I am so jealous of your beautiful green bell peppers! What kind are they? And where did you get the seed?
Audrey Dee Bennett
They are King of the North, and I saved seed from way back in New Mexico — the last place I was able to get mature peppers! They are an open pollinated variety, available from many seed houses. — Jackie
Building a log home
You are truly a life changing event for me! I have been increasing my farming experience, working at self reliant gardening,milk goats, poultry, pigs, beekeeping and have become seriously more self-reliant through years of practice, on my 1 acre homestead, where I also supported myself and 3 children with a Christian daycare. I’ve been a single mom to 3 children for most of these years…Now I am trying to buy forest land and build my own dream home. You also did so much alone while parenting! Do you have any advice on how to build, as a single person, a log home — or is it simply too much? I honestly think I am tough enough, smart enough, and self reliant enough. Can one person actually build a little log home, alone? Not to mention…all the other farming, too? Please answer! All advice is appreciated, and I will keep you completely informed how we’re all doing.
Yes, you can. But it would be a great idea if you picked up a good, inexpensive tractor with a loader. This is what my son, Bill, used when he built his big log home. He used it to lift the heavy logs up into place safely. When he had his house up, he sold the tractor for what he’d paid for it. Or if you are going to do farming, keep the tractor to use around the homestead. It saves your back a whole lot! Do be aware that building with logs is hard, heavy work. Read Dorothy Ainsworth’s articles on how she built not only a large log home (twice!), but other buildings out of log on her homestead, as a single, working woman. You might want to consider what kind of living arrangements you need while you are building. My son built a two car, stick-built garage. He lived in one side, in an apartment, while building his house; it took nearly 5 years before he and his wife moved into the new house. We hauled in an old mobile home to live in while we built. The trick is to know you will be building for awhile, and to pace yourself, living reasonably comfortably while you build. The rest of the homestead stuff is a piece of cake for a single mom!
Remember to check building codes where you plan on building; it greatly impacts your choices. In some areas, you must have a building inspector for each step. Some areas do not let you live in a garage while building, some require you finish within a certain length of time, etc. Check before you begin to build. Please let us know how you are coming! — Jackie
Growing potatoes with tomatoes
This is my first year for growing potatoes. I put them in a tub with holes in the bottom. Then I planted tomatoes on the sides and let them hang over the edge. I had run out of room to plant the tomatoes. All of a sudden the potatoes plants died. I know I have potatoes in there but should I leave them until the tomatoes are done or work them out gentle so they don’t rot?
I think I’d try to work the potatoes out, as by watering the tomatoes you might rot the potatoes, underneath. Let us know how they did. — Jackie
I have been trying to grow onions for a while now and they never seem to grow or get bigger than a bulb in size. I have been told that even though they are supposed to be the big white and yellow and purple ones that they don’t get big? That one stumps me. What do you think I am doing wrong? Is it the seed I am trying to use or? Shallots grow fine.
If your shallots are doing fine, it shows that you don’t lack for water, soil fertility, or weeding. It may be the variety of seed you are using. Be sure to use short-day varieties. If you are using long-day requirement varieties, such as Walla Walla, they won’t do much in Mississippi. You might also have better luck growing onions from sets if plants aren’t working for you. If the plants are set out when quite little, sometimes they just seem to sit there when hot weather comes. — Jackie
Thank you for taking time out of your hectic life to answer questions, I know from reading your blog you are one busy person. Well here goes, we have an outdoor one armed water hydrant like the one that you have posted on your blog and we have a dilly of a time getting it started when the hydrant has not been in use. It is connected to a buried water line that was t’d off of the main line that is going into our basement and is fed from spring on the back of our property. Inside works great but outside is not working. Any suggestions? Our hydrant is a frost free also I believe.
If the handle raises the rod, I’d guess that maybe you have got sediment built up in the valve that drains/opens the water line. You could probably back-flush the hydrant by attaching a hose with an added female end onto the hydrant faucet, raising the handle, then running water from the house to the hydrant. Or maybe attaching a hose to pipe fitting, then building a fitting to receive an air valve and flushing it with an air compressor. To keep it running, try opening it a couple times a month, whether or not you need it. — Jackie