Celebrate the culture of agriculture & share skills (Growing! Cooking! Eating!)

The club will be canning 750lbs of tomaotoes and 200lbs of peaches this coming week.

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Comment by Harriet Fasenfest on August 23, 2011 at 9:15am

The New York Times should do a piece about you and the Can Can Club.  In fact, I know a guy........maybe I'll write him.  Really, this is a great model.  So equitable and reasoned.


As always, mad respect.



Comment by Pat Johnson on August 23, 2011 at 9:32am

It's like a quilting bee or a barn raising...the idea is not to make a profit but to provide a social community event where folks get to socialize without spending money (other than the cost of what they take home). That kind of event results in a fun day out with a bunch of folks and something worthwhile to take home at the end of the day. Most folks pay good money to have a fun day out with a bunch of folks and go home with nothing more than an empty wallet. Its a Win Win for everyone who participates (including me). It does take a little coordination by me but eventually we may be able to share that work as well. So at the end of the day folks come to realize thay can't afford to not have fun at (miss) one of our events!


Between last Monday and Saturday we canned 1050lbs of tomaotes and 200lbs of peaches. On September 3rd we will can "Green Peanuts" (to make boiled peanuts in a jar). They are big here in the south and I already have enough commitments to do a couple 50lb bags and will likely end up with at least double that amount. Figuring out the cost of propane is the only wild card. We simple sell the excess (uncommited jars) at cost to anyone who wants them. If no one at the event wants them we sell them to the members who didn't can them (Who wouldn't want them at cost with no labor).

Comment by Harriet Fasenfest on August 23, 2011 at 9:40am

Buddy, I contacted the fellow from the N.Y. Times about you and copied you on the message.  Should he be interested you can follow up on your own.  I'm out of it but I am so impressed with this model that I think it should be A) reproduced and B) give credit were credit is due.  It takes a special person to organize this particularly with the spirit of generosity you have shown.  Which is why I always yammer on about you.  I'm a much more private person.  I occasionally invite folks into my home and garden kitchen, teach my neighbors or give away excess produce but I am so deep into producing and provisioning for my family (and writing, always writing) that I don't rise to the opportunities that you are showing us.  This is not a time thing alone, this is a personality thing, a heart thing a spirit thing.  And as much as I would like to be Just Like Pat, I know my cranky self - likely not going to happen.  


Which is my way of saying I hope they do contact you.  Not because you want the recognition (not like you either) but that we need these stories of hope, heart and hard work.  Just keep the story about the kool-aid jelly, nitrites and the unfinished deck out of it.  It might make you look less saint like.  Of course, if you ever get too big for your britches I'm hauling them out.  Oh you know I will.



Comment by Lynda Reynolds on August 23, 2011 at 9:44am
Wonderful! Wonderful! Wonderful!  You are doing such a great service to your community.  Keep it up, Pat.  I'm hoping others read about your Can-Cans and follow your example...you are an inspiration.
Comment by Christene on August 23, 2011 at 11:27am
I agree what a cool way to get the word out and maybe this can start everywhere
Comment by Pat Johnson on August 23, 2011 at 12:17pm
Well, now I feel like I better start dressing better, combing my hair and watching my Ps & Qs. I'm just doing something that sounded like fun with a sustainability twist in it. Harriet's right, it is a personality thing. I'm definately an extrovert and crave social contact. I was the contract negotiator  and sales guy in my previous life but don't miss the job in the least. However, I do miss all the personal interaction and the wheeling and dealing. So...I find myself the President of the local Escambia Bay Homebrew Club and coordiantor of its annual "Emerald Coast Beerfest" which I'm working on fevorishly (two weeks till showtime!), The President of the Pensacola Can Can Club which you know all about and the local coordiantor for the Florida 120 which is an annual small boat outing. I try to juggle all these and all my other interests and keep Debbie happy at the same time! Anyway, its not that I'm a Saint or anything. I just find it eaisier to have fun if I keep the money out of the equasion when it comes to being involved in the various activities I am involved it. When there is money involved there are expectations and responsibilies that often do not mirror each other and than always means less fun for somebody! It may be that I'm just a nut who takes on too many hobbies. Still, if the guy from the Times calls I'll try to represent the Homegrown cause without screwing it up to badly. And yes, you can count on me to keep the nitrates, kool-ade jelly and the "never to be forgotten or finished" deck out of the interview!
Comment by Harriet Fasenfest on August 23, 2011 at 1:01pm

NEVER to be forgotten.  But I didn't mean to mention it.

Tell Deb I say hey.  

Comment by Christene on August 23, 2011 at 2:07pm

The great thing Pat that I think you are doing is teaching and also giving it a community.  I have been processing peaches for awhile and I am usually only here with my toddler.  I get lonely and wish for someone to share the work and conversation with.  I do have my husband when he comes home but he usually does child duty so I can work at the stove.


I want a canning community too!

Comment by Pat Johnson on August 30, 2011 at 4:01pm
Comment by Pat Johnson on August 30, 2011 at 4:08pm
We did a test batch of Boiled Peanuts today in anticipation of the Peanut-Can-A-Rama that will take place this coming Saturday. We wanted to verify how many pounds per jar and the processing time from start to finish. We did two seperate batches using the recipe on the Pick Your Own Website. We learned that 1 pound of medium sized green peanuts will fill 1.5 quart jars. We also learned that for each jar of peanuts you need 1/2 jar of brine. Consequently we will be able to can quarts for about $1.00 per jar (plus propane cost).


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