Uncharacterized Archives

Letters to My Mother sent by Dad – January, 1945

Posted on December 11, 2017 by Leave a comment

Fred Kitson circa late 1944

Fred Kitson circa late 1944

Dad once told me “My time in WWII was the most exciting 6 months of my life and for me it is like it happened yesterday” He never really talked about it until he was about 75 years old. Initially it upset him to talk about it and he would often breakdown in telling a story. Once he got comfortable about talking about it, he kept remembering more stories to tell and wanted to share his story.

Dad (Fred Kitson) trained at Camp Wheeler in GA. Dad and I visited the area around Camp Wheeler in 2006. The camp no longer exists and very little information is available. Some of the camp is now a residential and business area. The letters are from my father to my mother Jeanne Ruth White Kitson.

Mom and Evelyn Jeane circa first half of 1945

Mom and Evelyn Jeane circa first half of 1945

(This photo was taken in the side yard at my grandparents house sometime in the summer of 1945 after my father came back from Europe.)

1944
12/2 – Daughter Evelyn Jeanne is born in Buffalo, NY
12/7 – Finished training as Infantry replacement for mortar and machine gun
12/9 – Furlough
12/19 – Furlough ends
12/31 – Boarded the Queen Mary at NYC; 18,000 including buddy Melvin Lau. The Queen Mary sailed January 1 – January 7, 1945. Duration of sailing 5 Days, 16 hours, 44 minutes. Speed 26.63 Knots. Normal Troop Capacity 15,000. Dad said the ship had 18,000 loaded.

1945
1/7 – Landed Gourock, Scotland; boarded train for South Hampton, England; traveled through the night under black-out conditions.
1/8 – Boarded U.S. Navy landing ship tank (special ship for unloading tanks and other military vehicles and equipment); traveled across the English Channel to Le Harve, France.
1/12 – Left Le Harve in boxcars; 33 men in each car with full field pack and duffle bag.
1/14 – Arrived at Repo Depo at Metz, France.
1/16 – Loaded on truck at dusk with other infantry replacements

The rest of this account is told in first person as my father told it to me or has been written in the letters he wrote. Occasionally, clarification comments will be made by the author to add additional detail which will be in parentheses:

1/17 – Sometime during the night Melvin Lau and I heard our names called out and we jumped into the road and were led into the basement of a damaged schoolhouse. The basement was illuminated with burning rags stuck into wine bottles filled with gasoline; black sooty smoke filled the air.

We had joined Company D, 1st Battalion, 3rd Regiment of the 87th Infantry Division of the Third Army under General Patton. We never saw him! We subsequently learned that this division had been committed to action for the front on December 25th 1944 in Leige, Belgium at the Battle of the Bulge. When we joined the men in our squad, on Jan. 17th (23 days later), only one half of the combat force was left. The others were either sick, wounded or dead. We replacements were welcomed into the machine gun squad with genuine appreciation.

Camp Wheeler trained 1000 replacements per week. To fill the Queen Mary it was necessary for 18 other replacement camps around the country to supply 1000 men each to fill the ship with 18,000 men and probably some women. Can you imagine the logistics of assembling 18,000 infantry replacements from around the country to load on to the Queen Mary; one man at a time walking up the gangplank? We were told that loading men had been going on for 24 hours prior to the time we loaded and we left about 30 hours after we loaded. This was the first and last time I spent time in New York City, on New Years Eve.

217 Glenridge Road, East Aurora, NY, circa 1935

217 Glenridge Road, East Aurora, NY, circa 1935

(My grand parents lived at 217 Glenridge Road in East Aurora, NY. Mom stayed with my grandparents while Dad was in Europe. The house had recently been built and only small trees surrounded it by 1945.)

1) This is the First Letter written after his first night on the ship.
Envelope: Passed – Army Examiner – Clarence L. Brauton, 2nd Lt. (cursive signature)?
U.S. Army Postal Service 13/Jan/1945

From:
Pvt Fred Kitson 42096197
Inf.Com. B. 2nd Plat.
a.p.o. 15705
% P.M. N.Y.N.Y.

To:
Mrs Fred Kitson
217 Glenridge Road
East Aurora, NY, USA

Hello Dear Jeanne,
I love you and hope you and our precious baby are feeling all right. I am fine and will be quite a way from home when you get this. I am writing this while at sea.

Without a doubt you will be wondering how I like the boat ride. The first night out to sea was rather rough. After evening chow my stomach rolled quite a bit, but I managed to keep it down. A good many boys were less fortunate and tossed up everything. We haven’t rolled much since the first night, and I have felt quite good and haven’t missed a meal. The meals are pretty good and we eat just twice a day, which is enough as we haven’t much to do.

I am anxious to know how the baby is coming along. I’ll bet she is growing like a weed. How is her rash? Does she still look like her Daddy? I hope her mommy is feeling good and getting along all right.

I have buddied up with a fellow from Minnesota whose name is Mel Lau (Melvin) ( Dad and Melvin Lau became life long friends). He is married, but has no children. He is the same age as I. We chum together most of the time and I enjoy his company a great deal.

We have a P.X. on the ship and we can get what we need. Incidentally cigarettes are 5 cents a pack on the ship.

We received nifty Red Cross packages which contained the following; carton of cigarettes, deck of cards, pencil, writing paper and envelopes (which I am using), a pocket reader of short stories, life savers (lime), sewing kit, soap box, and soap, and shoe laces. All this came in a useful cloth bag with a drawstring on top. It’s a nifty gift and we appreciate it. Red cross women also gave us coffee and donuts and candy just before we boarded the ship. (I am pretty sure this got dumped shortly after arriving in Scotland, as they had to carry so much and this would quickly become dead weight. Dad said they learned very quickly to travel light.)

I haven’t seen Bob Jones yet, but I have seen several of the other boys on the ship. I saw Gates the farmer and asked and asked him if he got the manure pile moved, but he said no, but he did get is pig and bull butchered.

Let me know if you received the Western Union money order which I sent from the P.O.E. (Port of Entry?). That was the only way I could send it because of censorship.

Our ship is very beautiful and we have a good stateroom. It is a former first class passage room, with nine bunks in it. We have a lavatory with bathtub, and an extra wash stand in the room with beautiful mirrors which make shaving very easy. Hot and cold running water. We have a good bunch of fellows in the room which makes it very agreeable.

