeze the liquefied tomatoes how do you keep the jars from breaking in the freezer. I have tried freezing liquids in jars and have lost at least 50% to breakage.

    Also, I just have to tell you how much I love reading your posts!!


    • Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
      June 17, 2016 @ 11:42 am

      SPACE! I fought the laws of thermodynamics a couple of times because I felt like I *should* be able to fit more in… but nature is an uncompromising woman, (which I respect) so I’ve learned to leave more space than I think I need.


  6. Dianne Averill
    June 17, 2016 @ 11:49 am

    We don’t grow kale, but we grow tons of other stuff, and we freeze it all (except whole onions, celeriac and turnips). We do skin the tomatoes, and then put everything into plastic zipper bags. We freeze squash, zucchini, peppers, chopped onions and more. The herbs we grow get tied in bunches and hung from a rack in the kitchen. They smell wonderful, and when they are dry we use them in cooking.


  7. Deborah
    June 17, 2016 @ 12:02 pm

    Thank you for adding your blog voice to bring greater awareness to the cruelty humans do to animals, sometimes due to the marketing distraction techniques (LOOK at the FLOWERS, not at the dead bodies of insects, birds, rodents and predators!) of big business – we must know so we can vote with our purchasing choices.

    I love seeing your name on (from reacting to) Marc Ching’s Animal Wellness FB page – he is very brave to document the horror so we can never become complacent and forget the atrocities and tell ourselves that it was never that bad.

    Sounds like Elvis is planning to make some sacrifices for her Dad this Father’s Day!



    • Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
      June 17, 2016 @ 12:08 pm

      Ah! I’m so glad to know that people who read here know who Marc Ching is!! He is a hero!! I cannot imagine the PTSD and depression that must come with his work, and I am in awe of him.

      p.s.- leaving his FB page for anyone not aware of Yulin dog festival.


      • Deborah
        June 17, 2016 @ 12:12 pm

        Yes he is a hero – though he denies it!
        Thank you for posting his FB page!



  8. Pattie C
    June 17, 2016 @ 12:09 pm

    I used your dead bird picture and the blurb about Scotts on my facebook page. Just letting you know.


    • Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
      June 17, 2016 @ 12:31 pm

      thanks for spreading the word!! amazing what these companies will do to the planet we all inhabit!!


      • Dan McArdle
        June 17, 2016 @ 9:29 pm

        I am so sorry to object in any way to your amazing work educating us on how the animal world is under attack. I really value this work. I learned that circuses still keep big cats, to my shock and horror, from you. I don’t want to be a huge wimp.

        But I can’t handle dead animal pictures on some days. Would it be possible to add ( a huge hassle, I know) technology that fuzzes out such things until you click, with a trigger warning? Or a warning at the beginning of the post? Am I being horrible asking such a question? Isn’t seeing things like this without expecting them part of being educated? I don’t know!


  9. Jamie
    June 17, 2016 @ 12:11 pm

    Tell me how I can freeze fresh basil! The sun is getting hot down here in Texas, and my plants will be burned soon.


    • Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
      June 17, 2016 @ 12:30 pm

      I run it through the food processor with some garlic (totally optional, I grow it, so it’s sort of handy) add a bit of water to get a pesto-like consistency. Put into a mason jar, vacuum seal, freeze…

      OR if you don’t want to bother with the vacuum seal business, just put into small plastic containers to freeze, (or you can use ice cube trays for tiny single servings) once frozen, pop them out and wrap WELL (air is the enemy!) in saran wrap, then place all servings into freezer bag.
      Hopefully that all makes sense.


      • Bobbles
        June 21, 2016 @ 3:48 am

        I freeze my basil zizzed with a bit of olive oil and some chopped garlic. I fill ice cube trays and freeze, then put the cubes into reusable snack bags that my DIL makes ( Then I can pull however many cubes I need and it’ll last me all year. I do the same with many other of my herbs.


  10. judy
    June 17, 2016 @ 12:48 pm

    I am reminded that if we look to the past humans managed to feed themselves quite well without resorting to any chemistry but natures. We had to accept that a certain percentage of food animals would not prosper and not all fruits and vegetables would look perfect. I remember as a kid in the forties discovering a small worm in my apple and being told by my mother to “eat around him”. Worms gotta eat too. I took him to the garden and scraped him in. Even as a little kid I knew worms were good in the garden. I can’t say that being so hot in the summer and cold in the winter was preferable to todays HVAC systems but I wonder if each generations comforts spell a future generations woes.

    What goes around does inevitably seem to come around. I think all of the ads for “stuff” and the constant push to buy buy buy or you can’t possibly compete and be happy causes so many of our problems. Stores filled to overflowing with stuff made by slaves, huge container ships plying the Oceans with stuff we once were smart enough to make ourselves. And Climate change is going to rear up and smack a future generation square in the gut. And what do we see from the “News” programs?

    Blather, Baloney and puppies to make us all believe that everything is perfect in this best of all possible Worlds. With voices like yours Victoria perhaps it will help-it certainly can’t hurt. Thank You


  11. Serenity
    June 17, 2016 @ 1:15 pm

    I freeze greens all the time. I put them in a big ziploc bag. Occasionally I may have freezer burn, but it’s nothing I can’t overscome with seasoning


  12. Kay
    June 17, 2016 @ 1:43 pm

    I agree mostly about all the insecticides, etc. If you were to wonder about our commitment to no chemicals, all you’d need to do is take a look at our lawn. With the profusion of weeds, it wouldn’t even have to be a good look–a passing glance would do. However, I have had Lyme disease once and do not care to have it again, so we have made an exception for tick control in our borders, which are the ideal environment for deer ticks. We are overrun with deer. As far as I can tell, the other bugs and the birds are still thriving.


