After all, it warmed up to 11 degrees ABOVE zero!

Last night it dropped to -27° F and to tell the truth, that’s getting a little old! But today it’s sunny and the temperature just made 11° F, so Will fired up the diesel tractor and fed the cows some extra round bales and watered them. Who knows what the next few days are going to bring? (We’re having an Arctic front moving in.) So everyone gets extra and we’ll pray for warmer weather.

Will and Hondo coming in after watering the big livestock.

I’ve had several people ask how to “Ask Jackie” for BHM, now that it’s gone digital. All you need to do is click on the “Want to ask Jackie a question” located on the main page of the blog and there you are! Easy as pie.

Well I didn’t get my beans canned Monday. Or yesterday. We were flooded with seed orders, which made us very happy. So I’ll get the beans done on a slower day. For some reason, Wednesday always seems like we get low mail — don’t know why. So maybe this afternoon I’ll get those beans done? One thing we’ve sure learned is you can tentatively plan things on the homestead, but don’t count on getting them done or you’ll go crazy. Same goes for building projects, etc. Everything seems to take four times longer to get done than you planned and it costs at least twice as much. So don’t sweat it; just keep plugging along and it’ll get done.

I’m so excited as next week I’ll be planting my first seeds: petunias. Next week I’ll plant peppers. Both take so long to grow into strong, sturdy plants. We’re really excited as we have peppers which have grown wild in Florida orange orchards, peppers from Bulgaria and Mexico, as well as some heirlooms folks have sent to us from the US. It’s like growing history in the Northwoods. We love it! — Jackie


  1. i know you are tired and ready for winter to be over, we here in Utah just wish winter would come. We have very little snow pack this year and being in a high deseret at 4500 feet, we depend on the snow runoff. So I am planning on mulching my garden extra this year to save on water usage. Took advantage of the warmer days and cleaned out the greenhouse, will plant a few things today. also will prune the fruit trees this week. So glad your seed business is doing so well. My seeds are all sorted and ready to go. Stay warm and safe.

    • I hope you’ll get some late winter/early spring snow to help things out. I’m so jealous; I SO want to do SOMETHING outside besides chores. Will said the same thing today. If we could just get into the twenties…. No, I AM NOT whining. Well, maybe a little bit…

  2. Snow has fallen each day this week here, with another blast of 6 to 10 inches expected starting tonight. Thank you for the update on your homestead happenings. Stay warm!

  3. Yesterday was the first day in fifteen that the high was above zero (plus 1). One day it got up to -7 and I put the 80000 btu space heater on the tarped diesel tractor for three hours to get the hydraulics working so I could bucket enough snow to widen my driveway enough to get the propane truck in. (We have propane lights and refrigerator.) Definitely getting old. But at least the days are getting longer. It’s 5 o’clock and its still lighter than it was on Christmas at 3 o’clock. Glad you are selling lots of seeds.

    • Thank God for longer days!!! We keep looking at the clock and saying “Gee, it’s five thirty and it’s still light out!!!” I hear you about the cold. Our diesel Oliver has to be heated with a propane heater and even then, there’s some condensation in the transmission and Will has to wait fifteen minutes or so with the tractor running so he can let the clutch out; otherwise the ice in the tranny kills the tractor. Spring will be so nice.

  4. Hello from southern Idaho, where we are having a very unusual Winter. Last snow was 8 inches right about Thanksgiving time. Since then the weather has been rather springlike…in the high 50’s and low 60’s. Trees are budding and the grasses mare greening. Lots of wind and rain. (Will we pay later? Remains to be seen.) have had the fever ..Spring, that is. My counters are loaded with seedlings. If Winter decides to come, I may lose them all. Love your blog. I learn so much and am constantly inspired.

  5. Jackie, yes, Winter is hanging on here in Nebraska as well. Not quite as hard as where you are but still drops below zero with brutal wind chills at times. Our snows here have come in one to three inch drops every few days so that has not been a problem. I think every one will be glad to see Winter go this year. I’ve been playing with some seeds from last year’s open seed packs to see if they will still sprout. So far the Marigolds are good and the watermelon are only three out of nine. All the rest Eggplant, Hollyhocks, Sunflowers, and lettuce are still no shows after a week. I’ll let it go another week and then call it a bust for those that didn’t grow. It’s kind of how I keep my garden sanity in tack while Winter rages on in Nebraska.

    Have a great seed starting day.

    Nebraska Dave

    • Yep, we do lots of germination testing here too. Each of our seed varieties we offer for sale must be tested. I was surprised when I found a six year old packet of muskmelon seeds I’d forgotten and when I tested it, about 90 percent were great. The same with year old onions I was about to toss. I’ve heard (and repeated) that onion seed was only good for a year. But this year, I decided to give it a test. In a week over 99 percent of the seeds had sprouted! So much for that “information”, which I won’t repeat again.

  6. Here in Iowa we had blizzard last Monday, then another snow storm this past Monday. Am thinking I might outlaw Monday’s! Lol!
    Yes, I am sooo seeing the sense of going south or even back to visit the kids on the west coast that are having 70’s!

  7. I have never seen a being so happy to be in the snow as Hondo. Thanks for posting the pictures, Jackie. I get such a laugh seeing Hondo jumping around joyfully in the snow. Meanwhile, I am huddled in my woolies and socks and quilts not wanting to even think about going outside and dealing with snow and ice and scraping windshields and sliding down icy sidewalks. (Ice! We get a lot of ice in the foothills of the Canadian Rockies.)

    When I was in my twenties, I used to laugh at the folks who went south (as in Arizona, Florida, Mexico)for the winter. Now a few decades later, I fully understand it.

  8. I am curious about the peppers that grew wild in the florida orange grove. It can be hard to find veggies that do well in the heat and humidity here. Thank you for sharing your knowledge with us all.

  9. Hi Jackie!
    Winter is hanging on here to in Ontario. We got 15cm last night and everyone is finished with winter now. I pulled out a few shelves I have and hung some lights over them and now have radishes and Swiss chard growing which makes all the cold and snow we’re getting bearable til I get out to the garden in spring. More snow for us on the way for the weekend!
    I always look forward to getting your updates on what you’re doing at your place ,let’s me know we’re all just looking forward for winter to end!!!!
    Take care !


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