I would like to tell more about the ship, but as you know everything form now on will be censored. (Dad said that there was a rotation of the bunks and meals. I believe he said 3 rotations. Each soldier got 8 hours in the bunk. He previously mentioned in this letter they got two meals a day. I believe this information was not included because it would have disclosed troop numbers and would have been censored)

I am writing this in the recreation room, and one of the boys is playing very beautifully on the piano. If the writing is any poorer than usual, it is because of the rolling of the ship. This letter will be censored on the ship and will start back shortly after we hit the dock, (Gourock, Scotland), so you will get it as soon as possible.
It will soon be chow time Darling Jeanne.

Good Afernoon.
I love and adore you and Evelyn Jeanne. Many hugs and kisses. Your truly, Fred
May God Bless You both abundantly.

2) I believe this is the second letter. No envelope. On United States Army stationary. (Since he knew no mail would be mailed back to the states until the ship docked in Scotland, he may have combined letters and not have been too concerned when they were posted while on the ship.)

Hello Dearest Jeanne,

Here’s hoping you are feeling O.K. when you receive this darling. I am feeling fine and wish I knew that you and the baby were as well as I am. We are still at sea and the weather is still about the same and the boat is rolling very little.

I was on the top deck this afternoon and got quite a kick out of watching the water roll by, which is just about all you can do. It was very breezy up there and the salt spray felt stingy as it blew into the face.

Last night I was in the bunk at 7:30 and I read quite a bit out of my pocket reader before lights out. We have reveille at 6:00 AM, chow at about 9:00 AM, and 5:00 PM, and lights out at 10:00 PM. In between time we go up on deck and read or just loaf.

They frequently have movies on the deck, but I haven’t bothered to see any. In the evening we can get a canteen cup full of pop for 15 cents. It tastes pretty good particularly because the ships water doesn’t have a good taste. I still haven’t missed a meal and furthermore I don’t expect to. Tonight we had potatoes, corned beef, bologna, carrots, turnips, pickles, bread, butter, cheese, coffee, and an apple. It was all very good and I enjoyed it. We eat out of our mess kits, which saves a lot of dish washing for the K.P.S. (kitchen patrol?)

I am anxious to know all about you and the baby and know you will let me know as soon as possible. My best wishes and prayers are with you constantly. I love and adore you precious Jeanne. May God Bless You abundantly.

Good nite My Love,
Your Sweetheart Fred

3) From: 12 January 1945 (United States Army Stationary)
Pvt Fred Kitson 42096197
Inf.Com. B. 2nd Plat.
a.p.o. 15705
% P.M. N.Y.N.Y.

To:
Mrs Fred Kitson
217 Glenridge Road
East Aurora, NY, USA

Envelope: Passed – Army Examiner – Clarence L. Brauton, 2nd Lt. (cursive signature)?

At Sea

Hello My Darling,

I hope you and the baby are feeling good and want you to know that I am feeling very good. The sea has been very calm and we haven’t rolled a bit today. Mel and I spent a couple hours today on the deck cnjoying the fresh air and shooting the breeze. We talked about home and our love ones whom are keeping the home fires burning for us. Naturally our conversation centered on our wives and he told me about his and I very proudly told of my wonderful sweetheart. We talked of our courtship and carried right on to the present. I’m sure that we both enjoyed it tremendously. He is very happily married and you surely know I am also. It is wonderful to have you dearest to think about and think of our happy life together. It is also good to think of the future when I can come home and enjoy you and our loverkins, Evelyn Jeanne

Good night darling, I love and adore you. Take good care of yourself and Evelyn Jeanne, and I’ll take good care of me. All my Love, Fred, May God Bless You.

4) From: (Sent V-Mail)
Pvt Fred Kitson
Inf.Com. B. 2nd Plat.
a.p.o. 15705
% P.M. N.Y.N.Y.

To:
Mrs Fred V Kitson
217 Glenridge Road
East Aurora, NY, USA

Envelope: Passed – Army Examiner – Clarence L. Brauton, 2nd Lt. (cursive signature)?

Hello Darling Jeanne,

I love you with all my heart. Jeanne think of you and our precious baby constantly. I hope you are well and our baby are both feeling well and happy.

I am fine and have been enjoying our trip quite a bit. You are without a doubt quite concerned about me, but please don’t make yourself unpleasant by worrying over me as you have a great big job with the baby, and I am all right.

You and Evelyn Jeanne are my precious loves and I miss you much but I have perfect memories and look forward to making our wishes come true. God Bless You. All My Love, Fred

5) This is the 5th letter. No envelope. Appears to have been combined with the previous letter. At Sea.

Hello Dearest Jeanne,

I just wrote a V-mail, but it is too small to really say anything, however I did want to write it as you will get it quickly. I had expected to write air mail, but there are no stamps available. After I get set on shore someplace, I will use airmail regularly.

I am still at sea and seem to enjoy it more all the time. Today has been very bright and the sea is calm. I spent a couple of hours today on the top deck just looking around with my buddy Mel from Minnesota.

We had exceptionally good chow tonight; beef stew, lima beans, potatoes, spiced ham cold cut, stewed figs, bread, butter, cheese, jam, and coffee.

Last night we had an entertainment in or most beautiful dining room. We have a ship orchestra made up of talented passengers. A tenor soloist sang a song from the operetta Student Prince. It was very well done, and of course brought back fond memories. Two accordionists also played a couple of polkas. The orchestra also played several tunes, including “Paper Doll”, “Shiek of Araby”, and “In the Mood”. It all sounded very good and we enjoyed it, but we must admit it sort of made us homesick.

I surely was lucky to have had that short time at Christmas, and enjoyed it to the fullest extent. It was a thrill of a lifetime to walk into the bedroom and see you feeding our beautiful Evelyn Jeanne. You are very beautiful Darling and I enjoyed looking at you and realizing that you are really mine. I am very happy and proud to have you as my sweetheart, wife, and mommy of our precious baby. You looked as pretty or prettier as you always have in spite of the fact that you had just recently given birth to our little lovekins. I realize in part at least what you have gone through to bring our baby here and I assure you I appreciate it all. It was the greatest thrill of all to hold the baby and realize that she is ours. I’ll bet she looks quite a bit different now than she did when I left. Here’s hoping she continued to sleep through her two o’clock feeding.

Good nite Dear Jeanne, I love and adore You; 4 bushels
May God Bless You
Your Sweetheart Fred

6) Pvt Fred Kitson 42096197 (V-Mail) (Date unreadable) (France – must have arrived and started his way across Europe) (no date)
Inf.Com. B. 2nd Plat.
a.p.o. 15705
% P.M. N.Y.N.Y.

