Some folks only save seeds and cut/split firewood in the late summer or fall, but we do it nearly year around. As our weather’s been unseasonably warm, Will has been busy sawing more lumber for David and Ashley’s new cabin as well as our new barn. As a result, we have a lot of firewood accumulated, both as slabs and cuts off from the unneeded ends of some logs. (Some had small rotten centers, others were split or the log was just a bit too long.) And then there was the big pile of log ends from milled logs which David had brought home from work instead of tossing them on the mill’s burning pile.

Here’s the big pile of split milled log ends, which are now inside the goat barn.

So yesterday Will and I got busy and split a whole bunch. The wood was dry and we always try to split and store firewood when it’s dry because damp wood is not efficient to burn. (Less heat, more
creosote.) We got all of David’s pile of end cuts split and a whole lot of Will’s mill “waste” log ends split as well. The wood is now mostly under cover and we’re very happy about that. We’re already stocking up for next year and the years after. After all, if we do it now when we have more time, we can use the firewood-splitting time next summer to do other necessary projects. It’s a way to get ahead.

Aren’t these Iran pumpkins pretty?

I’ve also been cutting open and saving seeds from some pumpkins and squash we’ve had in storage in a pile in the living room. Christmas is coming and I do NOT want them under the tree! I was very happy with the Iran pumpkins this year. Not only did we have a crazy, wet summer with lots of cool nights but after the cows got into the North garden and ate most of the young pumpkins and squash, these went ahead and grew more vines and produced more than 15 large, beautifully colored pumpkins which matured. The meat is very thick in them too so you can harvest more “eating” per pumpkin than many varieties. I’m growing it again next year and will be offering seeds then.

And just look how thick their meat is!

Our new cows have tamed down nicely because we’ve been hand-feeding them alfalfa cubes. They won’t have calves until spring but when they do, we’ll be able to handle them just fine.

I’ve been busy updating our website and have just about got it finished so I can move on to getting our Seed Treasures catalog formatted. Whew! If there was only more Jackie! But I’m feeling much better and back in the swing of things. Oh, by the way, the doctor’s nurse called Tuesday to say my tests looked normal but I may have had a “touch” of pneumonia. I did let her know I self-medicated with Amoxicillin and was better but was unhappy with the doctor for not calling when he said he would … six days earlier. — Jackie


  1. I enjoy reading about your experiences and always learn from you. I have most of your books which I enjoy as well. Now that Backwood Home is no longer being printed, will there be an on-line edition?

  2. Jackie, I am always so very thankful for your advice. I was wondering if you could help me figure out what is going wrong in some of my canning. I was noticing that even though I am very careful to mind my headspace while pressure canning, I always have blowout and end up with dirty jars and improper headspace. I wash everything up, but would like to do better. I wanted to show some canning jars at the fair next year, and I know I have to solve this problem first! Thank you, Jackie!

  3. Miss jackie, so glad you knew what to do for yourself. I have been known to do likewise. Getting all that firewood under roof is great! I hope to get my hoop house built before spring arrives. Is mama wild turkey roosting near your barn or near your poultry this winter?? Rick

    • Yes, she is. In fact, she’s kind of decided to become a domesticated wild turkey I think. She roosts in the goat barn at night and runs to me for corn in the morning. No more “shy gal”!

  4. A ‘touch’ of pneumonia! And no phone call for 6 days! I’m so glad that you had the medicine to take care of yourself. We got 1 pumpkin this year. Something ate all the blossoms early on and when we replanted there wasn’t enough time to grow a full pumpkin. What we should have done was pinched off most of the blossoms to at least get a couple of pumpkins. Oh well…it’s a learning experience.

  5. I am looking forward to the updated Seed Treasures catalog. I hope to order some new varieties next season. I’m glad you are feeling better. It sure is much nicer to get the work done when you feel well rather than having to force yourself to complete tasks! Have a great week!

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