We knew a storm was coming and we had 85 bales of hay on the field. So even though it was 85 degrees with high humidity, we went at it and picked up the bales with our small flatbed trailer, brought them up to the storage barn, and ran them up into the barn. Quite a job when it was so hot! But it got done and now it’s stacked neatly in the mow, all ready for winter. Not a whole lot of bales but it’s a good start and the hay is perfect.

The garden is coming on gangbusters. We have heads of Goliath broccoli that measure more than a foot in diameter. The carrots and onions look fantastic. The pumpkins and squash are running like crazy and I have to go out twice a day to turn back vines that are headed for the tomato rows. They don’t like to take “no” for an answer, I guess. The peppers in the big hoop house are taking off like crazy. The Hungarian Wax (Hot Banana) peppers are setting handfuls on each plant, and are nearly ready to pick for pepper rings.

While I was down at the Mayo Clinic with our friend, Will and Krystal went to Dara and Mikes for a barbecue and picked up our new buck goat, Odin. He took a few days to adjust, but now he’s one of the herd. Our doelings are growing very nicely and we’ll be keeping all three as they are from excellent breeding and their moms have wonderful udders.

Our melons in the small hoop house are starting to bloom and set tiny melons. Some volunteer tomatoes popped up from seed in there but we didn’t have the heart to kill them. So we have various tomatoes keeping the melons company.

Today Will and Krystal are out starting to fence the pumpkin/corn patch. The darned deer are starting to “nibble.” They munched off the tops of my Titan sunflowers and some potato tops. Luckily, I’d hilled them and there wasn’t much sticking up for them to browse.

I was sure tickled to read Massad Ayoob and Claire Wolfe’s blogs to find wonderful reviews on my new book, Autumn of the Loons, the second in the Jess Hazzard series of Westerns. If you haven’t seen the reviews already, why not click on over to their blogs to see what they have to say? Thank you very much, Mas and Claire!

My publisher is wondering when I’ll have the next Jess Hazzard series book, Winter of the Wolves finished, so I’ve been working on that in my “spare” time. It is fun, though, kind of a break from gardening and my “regular” writing.

Enjoy your summer; winter will come all too soon! — Jackie


  1. We could never bring ourselves to squelch volunteers either — you just have to admire their fortitude and optimism, putting themselves out there like that! ;)

  2. Donna,

    The only good way besides freezing broccoli is to dehydrate it. It drys very nicely and is very versatile in soups, especially, such as broccoli and cheese soup (our favorite) or to use in casseroles.

    Thanks for the praise of Autumn of the Loons. I’m glad you liked it!!

  3. Our broccoli is not doing well either, which is unusual, because it is usually successful here. We love broccoli, so this is very disappointing. It is almost like our usual success crops are not doing well and ones that don’t do as well are much better than usual. BTW how do you preserve your broccoli Jackie. Also loved book 2. You are such a versatile gal.

  4. Anita,

    Broccoli likes cool weather and if we don’t get it in early enough it often will only produce small heads. But all is not lost! It also produces significant side-shoots, which is what most stores bundle and sell as a “head”. The more you cut, the more you’ll get. Let it go to flower and it’ll quit for the year. Good luck!

  5. I bought Goliath broccoli seeds from you Jackie, but mine did not produce very big heads, in fact they were quite small. I planted another vartery that I usually plant every year and that one didn’t produce well either, so this must not have been my year for broccoli. I didn’t change anything from other years that I’ve had sucess so I don’t know what was wrong this year.

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