All I’ve got to say is “Yuck!” We’re madly trying to continue our harvest but it’s nearly impossible when it’s pouring rain every day. I’ve still got plenty of dry bean seed to harvest along with corn, squash, potatoes, and onions. I had friends stop by to help harvest dry beans the other day (the only day it didn’t rain, by the way), and that was a huge help. I’m still shelling the beans but at least they’re not out in the garden, drenched.


We’ve been picking corn every chance we get and I still have some Seneca Sunrise sweet corn out in the pig pasture I want to can — it’s the third planting and is just getting ripe now. Hopefully Wednesday we can get it as the weather man is calling for drier weather. Meanwhile, I’ve been canning tomato sauce, spaghetti sauce, and pizza sauce every day as we continue seeding our tomatoes.


We run them through our Victorio tomato strainer which removes the skins and seeds. Then we soak them, mixed with half water/half seeds, in a cup or bowl for three days to ferment. The fermenting dissolves the gel and flesh along with killing any bacteria or fungus present. After this period, the yucky stuff is poured into a wire sieve and I run warm water over them, squashing out the fermented material. Will then dumps the seeds/skins into a deep bowl and lets warm water just trickle into the bowl, gently overflowing it. The skins float to the top and the seeds settle to the bottom with a little gold-panning technique, kind of swirling the water very gently. What’s left over is pure seed. This is dumped out into the sieve again to drain, then the seeds are tunked out to dry onto a plastic plate with the variety name on it. We’ve developed a pretty efficient method.


Meanwhile, on drizzly days, Will has been helping our neighbor haul gravel to fill a depression in his yard where he parks his work truck. Yesterday, Will was backing up the crawler-loader out of a dip with the bucket full of gravel. He got a bit distracted and, I’m sure, tired. The crawler-loader had the bucket too high with a load (big mistake!) and the back end suddenly lifted off the ground, bucket to the ground with the weight in it and Will catapulted out of the seat, striking the hood, then the bucket with his head! Luckily, he wasn’t seriously hurt but he sure came home with some unusual scrapes and bruises. We’re so thankful it was not worse. Whew! You can bet he’ll be more careful in the future. (By the way, crawlers don’t have seat belts.)

— Jackie


  1. All,

    Will is recovering well from his catapulting out of Bill’s crawler/loader. But now he has the cold that’s going around. But even that’s getting better today.

  2. Cindy,

    The beavers say we’ll have a “normal” winter, starting later than usual. They’re just starting to sock in “supplies” (i.e. edible branches stockpiled in the mud in the pond) but not overly much. So I’d say, normal cold with about normal snowfall. But do remember these are Minnesota beavers. lol

  3. Accidents happen, but when you live an active lifestyle like you do, your body is in better shape to handle them. Will came out of it with just some scrapes, but had he been a couch potato he likely would have faired a lot worse. Just another way living a self sufficient lifestyle keeps you healthy.

  4. So glad that you are watching Will. How scary. But accidents happen no matter how careful you are. Thank God he can still show us his head.

    So the million dollar question is what do the Beavers say about the upcoming winter? Farmers Almanac say cold and snowy!

    Thanks for sharing all that you do!! God bless you both Cindy

  5. Miss Jackie, Sorry about your excess of rain this summer, and about our drought conditions since mid June. It was the poorest garden year in more than 20 years for me. And the poorest harvest. Thank the Lord I had several great harvest years in a row!!!! I believe in canning all you can get in a jar. Any way we have had gentle rain the past 2 days and got 3 and a quarter inches. …. it is sprinkling now…..the creek isn’t even cloudy and still not up to normal levels, but the garden season is over for this year. I look forward to a great garden next spring and summer.
    Let us know when the next Jess Hazard book is coming out….
    And yes sometimes we homesteaders get what my grandchildren called OOWIES! Blessings Rick

  6. I was thinking the same thing Zelda…even a cheap hard hat will take the brunt of a strike and protect the skull…Jackie and Will we love you …You have so much knowledge ,don’t know what we would do without you…love you MA Pratt from Madison ,NY

  7. Moravshy vs Early Tanana taste test. Moravsky a little sweeter and thicker skin. Early Tanana a little more acid. Both taste like tomatoes. I am sure growing conditions may have a effect on flavor.

  8. Given the activities you both do routinely and the difficulty of getting medical evaluations, good safety equipment seems useful. Professional hard hats (not the cheapo plastic big box store stuff), safety glasses and steel toe non-conductive sole boots could all be useful. I don’t remember that any of your equipment has a protective roll bar or driver cage or top. Might be something Will could build (as if you need any additional work!) But good safety equipment worn consistently sure can be useful.

  9. Oh wow, so very sorry to hear this, Will. I sure hope all is well.

    John and Mia, it was so neat to see your names mentioned!! You are a great couple.

  10. lisa,

    Yeah, I know. I sometimes feel like that too. But if you don’t do anything, you won’t get hurt; the more you do, the greater your chances are of being injured. So we pray daily nothing serious will happen. And keep on keeping on.

  11. zelda,

    Yes, we know and I’m real scared about any head injury as my late husband, Bob, died due to a brain bleed (not caused by an injury). But Will doesn’t want to go see a doctor as he only has VA insurance and we have a large co-pay. So I’m watching him like a hawk for any symptoms at all and praying none will come up. It’s a 100 mile drive to Duluth and specialists but we’ll head out at the first minimal symptom.

  12. I hear you about the dry beans! I have a patch that just keeps pumping them out, but I can only get out there to pick once a week because of work. With all the rain, I’m losing a lot to mold.

  13. Any bonk on the head carries the possibility of closed head brain injury as the brain swells inside the skull. Often the symptoms of a closed head brain in jury are so vague and come on so slowly that people don’t realize what has happened. These injuries can cause permanent brain changes. A human head catapulting into metal objects is at a disadvantage. It might be worth the time and expense to have Will evaluated by a physician trained to recognize, diagnose and investigate these injuries; many are not. Take two aspirin, rest for a day and call me if anything changes is not an appropriate diagnosis and treatment. Just saying.

  14. I think we are going to have to bubble wrap you and Will! Thank goodness it wasn’t worse! As for the rain, I feel for you… been trying to dig up potatoes the past week and half and just when the ground is getting somewhat dry, here comes the rain. Go luck with the harvest!


Comments are closed.