Most of our wild and tame fruits have flowered without a freeze this year and as I closely examined several trees/bushes, I can see little swollen bumps that show that they are forming fruit. Even our honeyberries are sporting berries; our very first.

We’ve got several three- to four-year-old Hansen bush cherries around the place, both in the orchard and in our house garden. And boy-oh-boy did they ever flower this year! Take a look at the picture of the one in our house yard. It’s huge and has flowers on every single branch. Now if it just pollinates … It’s quite a ways from the others and so far, no cherries. This spring we planted two along the same fence so it will soon have partners in pollination. But we sure hope some far-flying bees brought pollen to it. If so, we’ll get gallons from that one bush as they form cherries all along the branches, top to bottom.


The wild blueberries are also quite good this year, as are the plums and pin cherries. We have high hopes!

Christian has graduated to milking the entire cow all by himself. As she still has a big udder, his hands do get tired toward the end, but milking makes strong hands!

Since I’m behind in the garden, I’m madly planting today, trying to get caught up. Unfortunately, in our short-season climate, you can’t afford to get too behind. But maybe we’ll have a warm summer, plenty of rain, and late fall frosts? A homesteader can only hope.

The knee is much better every day so I’m able to get more done, too. — Jackie


  1. Shirley,

    You don’t usually try to remove the seeds from blueberries. You can them up whole for baking later or make jam. The seeds are tiny and you don’t notice them in jam like you do raspberry and blackberry seeds. You can just add a bit of water to your pulp so it won’t scorch, measure it out and make jam as usual with your canned pulp. It should be fine.

  2. Yes Jackie, This is the best year we’ve had for Blueberries, so far. So, I have put 3 gallons in to boil and fed them trough the Victorio but to my surprise, it did not seperate out the seeds as well as I had expected. I tried straining the seedy pulp with no success. The pulp was so thick it wouldn’t drip. So, to keep from losing it all, I canned the cancentrate (including seeds) until I figure it out. Can you give me any pointers or suggestions as to what I did wrong. Your advice has helped out so much over the years, I truely appreciate you.

  3. Brian,
    Thanks for your information. When I was growing up, we always went to the Romeo Peach Festival and I still remember the wonderful fruit in the area. Sounds like you’re in for lots of goodies this year. Lucky you!

  4. Ruth Ann,

    Yes, Hansen bush cherries would do fine in Southern Michigan, as will pie and even some sweet cherries. Wow, to have that many strawberries! Sigh. I hope you can come to one of our future seminars. Health problems are such a pain in the #*()&*%$! Hope things get better for you soon.

  5. Ann,

    Our Hansen bush cherries are about 2/3 the size of pie cherries; too small to pit. But they make the very best jam and jelly in the world.

  6. Sheryl,

    I’m sure pin cherries would grow in your area. They look like pie cherries; bright red and shiny, but only about half the size. So you can’t pit them for pies and baking. But they do make wonderful jelly! They are hardy and heavy bearing. Not bothered by any pests but for cedar waxwings!

  7. to help pollenate your lone flowering tree in your yard, take a branch from another bush and prop it or tie in amongst the lone bush

  8. I am from the thumb area of the lower pennisula in Michigan. We are reeealy anticipating a good fruit growing season because the trees had a year of rest and usually produce well after an off year. The blossoms here are fantastic and it looked like it was snowing when the wind blew. We wish you a good fruit harvest this year. To Ruth Ann Martin, many farmers grow cherries in the Romeo area of the thumb in Michigan and they are very good cherries in both sweet or tart varieties. Happy growing!

  9. Jackie: I don’t know about others but in the southern part of southern Michigan I have an abundance of strawberries. So many that I don’t know what to do with them all. I am freezing them and will make jam or something else later. My back is hurting from picking so I have to lay off for a couple of days and have someone else pick as we have to pick daily. Would Hansen cherries be ok for Michigan? We grow cherries here but more up by Traverse City several hours north of us.

    Wish I could come to your August homesteading seminar but due to medical issues am unable to.

    Blessings Ruth Ann Martin

  10. Hi Jackie! For those of us who have never tried pin cherries: what size are they, do you think they will grow in SE Virginia, and I assume you use in recipes just like other fruit?

    Thanks so much for your blog. In this crazy world you are such an example of what should really be important.


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