Sometimes we even learn things we don’t want to! Because our fledgling seed business is growing, Will decided he needed a way to keep track of sales, other than his handwritten notebook. Luckily, our friend, Ann, is computer-savy and willing to teach. Recently, she stopped over and gave Will Excel spreadsheet lessons. Wow, not only can he build, plant, harvest, and weld, but now he is more computer savvy than me!


We always try to learn something new every day. If we don’t, we feel like we wasted a day. Some folks apologize for asking “stupid” questions. Never do that! Every question answered advances you along life’s path. So if you’re wondering about something, just ask; if I can’t answer, I’ll try to find someone who can. After all, it’s what keeps “Ask Jackie” going.

Every day we’re getting new seed catalogs and Will and I are sorting out what we want to try this year. And, of course, which of our favorites we’ll be growing again, and where we’ll put them to keep pure seed. We got into a discussion this morning about GMOs and how scary it is that once a crop is contaminated by GMO polllen, it’s contaminated forever. In the future, it’ll be very hard to find such crops as corn, beans, beets (including chard, etc.), and even potatoes and peppers that aren’t contaminated by insect or wind-blown pollen exchanges. I’m glad we’re aware of it and are growing in an area far from any commercial crops.

In a month, I’ll be starting our first seeds, petunias, followed by peppers. Even though our temperatures are falling below zero again, spring seems a whole lot closer. Are all of you getting the itch too? — Jackie


  1. Jack,

    Good idea. I’d be thinking of planting some cold-hardy veggies if I was in your place! Spinach, kale and maybe even some broccoli if the night-time temps aren’t too bad. Just the SMELL of fresh dirt gets me going!!!

  2. Anita,

    I’ll be happy to fill your seed order! We’re starting to get quite a few so I know I’m not the only one with itchy hands!!!

  3. Tim Inman,

    I’m impressed by your father-in-law! Maybe when I’m 93 I’ll still be planting our acre garden.
    I’m not a fan of early planting as so many times the warm spring weather will turn cold and rainy and the planted seeds/potatoes will just rot in the ground before germinating. Mostly I wait until the soil warms up some.

  4. I just go out to the greenhouse, where the high temps are into the 50’s, & stick my hands into the dirt long enough to get my fingernails dirty.
    That works.

  5. Me too! Bought some seeds at the store yesterday. I do hope you’ll share your seed starting dates as you go. Helps to have ‘safety and encouragement in numbers.’ Though I’m way south of you, we live in the infamous ‘hook’ area in SW Iowa/SE Nebraska where our weather can be much like Minneapolis. So…

    My father in law was a tremendous gardener (his last one acre garden was at 93 and all cultivated with a hoe!) He would ask me what I had planted that frosted off. If I said nothing, he would respond that I wasn’t planting early enough! Boy am I ready to see what will grow.

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