To:
Mrs Fred Kitson
217 Glenridge Road
East Aurora, NY, USA

Envelope: Passed – Army Examiner – Lt. Burnsca (cursive signature)?

Darling Jeanne,

I know you haven’t received much mail, but rest assured I will write when I can. I haven’t received any mail yet and surely look forward to some, to learn how you and our lovekins are doing. I know you have written, it just hasn’t caught up with me. I have passed through bombed cities, and they are absolutely ruined. We are extremely fortunate that our cities haven’t seen bombs. It’s quite cold here and the ground is covered with snow. We sleep in a warm building and have good warm clothes. Where we are staying wan an extremely beautiful place before the war. Good afternoon Darling. I love and adore you. May God Bless You. All My Love. Fred

7) Pvt Fred Kitson 42096197 (V-Mail) (France)(no date)
Inf.Com. B. 2nd Plat.
a.p.o. 15705
% P.M. N.Y.N.Y.

To:
Mrs Fred Kitson
217 Glenridge Road
East Aurora, NY, USA

Envelope: Passed Army Examiner – Anthony M. Schina, 2nd Lt. (cursive signature)?

Hello Dear Jeanne,

Here is hoping this fins you and the baby in the best of health. I’m feeling alright. We are sleeping in an old building which the Nazis formerly occupied. We have a stove and bunks in the room. Chow is exceptionally good which is very important. I have been using my French (which he took in high school) to a good advantage. The kids on the street beg for “cigarettes pour papa” and “chocolate pour bebe”. Everyone is extremely ill clothed. Everything they have is old and warn.
I love you Darling. Please don’t worry about me. God Bless You. Your Sweetheart, Fred

8) Pvt Fred Kitson 42096197 (Somewhere in France) (V-mail) (no date)
Inf.Com. B. 2nd Plat.
a.p.o. 15705
% P.M. N.Y.N.Y.

To:
Mrs Fred Kitson
217 Glenridge Road
East Aurora, NY, USA

Envelope: Passed – Army Examiner – Lt. Burnsca (cursive signature)?

Hello My Darling,
I’m hoping that you and our precious baby are fineand not too worried about me. I am fine and dandy. I have seen a lot this war torn world and am happy that my loved ones oar in the U.S.A. Have a good anniversary day, (I think their anniversary was on Jan. 18th) and I hope and pray we can be together on the next one. I love you truly dearest and think of you and our loverkins always. God Bless You and Evelyn Jeanne and give you courage. (Keep your chin up precious Jeanne. I adore you. (Assigned to 3rd Army) (General Patton). Your Sweetheart and husband, Fred

9) Pvt Fred Kitson 42096197 (Luxembourg) (V-mail) (Jan. 20, 1945)
Inf.Com. B. 2nd Plat.
a.p.o. 15705
% P.M. N.Y.N.Y.

To:
Mrs Fred Kitson
217 Glenridge Road
East Aurora, NY, USA

Envelope: Passed – Army Examiner – Lt. Bumgardner (cursive signature)?
(I believe this is the location of Dad’s first combat where he started taking fire from the enemy)

Hello My Darling,

I love you precious and hope you and Evelyn Jeanne are feeling fine. I am O.K. and have been assigned to the 87th division. I am with a good bunch of fellows and living in and old school house. Its fairly comfortable and well heated. It’s been quite cold with about 6 inches of snow.

I think of you and the baby constantly and am anxious to hear how you are doing. I’ll bet she is growing fine as I know her mother is taking good care.

Take good care of yourself Jeane and I will do the same. May God Bless You and Keep You. All My Love. Fred.

P.S. I hope your family and mine are all feeling good.

10) Pvt Fred Kitson 42096197 (Luxembourg) (V-mail) (Jan. 30?, 1945)
Inf.Com. B. 2nd Plat.
a.p.o. 15705
% P.M. N.Y.N.Y.

To:
Mrs Fred Kitson
217 Glenridge Road
East Aurora, NY, USA

Envelope: Passed – Army Examiner – Lt. Milton C. Sherrl (cursive signature)?

Hello My Darling,

I hope you and Evelyn Jeanne are fine. Jeanne, I am O.K.. We are quite busy and I don’t get to write often, but I will write when I can. We had quite a treat today and had the opportunity to take a shower and get clean clothes today. We are well taken care of, and get good chow and usually sleep in a warm building. This afternoon I made a pan of delicious apple sauce which the boys are enjoying a great deal.

I love you dearly Jeanne and keep hoping and praying that you and the baby are all right. I am extremely thankful that all my loved ones are in the U.S.A. and haven’t suffered like the civilians have here. Take good care of Our Baby. I pray for us all often and assume?(not clearly written) you do to. All my Love, Fred

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Fall Food Plots – Trying New Seed Mixes

Posted on September 14, 2017 by Leave a comment

We haven’t planted new food plots since 2014 and it is time (Summer 2017) to plant some fall annual food plots in preparation for perennial food plots in 2018. We have a half acre of three year old Imperial Whitetail™ Brand Clover which needs to replaced in 2018 with at least an acre of Whitetail Clover. This late summer (August 5th) we planted six seed mixes from the Whitetail Institute. We have found reliability and innovation with Whitetail Institute products and seldom try other brands. Seed selection is one of the most important aspects of planting food plots. This time we are planting Pure Attraction®, Ambush®, Winter Greens™, Beets & Greens™, Tall Tine Tubers™ and Imperial Whitetail Oats Plus™. These are all annual seed blends and should be killed during the winter in this western New York location.

3 year old neglected Imperial Whitetail Clover food plot

3 year old neglected Imperial Whitetail Clover food plot

We started in June preparing for this planting with a late burn down. I say late because of very rainy spring weather. We did not apply the first application of glyphosate until the weeds were about 18 inches tall in most places. We used a heavy rate of glyphosate to control perennial weeds, with quackgrass being our biggest concern. We made a second application about the third week of July. To attempt to control quackgrass, you must make a second application when it re-grows following the first application. Since we are planting fall annual food plots, we will have another opportunity to control the quackgrass, if it regrows. We will make another burn down application next spring, before we plant our perennial planting of Whitetail Clover.

