Will has been using all his spare time to push out encroaching brush in one of the neighbor’s hayfields that we rent. Some of the previous folks who cut hay on the field slowly moved in toward the center of the fields as brush started growing on the edges. Over the years this significantly impacted the size and yield of the fields. So when we were asked to cut the hay, Will has also been trying to beat back the brush to regain the original size of the fields. Yesterday, after our homesteader potluck dinner and visit with a lot of great like-minded people, the sun was out so Will decided to go over and try to finish up the field he had been working on so he can bring Old Yeller, our bulldozer, home to do some work here.

He wasn’t gone but about an hour. Oh oh… That’s never good! When I asked him what broke, he shrugged and said a bearing in the drive wheel. So today he went over and hauled Old Yeller home and is, even as we speak, out there taking things apart so he can find how bad the damage is and hopefully order parts. Sigh. That’s homesteading.


Meanwhile, I’m continuing to clean garden and flower beds. It seems endless some days.

We’ve got turkeys laying in their little turkey hooches. This year we separated the pairs so eggs don’t get broken or too many turkey hens don’t lay in one box. When the hens are in laying, the toms strut and dance around outside. Very pretty!


I heard FROGS yesterday! The sun was out, the birds were singing, and when I went out onto the deck, I heard frogs starting to croak down at the spring basin. Hooray! Spring IS here.

We had so much fun yesterday at our homesteader potluck — trading seeds, plants, ways we do different things, recipes, and much more. It was sort of like a mini-seminar. We’ll do it again in the fall. (If you seem not to have any like-minded homestead neighbors, why not host and advertise a small homesteader potluck at your house this summer? It’s a great way to meet new folks and make lasting friends.)

Just a note for those of you who enjoy stopping by the BHM booth at the MREA Fair: The magazine will not be having a booth there this year so Will and I won’t be coming, either. I know some of you said you always stop by the booth every year to renew so I don’t want you to be disappointed when we aren’t there. Check out the other shows the magazine will be coming to on the magazine’s website. Sorry to miss you at the MREA Fair. We enjoyed it too. — Jackie


  1. WisconsinChar

    You might call the magazine with your concerns. I hear you but as the Duffys are doing most of the shows, and they live in Oregon, most are in the West. Sorry.

  2. I also hope the dozer is back on track soon and without having to spend too much money on it.

  3. Jackie–All I can see is that you’re going to be only in the west–Oregon, Washington, Arizona. What’s wrong with the Midwest? Now that you’re not going to be at the MREA, there’s no where to see you guys. (And I can’t go out west, ’cause like you a few years ago, have a elderly Mom I’m taking care of and can’t go far.)

    I’m depressed now that the only highlight of my summer is gone.

  4. TSJ,

    Naw, the fields we rent are small, irregular fields that other farmers in the area didn’t want to bother with. We just want to have enough hay that we don’t have to buy hay as our neighbor who sells us hay now is 87 years young and won’t be haying forever…. It’s another step towards more self-reliant living.

  5. Marilyn,

    Yes it is! I really am astounded at how much Will knows about so many things. I truly appreciate his fix-er-up abilities.

  6. Nancy,

    I’m not sure but I suspect that because the economy is in the toilet and sales at the last two fairs were less than stunning…and expenses high, the powers that be decided to invest the money and time into other shows.

  7. It’s always something but we homesteaders are ready for anything! Hope it’s an easy fix for Will on On Yeller. The potluck sounds like such a great time! Wish we were there…

  8. It looks like to me you guys are on the edge of having a serious hay farming business. Hope this works out well for you and adds to your income.

  9. your pot luck dinner on Saturday sounds like so much fun, we used to have a neighborhood group that had pot luck suppers every so often and we enjoyed it so much. What was some of the good foods people brought to yours, we always had so much good food.

  10. Isn’t it great that Will is so knowledgeable (and willing) to just tear into things and get them going again?? God surely has sent you a wonderful blessing in Will. I know you both work hard (very hard) but having the ability to fix so many different things is not a skill everyone has. Your tomato starts look so wonderful. Mine are only half that size. You must fertilize them! All 12 of my Bill Bean seeds sprouted but, sadly, I only have 7 left. Now to harden them off and protect them from the wilds and the winds and we will eat good this summer! Would love to have been at your potluck! Marilyn in SW Missouri

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