The forty acres adjacent to ours (down what we call the Wolf Road, an old lumbering trail off our driveway) was for sale by the Potlatch Timber Company. And, as David needed a place to build his own cabin and we knew more cattle pasture would help out our homestead, we decided to buy it. Luckily, the Credit Union helped us finance it! So now we have 160 acres of wild land, which we’ll share a corner of with David and the rest with wolves and other wildlife.

Our rainy weather stopped at least temporarily, so we’ve been making hay every day. One of the fields is the one Will had plowed up and planted in timothy and alsike clover. It did very well and we were able to get it cut and baled without any rain. Today, Will’s out round baling another field which isn’t as good, by far, but it is hay. (Please God, send those black clouds way south of that hay field.)

Yesterday, my oldest son Bill and his family drove up. We all went to the lake, five miles away, where there’s a nice, sandy beach. It was hot and all of us went swimming and it sure felt great! We had a barbecue and then came home and went up to the berry patch so Mason and Ava could pick blueberries the size of nickels and sweet red raspberries. (Of course, we all ate them too, but, hey, grandkids NEED to pick and eat berries!)

The gardens and flower beds are doing great. We pick peas every day and harvest broccoli to go with them. We’ve got a couple of tomatoes which are getting orange and will be red in about two days. Can’t wait! We’ve got to get the potatoes hilled up and run the tiller in the Hopi Pale Grey squash patch as the weeds are getting thick. Darned them, anyway! We’ve got peppers on the plants, some of which are getting ripe. I can’t wait to make salsa. For the first time in decades, I ran out of salsa. Wow, I won’t let that happen again. Our onions are terrific this year, as are the beans. I think it’s all this heat.

Will and I worked last night, getting the irrigation lines ready to water. We noticed the corn is saying it needs watering as the leaves are closing up during the day. Last year it was so wet we didn’t have to run the irrigation pump once. But we will tomorrow. If we let them dry too much, the stressed tomatoes will develop blossom end rot. And who wants a nice tomato with a black blossom end?

We’ve still got three places open for our fall homestead seminar. And this may be our last one as we really need to do a little “downsizing,” putting more efforts in getting things done around the homestead instead of doing self-reliance expos and us doing the seminars. — Jackie


  1. Wally,

    Will’s only got about 10 acres left to put up. So far, all tractors are up and working but the Ford 660 is going to need a head gasket (Will hopes that’s all!) All the hay looks great and he’s started hauling it all home.

  2. gen,

    Yes life IS good! It sounds like you and Dad have been having a great time. How lucky you are to still have your folks. I miss mine every day, especially at gardening and harvest time when we all enthused over the crops. It sounds like you’re plumping up your pantry. Good Girl!

  3. How lovely to have your son next door! It sounds from your posts that he is like- minded and will be a huge support and joy for you as the future unfolds. Your place is a testament to hard work and commitment. Thankyou Jackie for years of instruction and passing on a belief in self reliance- something that we all need to keep going in an uncertain future.

  4. I’m glad you are able to get out in the hayfields. The big tractor looks impressive and I hope the others are up and running again too.

  5. Your flowers are beautiful! It’s really nice to know your son will be living so close to you, too. I bet he’s feeling fantastic about this turn of events. Talking of your soon to be ripe tomatoes, dad and I have canned 7 1/2 qts of diced tomatoes, 11 pints of spaghetti sauce, 5 1/2 qts of salsa, 2 qts of juice, another 6 pts of cinnamon pickles, and we’ve given my brother enough cucumbers for at least 2 quarts of icebox dills. I am on my 4th pint of tommy toe tomatoes in the dehydrator, and have another 4 pints waiting for room to be put on there. Dad and I are going to grind them into powder to add to soups and such. My dad was smiling all day today, because of all the time I’ve been spending with him and mom. We’ve been having so much fun! His tomato plants are still producing hands over fist, and he’s still getting a few cucumbers about every 3 days, so we’ve been sharing those with my neighbors along with sharing jars of pickles. Life is good! gen

  6. Jackie, I have been reading your blog and gaining a lot of useful information.
    Congratulations on your land purchase.
    Would you consider posting an article about how you came to your homestead .
    How large it is and what you have built/rebuilt on it.

    I would love to know what steps you took to find and finance your property. Also how did you prioritize the projects that had to be done.

    Last but not least, if you had the chance to do it over would you change any of the choices you made or would you do any differently. Thanks, Linda

  7. Hi, Jackie and all. I am SO glad David will be staying close by. Just talking of that very thing with another of your faithful followers yesterday over lunch. I would guess that he, along with help from Will and Bill, will put up a very nice home there one day. Gardens look WONDERFUL! Wish I had your energy! I hope this downsizing will not eliminate your posts. Enjoy those first tomatoes. Ours this year have been super but I think the Bill Bean crossed with a smaller volunteer I got out of our compost pile several years ago. At least that is what they look like to me. Delicious anyway! Blessing to each of you and thank you for all the encouraging posts.

Comments are closed.