Food plot "Burn Down" number two

Food plot “Burn Down” number two

When we look at food plot seed blends in advertising and online, we get an idea of what is in the package, but to know exactly what is in the package you must read the Seed Label on the package you purchase. The seed label is required by the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture). This label will tell you the specific varieties, percent pure seed, germination percentage, origin of the seed (state), percent weed seed, percent inert matter, germination test date, amount of noxious weeds, container weight, etc.

Here is the seed label information for the varieties in the seed bags we purchased: These seed mixes contain a high percentage of coating material which is very important to the germination and weight distribution of the seed as it goes out a broadcast seed spreader. It is better to ensure that the seed you plant will grow than to purchase uncoated seed that may not germinate in adverse conditions. The coating is All-Vantage containing RainBond which will also helps water adhere to the seed in dry conditions.

Tall Tine Tubers: We like Tall Tine Tubers which we have grown before. The turnips provide foliage for the deer to eat after a freeze in the fall and the turnip “bulbs” to eat throughout the winter and early spring.
Tall Tine Turnip – 55.24%
Purple Top Turnip – 10.48%
Other Crop – 0%
Weed Seed – 0.05%
Inert Matter (includes 34.18% Coating Material)

Beets & Greens: This is the first time we have planted this seed mix. We are excited to see how the sugar beets in this mix preform. We have grown the other plants in the mix previously including Radish, Kale, Rape, and Tall Tine Turnips. It appears to be a mix that will nourish deer in late fall and possibly through winter and early spring. We had difficulty calibrating our hand held seeder to spread this seed because of the size difference between the larger beet seed and the smaller brassica/turnip seed. When we opened the seeder up to accommodate the beet seed, it let out too many brassicas. We feel this was the cause of our planting too much seed on a smaller area than the 1/2 acre intended. We may need to look at other seeder options.
WINA 412 Radish – 25.59%
WINA 210 Kale – 18.87%
Trophy Rape – 18.26%
Newbie Sugar Beet – 14.81%
Tall Tine Turnip – 2.95%
Other crop – 0.05%
Inert Matter – (includes 19.04 % coating material)
Weed Seed – 0.05%

Winter Greens: This is a good all around annual fall food plot mix. We have planted this previously. The deer will come in to eat it after a frost or two. In our area in western N.Y. State, it will be consumed from about mid Oct. until it gets really cold in mid January, maybe longer if there is snow cover. The deer will dig through the snow for it!
WINA 210 Forage Kale – 24.32%
Premier Forage Kale – 24.28 %
Dwarf Essex Rape – 4.44%
Trophy Rape – 3.29%
Dwarf Siberian Kale – 3.28%
Purple Top Turnip – 0.79%
Other crop – 0.05%
Inert Matter (includes 34.2% Coating Material)
Weed Seed – 0.08%

Ambush: This is a new seed mix for us and we are anxious to see how the lupines, peas, Alex Berseem Clover, sugar beets and Annual Ryegrass do in this mix. Our initial impression is that this mix germinated slowly, and the Alex Berseem Clover, and lupines germinate and develop slowly. Since the pea and lupine seed are large seeds and the percents in the seed mix are derived by weight, there are really not many lupine and pea seeds that have an opportunity to germinate. We’ll have to see how it looks in October and how much the deer feed on it. In our case, we may also need to change our planting procedure to make sure the bigger lupine and pea seeds are covered with more soil to get a higher germination percentage.
Amiga White Lupine – 25.88%
WINA 204 Peas – 19.80
Lumen White Lupine – 15.97
Whitetail 906590 Oats – 11.96
Alex Beseem Clover – 9.88
Newbie Sugar Beet – 5.98%
DH-3 Annual Ryegrass – 4.99
Other crop – 0.05%
Inert Matter (includes 5.10% Coating Material)
Weed Seed -0.06%

Pure Attraction: This is a new seed mix for us. We really like Whitetail Oats and this was an attractive mix to us since we wanted to combine some other seed types with our oat planting. One of the attributes we like about the “sweet” oats is that the deer will start eating it almost immediately, where we have to wait for frosts for many of the “greens”.

Whitetail 906590 Oats – 38.89%
Whitetail 105069 Oats – 35.87
Fridge Triticale – 12.34%
Bolero Peas – 4.41%
Brundage Wheat – 3.72%
WINA 210K Forage Kale -1.045
Premier Forage Kale – 1.04%
Dwarf Essex Rape – 0.225
Tall Tine Turnip – 0.22%
Trophy Rape – 0.14%
Dwarf Siberian Kale – 0.14%
Other Crop – 0.07%
Inert Matter (includes 5.10% Coating Material)
Weed Seed – 0.07%

Imperial Whitetail Oats Plus we have planted previously several times. I do not currently have the seed label for the seed we planted, but I can add that later. The majority of this seed is uncoated oat seed. We really like this product! The deer feed on it almost immediately and will continue to feed on it until it is frozen out in our area. It continues to grow and the deer keep it pruned almost down to the ground. Due to abnormal growing conditions and our first time experimentation using a UTV as a cultipacker, we chose to over seed our entire planting this year with a half rate of the “sweet” oats. So far, this has proven to be a benefit, although we did get excellent germination for almost all our seed mixes.

Imperial Whitetail Oats over-seeded at half rate over all plantings

Imperial Whitetail Oats over-seeded at half rate over all plantings

Our planting process this year included two burn-down applications primarily to control perennial quack grass, followed by three discings, planting, then fertilizing. We would like to have incorporated the fertilizer in with the discings, however with approaching rains we wanted to make sure we had the seed planted, and germination confirmed before we committed to purchasing fertilizer. We also felt we probably had enough phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) to get the plants going. There might be an advantage of making one late heavy N-P-K application after germination verses a split application of an early N-P-K application followed by a later Nitrogen (N) application. Ideally you would make the two fertilizer applications. We’ll see how big the turnips and sugar beets get by November 15th?

Imperial Whitetail Oats Plus germinating!

Imperial Whitetail Oats Plus germinating!

We try to follow the seeding rate on the package, usually I purchase 1/2 acre bags of seed. Sometimes it is a challenge to get the rate correctly and achieve optimum spacing between plants. If the seeding rate is to close, you get a lot of spindly plants. If it is too thin, you get gaps which allow weeds to get established. Particularly with turnips, radishes and sugar beets, if they are planted too thickly, the root bulb will be small. For these rooting plants you want them planted thin enough to grow big “bulbs”. Having enough fertilizer will also help grow big bulbs if the plants have enough space.

