We’ve been having a real rainy mid-May with flash flood warnings on the weather radio nearly every day. Luckily when we picked out our homestead land it was on high ground with absolutely no flood danger. And our gravelly garden drains so well that even after an inch of rain, we can let it dry out a day and till it. If the tiller’s not broken!


Luckily, Will got the parts he needed for our Troy-Bilt Horse Tiller and spent a dry day putting it back together. Then in the evening he took it out and gave her a try. It worked perfectly!! Then it rained. And rained again. Still raining!

With my knee healing but not so hot yet, I went down to Duluth to my sister’s house to pick up some of the Soil and Water Conservation trees she had ordered to split with us and my son, Bill. We got Hansen Bush Cherries, Wild Plums, Highbush Cranberries, and a few Mountain Ash for the birds. On the way down and back, I stopped at Byrn’s Greenhouse in Zim (way out in the boonies!) and bought some plants too! It’s a wonderful place with beautiful plants and great prices. (Okay, I filled the back of the Subaru!) I got two honeyberries for Will. My daughter sent me $20 for Mother’s Day to buy plants with so I bought a hardy pink rose. Then I bought a few perennials and some pansies for the flower bed. I could have brought the whole place home if I’d have won Powerball! When it quits raining, we’ll get ’em all planted.



Our beautiful milk cow, Lace, just calved today. Unfortunately it was another big bull calf — white with just a little red roan on the edges of his ears. We so wanted it to be a heifer. Oh well, at least he is healthy.

We had a couple cancel for our Homesteading Seminar in August because of health problems, so there are two more spots available if any of you would like to attend. Just e-mail me at jackie@backwoodshome.com and I’ll send you a flyer. — Jackie


  1. Beth,

    You can eat honeyberries fresh or make jam from them, just like blueberries. (And there’s always pie, tarts and other baked goods!). They usually begin bearing the year after planting or two years, tops, with good care. And they do grow quite quickly. By the way, a great source is honeyberryusa, online. They are a family company, right here in Minnesota!

  2. Now what do you do with the honeyberries??? Can you eat them raw, how long till they bear? Beth

  3. THANKS , lucky you 3 for $10 a bargin! I have divided this salvia a lot. It’s now in and around some pink (ornamental)sweet peas and black eyed susans and mixed in my ferns and near a bed of fairy roses, I just love them as here(east texas) they bloom well until it really hot and again in the fall. Best of all they are no fuss plants.
    I know you’re anxious to get in the garden, please go easy on the knee for a while, been there done that, TO SOON and sure regretted that to soon part.

  4. Laura,

    The flowers are prennials; May Night Salvia. I planted one last year and they had a special of 3 for $10 this week so I went for it. They increase nicely and are showy when other flowers are not so. I’m glad you dodged tornadoes. We have an occasional one here but they (usually) aren’t very big or strong. Too cold? I’m glad.

  5. Jackie, so glad you’re feeling better. I too could bring an entire garden center home and boy do I understand and appreciate spring rain, 2 1/2 inches last night. Tornados, hail and high wind all around us but fortunately no damage, just some limbs down you get snow and we get the other stuff.
    My silly question is , behind your honeyberry bushes there are some blue/purple spike flowers what are they? I have some very similar but can not remember what they are or where they came from. Thanks

  6. Congratulations are in order Miss Jackie, but I’m not sure which is more exciting…..the new calf and the milk or those wonderful plants !

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