Here’s one of our gorgeous red hollyhocks with the sun behind it.

After a busy weekend speaking and hosting the Seed Treasures booth at the Expo in Orr, Minnesota, we dove right into getting ready for our homesteading seminar here at the home place. Whew! It seems that the house is always last when it comes time for working; there’s always something else more important happening (canning, gardening, livestock…). Luckily, my friend, Dara, is coming for several days to help us get ready. (She’ll also be doing the cooking at the seminar, freeing me up to run workshops.)

This afternoon, while Will was off hauling home another transport load of round bales, I took a short walk through the garden and was amazed at how fast everything is FINALLY ripening. Due to our cold spring, then summer heat, our tomatoes are about three weeks late, as is our corn. Everyone around here has the same problem so we don’t take it personally. Our black raspberries are ripe, the blackberries have some ripe berries, the chokecherries are ripe, and the Hansen’s bush cherries are very nearly ripe. We’ve even eaten some ripe tomatoes!

Hansen’s bush cherries are almost ripe.

Spencer is recovering nicely from his surgery and I’ll take his stitches out tomorrow. He’ll still have to wear a bandage for a few days to keep him from licking his incision site. He’s like a cat; always cleaning his feet and I’m afraid he’ll worry the incision too much if I don’t keep a bandage on it.

The north garden is jumping. The pumpkins and squash are running like mad and the Painted Mountain corn is setting nice ears. The tomatoes out there (the “leftovers”) are doing very nicely but you can sure tell the difference between the seven-foot-high plants in the main garden and the three-foot-high ones out there. But they are setting tomatoes.

Beans are rampant this year. I have a Gold Marie vining bean that is 14 inches long! They’re a Romano type bean, very tasty and tender when picked young. We just love them.

Well, gotta run. I promise a nice long blog after the seminar. September is going to be a busy month: the Orr Center Expo, the homestead seminar here, the Energy Fair in St. Paul, Minnesota, then Denver. In between, we’ll be harvesting like mad, I hope. — Jackie


  1. Di,

    We are about 80 miles north of Duluth, MN and several miles to the west; then 1 1/2 miles back in the woods, surrounded by the Superior National Forest.

  2. Love it!! I strawbale garden and my vegis’s explode with
    with produce every year!! I am amazed!!!😊❤️ Where are you located?

  3. In East Texas, the garden withthe exception of jalapeno plants, is over. Just
    planted fall potatoes. Greens and cabbage a little later.
    Amazing different weather differences.

  4. Good golly those cherries look delicious! I will have to look into getting a couple of those. Glad Spencer is doing well; makes my heart happy seeing old dogs doing well! Have a great weekend and maybe if you need a break, we can provide you with a meal when your here in St. Paul. Take care.

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