Always exciting to see good germination and plant spacing!

Always exciting to see good germination and plant spacing!

An example of planting too thickly

An example of planting too thickly

We had one area that we decided to turn into a food plot late in the summer and it only received a mowing and one burn down application. It was very trashy even after it had been disced about 4 times. We planted extra seed and oversewed it with the “Sweet” oats. It appears to have had good germination and we expect this plot to do well.

Good germination in a really trashy area!

Good germination in a really trashy area!

After germination it is great to watch the plants get established and in some cases fight for light and dominance with their neighbors. If you can’t get your seeding rate perfect, it’s better to plant extra seed than not have enough planted in our opinion.

Oats and Brassicas getting established! Tillering - Sinking roots!

Oats and Brassicas getting established! Tillering – Sinking roots!

Our most shady/secluded plot getting established!

Our most shady/secluded plot getting established!

We have one newly cleared area where we have cut down relatively large trees to expand our food plot area and to let more light in on or existing plots. We have cut the trees, harvested the firewood, burned the branches and have planted this area for the first time. This creates the need to disc the soil and plant around the stumps. We do not plan to remove the stumps and all our food plots have stumps in varying stages of decay.

Planting around the stumps!

Planting around the stumps!

We have planted about 2 1/2 acres of food plots this year, some is planted in between rows of english walnut trees that we have planted. We have our first nut on a tree this year! We did not plant blocks of the same seed mix types, but alternated seed mix types in about 30 foot bands throughout the plots. In previous years we have planted in blocks which resulted in some plots being pretty bare after the deer at almost everything. With this approach all the plots should have something growing throughout the entire hunting season.

Multiple Food Plots with Multiple Seed Mixes Planted

Multiple Food Plots with Multiple Seed Mixes Planted

With the food plots established and the expectation that big bucks from all over will come to flock into these food plots, we decided to build a simple hunting stand to overlook about 2/3 of the plots. At the very least it will give us a place to sit, out of the rain, in a comfortable chair while we watch the show.

Simple Hunting Stand

Simple Hunting Stand

™ ®

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19th Hole Sauce Recipe

Posted on July 20, 2017 by Leave a comment

My friends Jim and Starr Ramsey gave me this recipe many years ago and we usually have some on hand. Jim and Starr were the ultimate grillers; grilling 3-4 times a week, no matter what the weather. It didn’t matter if there was a foot of snow in the winter, Jim would brush the snow off the grill and start a fire with real charcoal (not briquets!). This sauce may also be called Sitzmark sauce. You will find some other recipes on line, however this is a simple, easy to make recipe and you may already have most of the ingredients in your cupboard. We keep the left over sauce in our refrigerator for a month or more. It can be used as a condiment on all kinds of beef, pork, lamb, and chicken. We normally use it on grilled cheeseburgers on toasted english muffins. Lamb burgers are especially good!

I still have the recipe as I copied it down almost 40 years ago.

19th Hole Sauce Recipe from Jim and Starr Ramsey

19th Hole Sauce Recipe from Jim and Starr Ramsey

Ingredients:

1) 1/2 Cup of water
2) 1/4 Cup of vinegar (White or Cider)
3) 2 Tablespoons of oil (we use extra virgin olive oil)
4) 1 1/2 Cups of Ketchup (we use Heinz)
5) 1 Bay leaf
6) 1 Teaspoon of sugar
7) 2 Drops of liquid smoke
8) 1 Teaspoon of salt
9) 1/3 Cup of finely diced onion
10) 1/2 Teaspoon of paprika

Combining the Ingredients

Combining the Ingredients

A very colorful mix of spices!

A very colorful mix of spices!

Putting it all together:

1) Combine all the ingredients into a small sauce pan. It really doesn’t matter what order the ingredients are added.
2) Over low heat, gradually bring to a simmer. Cover and let it simmer for at least a half an hour.
3) Stir every couple of minutes to keep from burning on the bottom of the pan.
4) Check to make sure the mustard seeds are soft enough to bite into without being hard.
5) Ready to serve warm or cold.
6) Save the unused portion in a sealed container in the refrigerator.

Simmer and stir on low heat for at least 30 minutes

Simmer and stir on low heat for at least 30 minutes

The good old Revere Ware sauce pans!

The good old Revere Ware sauce pans!

Tips:

1) If you have never used Liquid Smoke, there are several brands which can be found in a grocery store. You only need a drop or two to change the flavor of a recipe, so a bottle will last you a long time.
2) Revere Ware. My mother always used Revere Ware, which is cookware made with lightweight stainless steel or stainless steel with a copper bottom. If you don’t burn what you are cooking, these pans are easy to clean and last forever. I prefer to use the old style Revere Ware that you can buy used on Ebay at a reasonable price. I have all the high priced gourmet cookware, but I always seem to cook with the Revere Ware when it comes to sauce pans or large 6 and 8 quart pans. The older Revere Ware is not “non-stick”, so you can use metal spoons for cooking and “Scotch-Brite” pads for cleaning.

We primarily use this sauce on hamburgers and cheeseburgers. We especially like the combination of Cheeseburgers, Sharp Cheddar cheese slices, with 19th Hole Sauce, on a grill toasted english muffin.

Grilling the burgers with toasted English Muffins and Sharp Cheddar Slices!

Grilling the burgers with toasted English Muffins and Sharp Cheddar Slices!

A little sauce on top and underneath the burger!

A little sauce on top and underneath the burger!

We usually eat our burgers with other common “Picnic” foods, no matter what time of year. We try to get some vegetable in our diet at the same time. Enjoy!

Don't forget the veggies!

Don’t forget the veggies!

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Appreciate U.S. Agricultural Policy and the Farmers Who Grow Our Food

Posted on June 22, 2016 by Leave a comment

The closest simple definition of basic U.S. Agriculture Policy can be reflected in United Nations definition (see below). I could not find a simple statement from the U.S Government, after searching for a half an hour on the internet. I remember hearing it explained during my classes at the University of Georgia when I was studying for my agriculture degree.

Food security (Source Wikipedia)
The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) defines food security as existing when “all people, at all times, have physical and economic access to sufficient safe and nutritious food that meets their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life”. The four qualifications that must be met for a food secure system include physical availability, economic and physical access, appropriate utilization, and stability of the prior three elements over time.”

In other words, we need food to be:
1) Readily available for the foreseeable future
2) Available at relatively low prices
3) The food needs to safe for consumption
4) The food needs to be nutritious

Honeybees Pollinate CA Cantaloupes!