  13. Alena
    June 17, 2016 @ 1:52 pm

    Hi Victoria,
    Thanks for mentioning the Yulin dog festival – what a horror of horrors! As well as the other damages we humans so effectively inflict on animals.
    I just made my “mid-year” resolution (LOL) to freeze more stuff. What do you use the liquified tomatoes for, other than in soups and in pasta sauce? Each year, I think I should make a tons of pasta sauce (in early fall) and freeze it for winter, but I never do. Would have never thought of freezing kale but I don’t have the air-sucking thingy and I am not sure if I want to invest into yet another gizmo. 🙂


    • Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
      June 17, 2016 @ 1:58 pm

      Mostly for sauce-ish stuff… I’ll add zucchini/carrots/garlic/butternut squash… whatever I have so that the veg to tomato sauce is more ratio of veg, then put over whatever… grains, lentils, potato… etc.


  14. Laura
    June 17, 2016 @ 1:59 pm

    I love reading your blog, seeing the email always makes me smile, even as I’m clicking. That said, has something changed in your formatting? Your header overlays 2″ of my visible screen, which is only 6″, and the advertising box on the bottom takes another 2″, leaving only 2″ of visible text at a time. So much white space in your header, is that triple space between the top line, Home …. House Projects….Read from Beginning, and the bottom line, Diversions? I understand why you need the 2″ advertising at the bottom, but this is the first time I’ve got tired reading, it’s difficult to do so 2″ at a time. How do I make your header disappear?


    • Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
      June 17, 2016 @ 2:38 pm

      Hey- THANKS for taking the time to let me know this!! I did change themes, and some layout stuff, and I checked all the devices I have access to, but of course that’s not all of them.

      Can you tell me what browser/device you’re using? That way I can try to see what you are seeing.
      Thanks for helping me fix this!!


    • Laura
      June 28, 2016 @ 4:54 pm

      Hi, we’ve been north, house hunting, so I am just seeing this now. I am on a MacBook Pro, using Chrome, but everything is fine. I had been infected with a nasty malware that caused all sorts of problems, but now that it has been purged, your header is normal, ads are on the side, and I can read your latest post with ease and joy. Love the new kitchen color, what is it?

      We’ve been house hunting in the PNW, opened escrow this morning on house #8. Of the seven offers we’ve made since April, five were rejected by sellers and two we withdrew after failed inspections. In the fullness of time, we will do kitchen and some baths, but for now I will be content to pack and go. I want a dining room table that seats at least 9, so I’m already checking Craigslist up there. I learn from the master.


  15. Lisa
    June 17, 2016 @ 3:37 pm

    Doesn’t kale taste, um—nasty?


    • Alena
      June 20, 2016 @ 10:30 am

      Hi Lisa,
      Not at all. Of course, I cannot predict how your taste buds will react but I don’t find it nasty at all. I frequently make green smoothing that consist mostly from kale and spinach (or only kale or only spinach, depending on what I have) with some blueberries and strawberries throw in for a bit of sweeter taste.
      I also add hemp pellets (hmm, not sure what to call those – they are little chunks of hemp that I buy at a health food store, they contain a lot of protein [for a veg]). I usually make enough for 2 days but I found out the smoothie is still good on day 3 (if I accidentally forget about it).
      Try it!


  16. Liz Thomas
    June 17, 2016 @ 3:55 pm

    And now I love you even more because of your passion and concern for our animals and our environment!!!!!


  17. Wendy
    June 17, 2016 @ 4:06 pm

    I do can our tomatoes and salsa but I do not remove seeds or skin. I process them into tomato slurry and pressure can that to use for sauce all year. I can put down 80 lbs of tomatoes in a weekend this way and my picky eating kids have never said boo about the change. It all tastes like tomatoes indeed!


  18. bluesuedeshoe
    June 17, 2016 @ 5:13 pm

    Adore that kale technique!!! Will be planting more next year and using your method. Girlfriend dries it. She uses just a touch of olive oil to keep her herb and garlic mix on it, then lines a cookie tin with wax paper and stores them in a cool dark place. Most of it is used in the winter in soups and it sure tastes good to me!

    Also all best to Elvis, been pulling for him here in CT.


  19. cath
    June 17, 2016 @ 6:20 pm

    I have a Foodsaver that is half dead. The vacuum works, but the heating element doesn’t, so I can’t seal bags. I can vacuum containers. I don’t bother much. If you read comments about Foodsavers, lots of people have problems with them. They’re frustratingly unreliable. But, your idea is interesting. So nice to have the washing and chopping step of prepping kale out of the way when you’re making dinner. Do you dress up to cook in your beautiful kitchen? And dance from one side of the room to the other? I’m such a schlub, I guess I like to live your life vicariously by reading your blog. Carry on. Need to see kale in front of big fancy things.


  20. Vickie
    June 17, 2016 @ 6:25 pm

    We have several fruit trees and we don’t spray them. Most people don’t understand but my sweet mother in law once said. “If bugs won’t eat it why would you want to”. We just eat the good parts and compost the rest. Easy!


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