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Once upon a time I lived on an eighty-acre farm with a little bitty trailer right in the middle of it. I loved it there in Loudon County, Tennessee, and I would have stayed the rest of my life if I had not been renting. I did end up staying six years, and it was the best of my life.


I am a city girl, but for some reason I like to live rough in a country setting. The trailer was a 12 × 48 and inside I had it crammed with furniture and a wood stove in the tiny living room. It would get so hot in there in the winter that I would have to open the windows and sometimes the door to cool me off. Thank God it wasn’t throwing money away in electric heat. The wood was free off the land, just the dead trees. There is nothing like a wood burning stove smell, and the smoke coming out of the top of the trailer just gave me a feel of comfort. On the property, there had already been a garden laid and all I had to do was till it up again. The owner came with his big tractor and tilled it up for me and I went planting everything I could think of. This was a very large garden, like 250 feet across in all directions.


Needless to say, the garden did better than I had ever seen because there were also cattle on the property and the garden soil was jet black. All the things I planted came on quick and when I went down to pick, you could not see me in the garden for all the plants. One day I went to the garden to pick green beans, which I had four 250 foot rows of the bush beans, and came out with three bushels that one picking. After repeated pickings, washing, breaking, and canning, I thought there must be an easier way to do this.


To make the story shorter, here is a wonderful tip for you pickers. I took those bushels of green beans and put the whole thing in the washing machine unbroken, cold water, regular cycle, no soap, and washed them. When they came out, those were the prettiest, clean beans I had ever seen, and it did not take long to break because they were stringless, and I felt safe that they were extra clean. Another trick I did to make short cuts, was I put corn out of the garden, after I shucked it, in the dishwasher on regular cycle, and that replaced the boiling on top of the stove before freezing on the cob. So, if you gardeners have a lot of beans or corn to put up this year, these tricks really work and you will be amazed. I also found out that if you have raccoons getting your corn, go to the beauty shops and ask them to save you the hair they cut from customers and place it in between your corn rows, and the critters won’t bother your corn. I hope you enjoy my story and enjoy the tips I gave you.

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