Honeybees Pollinate CA Cantaloupes!

Formulating agricultural policy for the United States is a complicated process and has evolved over the history of our country. Changes to agriculture policy continue as innovations in technology change the way our food is grown, how it is consumed within the U.S. and how it is exported all over the globe. Agriculture exports contribute positively to our balance of trade. Often we hear of a negative U.S. trade balance because of our imports of electronics, machines, vehicles and oil. Agricultural products are an very important part of our nation’s economy. Changes in agricultural policy due to legislation, the farm bill (including subsidies), the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) , EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), and other influences, contribute to the evolution of farming. More than three million people farm or ranch in the United States. Over 22 million people are employed in farm or farm-related jobs, including production agriculture, farm inputs (fertilizer, seeds), processing (wheat into pasta), marketing and sales (wholesale and retail).

On June 19th, 2016 you may have noticed the headlines about the failed economy and food policy of Venezuela. Even though Venezuela has some of the largest oil reserves, the people were rioting because they did not have enough food. Transportation of food was under armed guard, soldiers stood guard over bakeries, mobs stormed grocery stores, pharmacies and butcher shops. As I read the news, it made me think how thankful I am that we have the wonderful farmers, ranchers, dairy men and women, and all the other agricultural producers that we have in the U.S. We also have a government that, for the most part, is dedicated to the success of our agricultural businessmen and women.

The political stability of a county is really based on the overall health of a well fed population. Without a well fed population, it could be political and economic chaos. In the U.S., most of us take for granted that food will always be available and have not thought about a limited supply of food. This is different than not having enough money to buy available food. Can you imagine a time when there would be no milk, bread or eggs (the staples for every run on the grocery store during an emergency)? In this country it is unimaginable.

Farmers in the U.S. need to have the availability of government backed programs in order to remain in business. Let me give you an example. Once I was given the opportunity to buy my own farm. When I did a ten year forecast, it became obvious that within ten years of up and down profitability, I would need to plan for at least one year of total crop failure, not only zero income, but the loss of all my input expenses for that year. When I factored in the income needed to repay the debt for the “lost year”, my financial future did not look so good. I passed on the opportunity. Farmers are at the mercy of the weather which is totally out of there control, with few exceptions. An exception would be if the farmer has irrigation. Farmers need economic breaks to “weather” the bad times, so they can consistently continue to produce food for our county. We need farmers to continue to be in business.

Many times we hear, in a negative way, that mainstream farms are made up of “Factory” farms, when the truth is that over 95 percent of U.S. farms are owned by individuals, individual families, family partnerships or family corporations. Farms have had to get bigger because prices for most agricultural commodities have not risen along with the prices on nonagricultural goods. The only way for farms to remain profitable is to become bigger and make less money on a per unit basis, but grow and sell more volume. The individuals, individual families, family partnerships and family corporations are predominantly the same people who once owned smaller farms. The less innovative, less ambitions, less hard working, poorer managers have left the business, as within any industry. Without these surviving experienced, innovative agricultural businessmen, your food supply would not be what it is today.

Yes, there are those that will belittle the large “Factory” farms, and claim that we should all go “organic” or “buy local”, but the food security of our nation is dependent on main stream agriculture. Recently farm programs are now also including smaller farms, to encourage farming at almost any level, so local growers and organic growers can also benefit from some agricultural programs. It is important to support all agriculture to meet the needs of our county. When the organic, or local guy is out of product, you can still go to the grocery store and be confident there will be something to eat every day of the year!

Donate to a Food Pantry!!

Posted on June 17, 2016 by Leave a comment

West Valley Food Pantry, Woodland Hills, CA

West Valley Food Pantry, Woodland Hills, CA

West Valley Food Pantry
5700 Rudnick Avenue
Woodland Hills, CA 91367
(818) 346-5554

http://www.westvalleyfoodpantry.org

We find that as we garden, we regularly grow more than we can use or give away to our friends and neighbors. What to do? After asking around, we located a local Food Pantry. The food pantry serves 11 communities near Los Angeles. The average client of our food pantry receives enough food for about 3 days, but can only receive food once each month. The Food Pantry provides for about 50 clients a day, 5 days a week or about 1100 bags of food a month. The food pantry sources about $10,000 worth of food a month using, donations, coupons and bulk discounts. Additionally, food is donated from commercial businesses such as grocery stores and restaurants. One group of items that is not readily available from donations is fresh fruits and vegetables!! What seems like a small donation from us to the food pantry, is much appreciated when we are able to donate. We normally bring between 20 and 100 lbs of produce when we donate. So far, we have donated, Swiss Chard, Mustard Greens, Collard Greens, Kale, Onions, Squash, and Cucumbers. The Volunteers at the food pantry divide what we bring into small “bunches” that they include in as many bags of groceries as they can. This small effort allows a lucky few to enjoy the fresh vegetables we donate.

If you have extra produce, take the time to locate a local food bank and see what opportunities there are for you to donate!

Swiss Chard ready for donation

Swiss Chard ready for donation

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Vegetable Lasagna

Posted on June 17, 2016 by Leave a comment

One of our favorite summer dishes is Vegetable Lasagna. You can really make this any time of year with produce from the grocery store, but using the fresh picked vegetables from your own garden extends the adventure of growing your own food. What you pick from the garden varies and so you are “inspired” to adjust the recipe to what vegetables you have on hand. Our recipe is focused around summer squash, eggplant, and tomatoes, but the combinations you can use are many. This is a baked, layered dish and the number of layers will vary depending on your pan size, number of people to feed, etc. Of course, you can add meat to this recipe!

Basic Ingredients; Squash, Eggplant, Fennel bulb, Onion, Fennel seed, Peppers, Tomato sauce, Bread crumbs

Basic Ingredients; Squash, Eggplant, Fennel bulb, Onion, Fennel seed, Peppers, Tomato sauce, Bread crumbs

Ingredients:
1) Extra virgin olive oil
2) Bread crumbs
3) Onion
4) Peppers (almost any kind or combination)
5) Squash (Yellow, Zucchini, or similar)
6) Eggplant (we prefer the Chinese long purple, if you can find them or grow them)
7) Fennel bulb sliced or diced (optional)
8) Parmesan cheese grated
9) Fennel seed (optional)
10) Salt
11) Pepper
12) Pasta sauce, fresh tomatoes or a combination (if you use only fresh tomatoes, then you also need to add typical Italian pasta sauce seasonings)
13) Mozzarella cheese grated or sliced

Note: Fennel seed is the main spice in Italian sausage which gives it it’s distinct flavor.

