Everything in the garden is big this year. Our hay crop is abundant, the peppers in the hoop house are awesome, and the Hopi Pale Grey squash are scary. You don’t even want to stand next to their tentacles! I’m afraid they’d grab you and drag you into their vines. Some are out of the patch, over the tomatoes, into the sweet corn and headed for the house! And this afternoon, Krystal came in bearing a huge Ameraucana egg we’re sure is at least a double yolker. Big!
We picked our first Provider beans on Saturday and I canned ’em up. We got 13 pints from the first picking! Today there are more ready and we also have ripe Neckargold, a yellow pole bean my friend Dara grew last year and loved. We’ll have some for supper but I want to save the rest for seed. They’re awesome. The vines are two feet thick and terrific climbers. Lots of beans, too!

Our tomatoes are doing wonderfully. The Farthest North plants are simply yellow with flowers. You can spot them all the way across the garden. Our Bill Beans are all sporting big tomatoes. This year Will is going to remove all but one from one plant and see just how big a tomato he can get. The world record is 8 pounds and that was grown in Ely, Minnesota, only 40 miles from us. But it was a hybrid. We’ll see how that goes.
Meanwhile, lots of pumpkins in the old pig pasture and Will’s Seneca Sunrise sweet corn is tasseling out and has little ears. Our donkeys, Crystal and Moose, got in the patch and knocked some over. Will thought they ate it! But, luckily, they mostly knocked them over to get at some clover between the rows. Thank God for “weeds”!

Oh, Will’s last CAT scan looked good. The doctor said that 95 percent of older folks who have CAT scans of their lungs have “bumps” and 95 percent of those are benign. So we heaved a big sigh of relief. He will get another CAT scan in 3 months just to be sure.

Thanks all of you who have bought my last Western, Autumn of the Loons. And thanks for the five star reviews! So far, it’s been all five stars and that sure pleases us. And it’ll help advertising and sales, too. — Jackie


  1. Hey Jackie, how can I get a signed copy of Autumn of the Loons? I have a signed copy of Summer of the Eagles and would like to have both in signed copies.

  2. Deb,

    Heck, Deb, we have our challenges too. This year it was plum curculio, which caused all our plums and apricots to fall off the trees. We’ll be spraying Surround at blossom time next year. And cabbage worms, which I’m treating with Bt. And then we had rain early on, which really set our pumpkin/corn patch back hugely. Yep, we have plenty of weeds out there! And we are still fighting them in our berry patch. They got ahead of us when Will and I fell off the barn roof a couple years back.
    We don’t have a perfect garden, but we’re keeping at it.

    Remember we all have our problems. Just keep putting one foot ahead of the other and you’ll get there. God willin’ an’ the crick don’t rise…..

  3. I KNEW you would have a great post about the garden. What bountiful blessings—courtesy of a lot of hard work. Congratulations!

  4. Jackie, Will and Krystal,
    You have really shown all of us what a real garden looks like. I am drooling and wishing I could have the success that you have. All due to your hard work
    with the soil. I learned late in life that if you don’t have super enriched and healthy dirt then you may as well forgt everything else. I am dealing with late blight with my tomatoes and worms in the squash vines. Do you ever deal with these issues? I remember you telling us at a seminar that you don’t have to spray your fruit trees because the cold kills off the pesky insects. Not so here in Ohio. Sounds like you will have lots of new varieties of seeds for us to try next year. So happy to hear Will has a clean bill of health. Hip hip hooray.

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