Putting it all together: (pre-heat oven to 325 degrees)
1) Pour and spread a thin layer of olive oil on the bottom of the baking dish.
2) Sprinkle a thin layer of bread crumbs.
3) Add a thin layer of diced onions.
4) Add a handful of diced peppers (we used a mild green pepper).
5) Spread a layer of sliced squash (we used yellow and zucchini).
6) Spread a layer of sliced eggplant.
7) Dice or slice one half of a fennel bulb and spread evenly.
8) Sprinkle a teaspoon of fennel seed evenly.
9) Season with salt and pepper.
10) Sprinkle grated parmesan cheese
11) Add spoonfuls of pasta sauce.
12) Repeat the same layers for multiple layers.
13) When finished with the top layer, spread pasta sauce thickly over the entire top of the casserole.
14) Bake for approximately 1 1/2 hours and remove to add mozzarella cheese.
15) Bake for an additional 20 minutes or until the mozzarella cheese is melted and browned to your satisfaction.
16) Bake at 325 degrees.

First Layer, bread crumbs, peppers and onions

First Layer, bread crumbs, peppers and onions

Yellow Squash

Yellow Squash

Zucchini

Zucchini

Diced Fennel Bulb

Diced Fennel Bulb

Chinese Eggplant

Chinese Eggplant

Grated Parmesan

Grated Parmesan

Add some sauce in a middle layer

Add some sauce in a middle layer

Fresh tomatoes are always good!

Fresh tomatoes are always good!

Top layer of pasta sauce

Top layer of pasta sauce

Add cheese 12-20 minutes before taking out of the oven

Add cheese 12-20 minutes before taking out of the oven

Ready to eat!!

Ready to eat!!

Vegetable Lasagna!

Vegetable Lasagna!

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Freezing Green Beans

Posted on June 14, 2016 by Leave a comment

When growing our pole beans this year we grew more than we were able to eat fresh and decided to freeze some extra beans for later. Freezing green beans is a relatively simple process that can be done with items you most likely already have in your kitchen. The steps for freezing include preparing the bean, blanching, cooling, and packaging the end product. Blanching is the process of heating the vegetable to stop enzyme activity from further ripening and/or deteriorating the quality of the beans while it is frozen for months or years. Blanching preserves flavor, color and texture.

Picked beans!

Picked beans!

What you need:
1) Beans
2) Large pot of boiling water
3) Large bowl of ice water or cold water
4) Packaging containers

The "String" of a string bean!

The “String” of a string bean!

The Processes:
1) Remove the ends of the beans and the strings, if the beans are “string” beans. For stingless beans this part of the process can simply be done with a knife.
2) Cut or “Snap” the beans into bite size pieces.
3) Blanch the beans for 3 minutes in boiling water. Add small batches of beans to large pot of boiling water (At least one gallon of water per pound of vegetable to be blanched). Start counting the 3 minutes after the water returns to vigorous boiling. The water should return to boiling after one minute.
4) After blanching immediately place the beans in an ice water bath.
5) When the beans are cooled, drain and package the beans.
6) Label your containers with a date.
7) Place the bags separated from each other in the freezer. When they are frozen, you can place the packages closer together.
8) The frozen beans will keep for a long time, but are best used within 12 months for best quality.

Ends, and strings removed from the beans

Ends, and strings removed from the beans

Beans, strings removed and "snapped"

Beans, strings removed and “snapped”

Blanching in boiling water

Blanching in boiling water

Cooling in the ice bath

Cooling in the ice bath

Blanched beans ready for packaging

Blanched beans ready for packaging

Packaged beans ready to be labeled and placed in the freezer

Packaged beans ready to be labeled and placed in the freezer

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Growing Pole Beans 2016

Posted on June 14, 2016 by Leave a comment

We have grown green beans as Pole Beans and also Bush Beans. Bush beans grow close to the ground and are usually less than 2 feet tall and normally about 18 inches tall. Pole beans on the other hand, will grow about as tall as you make a trellis. We made our trellis about five feet tall out of well used “Tomato” cages. Trellises can be made a variety of ways and with a variety of materials. The purpose of the trellis is to give the vines of the pole beans something to climb upwards and to make the beans accessible for picking. Without a trellis, the beans will just grow flat on the ground and defeat the purpose of picking pole bean varieties.

Pole bean seedlings with "Tomato" cages

Pole bean seedlings with “Tomato” cages

Most “newer” bush bean varieties have been developed to be stingless, but many of the older and very flavorful pole bean varieties have strings. The strings need to be removed when preparing the beans for cooking. The strings in more mature beans have a threadlike texture and do not chew easily when eating the beans. The string will be coarser and more developed as the bean matures and the seeds grow larger. Younger less developed beans will have no strings or a less developed string. When choosing pole bean varieties, read the seed description carefully so you know which varieties have strings and which do not. However, some of the beans with strings have a wonderful flavor and should not be avoided due to this characteristic. Removing the strings just takes a few more minutes during preparation and is well worth the extra time.

The "String" of a string bean!

The “String” of a string bean!

We wanted to grow several pole bean varieties but did not have the space to plant multiple rows of different varieties. Our compromise was to mix the seed of several varieties so the different varieties grew together in a mixed planting. We planted Blue Lake, Kentucky Blue, Kentucky Wonder, and Kentucky Wonder Yellow Wax bean. Some bush and pole bean varieties can be harvested as green beans or as shelled dry beans, if left to fully mature and dry.

Pole beans blooming and setting beans

Pole beans blooming and setting beans

When planting beans, peas, and other legume crops, we inoculate the seed with rhizobia nitrogen fixing bacteria. Rhizobia bacteria establish themselves in the roots of legumes, forming nodules on the roots of the bean plants. The bacteria fixes nitrogen from the atmosphere and make it available to the plant. The available nitrogen reduces or eliminates the need to fertilize the beans with nitrogen fertilizer. Many soils naturally have this bacteria present at planting, especially if beans, peas, clover, or other legumes have been grown there previously.

We plant the beans about an inch deep in the soil and water them immediately. Plant after the danger of frost has past, and the soil has warmed, unless you plan to cover the seed and seedlings with a fabric cover. The beans should start to germinate after about a week.

Bean seedlings are susceptible to losses during germination, so we plant the seed close enough to allow for this expected loss. Poor germination, fungal diseases and insects contribute to seedling loss. As germination progresses we thin the seedlings to about 4 inches apart leaving only the strongest plants.

After the first set of true leaves develop we apply an insecticide, to combat insects that attack the seedlings. We apply an insecticide periodically as the bean plants grow, if we notice an insect problem. Our plants developed mites this year. We have not yet found a product that is really very good at controlling these pests. The best mite control is achieved with a natural predator.

We set our tomato cages over the seedlings once they became established and we had controlled all the weeds. The beans will grow rapidly and will begin to bloom. After bloom, the beans will set and form the beans. Pole beans will keep blooming and producing, if the plants remain healthy. It helps to keep the plants healthy, if care can be taken during picking to reduce injury to the vines.

Pole beans at during harvest

Pole beans at during harvest

Keep the beans watered and as pest free as possible for high quality beans. Experience will teach you when to pick the beans. Eat a few as they develop. Usually the beans are picked after they have become big enough for the beans to develop, but prior to the shape of the bean seed becoming too distinct.

Picked beans!

Picked beans!

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Genesee Valley Produce Auction – Open for 2016

Posted on May 24, 2016 by Leave a comment

Since we wrote our last blog about the Genesee Valley Produce Auction, we have been asked, where it is, how to contact the auction, and how to get there? We called and verified that our information for 2016 is up to date. We hope our directions and updates help you have a great day at the auction!!

Genesee Valley Produce Auction
8855 County Road 3
Centerville, NY 14029

1/4 mile east of “downtown” Centerville on the road towards Hume/Fillmore, NY.
Centerville is a small town in northwest Allegany County, NY, at a crossroads. The most notable business in downtown Centerville is Uncle Tom’s Kabin which is a small grocery store. Go 1/4 mile towards Hume/Fillmore and The Genesee Valley Produce Auction will be on the south side of the road. If you are coming from Hume/Fillmore, it will be on the south side of the road just before you enter the village. You can’t miss it!!

Auction Days: Usually lasts an hour or two depending on how much is up for sale.
Tuesday – 10:00 AM till over
Friday – 10:00 Am till over

For questions call: This is an Amish Auction and contact by phone is only available at specific times.
585-567-8640 from 9:00 till about noon on auction days
585-567-4312 other days between 8:00 – 8:30 AM

Genesee Valley Produce Auction, LLC

Genesee Valley Produce Auction, LLC

Update 5/24/16: The auction has resumed for 2016 and will continue until the end of October. The first annual Quilt, Furniture & Craft Auction will be held June 25th, 2016.

Centerville Amish Community

Centerville Amish Community

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Freezer Jam!

Posted on May 20, 2016 by Leave a comment

We have been making jams and jellies for many years. We like both freezer and cooked jams. Freezer jams have a tendency to have a hight sugar content, but have a fresher flavor, closer to a fresh berry taste, since the berries have not been cooked. There are some jams we prefer as freezer jam. One of them is Strawberry. Jams can be made with frozen fruit and taste pretty much the same as being made with fresh fruit. This advantage allows you to make jam any time of the year, in small batches, as you need it! Many times frozen fruit is processed at the peak of ripeness and is sometimes of better quality than available “fresh” fruit that has been in transit for several days or weeks.

Start with simple ingredients, Fresh or Frozen fruit, Sugar, and Sure-Jell. There are other pectin products beside Sure-Jell, but we have always used it successfully and have not experimented with other similar products. You will also need clean jars, lids and rings. We like the wide mouth type jar because the jar is easier to empty and clean. We prefer the Kerr® Jars, but Ball® Jars work as well. Read the Sure-Jell label for complete instructions and recommendations. Our recipe follows the Sure-Jell instructions. We have added our own photos from our kitchen.

Start with fresh or thawed frozen berries!

Start with fresh or thawed frozen berries!

Sure-Jell helps make the jam jell!!

Sure-Jell helps make the jam jell!!

Follow the instructions for the type of jam you are making on the Sure-Jell instruction sheet, which is included in every box. The amount of fruit, sugar, and other additives (like lemon juice) is listed for each recipe.

Ingredients for Strawberry Jam:
1) 2 Cups Strawberries crushed (berries should be at room temperature)
2) 4 Cups Sugar
3) 1 Box of Sure-Jell

Measure the sugar in a separate bowl!

Measure the sugar in a separate bowl!

Putting it all together:
1) The first step is to prepare the fruit. For strawberry jam, we crush the room temperature berries and measure out 2 cups of crushed berries.
2) Measure out 4 cups of granulated sugar. We have used both cane and beet sugar with equal results. If we have a choice we use cane sugar.
3) Combine the sugar and crushed strawberries in the bowl and let it stand for 10 minutes. This time period allows the sugar to start to dissolve in the strawberry juice and pulp.
4) Place your clean jars upside down in a water bath on medium heat to sterilize the inside of the jars. Let the water come to a boil and simmer on low heat. The water will have a tendency to fill the jars. Move the jars and the water will release back into the pan.
5) Place the lids in a small sauce pan and bring to a boil on medium heat, then reduce to low heat until you are ready to seal the jars. We remove the lids with tongs from the hot water.
6) Add the package of Sure-Jell to 3/4 cup of water. Stir in with the water quickly to remove any lumps. Bring to a full boil on high heat. Stir constantly for 1 minute and take off the heat.
7) Pour the hot Sure-Jell mixture into the bowl of sugar and strawberries. Stir constantly for 3 minutes. Most of the sugar should be dissolved by now. Prepare to fill the containers immediately!
8) Fill the containers. Leave 1/2 inch of space at the top of each jar. The space is to allow for expansion when frozen. Cover with the lid and seal with the ring.
9) Label you jars. Let the jam stand at room temperature for 24 hours. Then place in the freezer.

Crush the berries!

Crush the berries!

Sterilize the jars in a water bath!

Sterilize the jars in a water bath!

Sterilize the lids!

Sterilize the lids!

Let the berries and sugar set for 10 minutes!

Let the berries and sugar set for 10 minutes!

Add the Sure-Jell!

Add the Sure-Jell!

Bring the Sure-Jell and water to a boil!

Bring the Sure-Jell and water to a boil!

Fill the jars!

Fill the jars!

Seal the jar lids!

Seal the jar lids!

Label the jars!

Label the jars!

ENJOY!!

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