Now we have plenty of snow on the ground.

Yesterday, we got a foot of new snow, but at least it wasn’t cold. And by the end of the week, the temperatures will be up in the thirties! But we still had a bunch of snow to deal with. David made a pass out and back on our driveway, then fired up his snowblower to clear out around the buildings. (Our snowblower became toast a month ago when the engine seized up.) We really love the snowblowers to “shovel” paths to the buildings and out to the solar panels, and to clean up the edges of the driveway where the snowplow leaves berms.

David snowblowing the edges of the driveway by the buildings
He turned into Frosty the Snowman!

Meanwhile, I planted more than a dozen varieties of peppers and they are now snug in their containers, sheltered by plastic bags to keep in the moisture, behind the living room wood stove. And Ashley planted 13 containers full of various petunias so we should have tons of petunias this spring.

I sorted out our tomato seeds and will be planting 70 varieties (at least) this year. Some will be trials and others our good old standbys like Bill Bean, Moravsky Div, Blue Beauty, and Punta Banda. That sounds like a lot doesn’t it? And what about our beans? There’s more than 40 varieties of beans from various places such as Siberia, Mexico, Germany, and Sweden. Now all I have to do is figure out places to put all this. (Will, fire up Old Yeller and bulldoze another few acres?)

Take a look at some of the beans we’ll be planting. And you thought you had too many seeds!

I’m resurrecting the kitchen. We’re getting ready to finally install the last wall cabinet and the two cabinets which will make the island. We recently bought a cabinet on sale but it was the wrong size (my mistake). So David and Will hung it in our downstairs bedroom and today I filled it up with countertop clutter such as cookie jars and miscellaneous stuff… NOT in the kitchen any longer but close enough. I hate clutter but seem to be buried in it, so at least some will be gone. — Jackie


  1. Jackie,
    I love your photos. And I am so glad you have David and Ashley there to help you and Will. Soon, very soon, Spring will be here. Keep up the good work.
    I was wondering if there is a certain name brand grow light, that is the BEST. :) No since buying one and then having to buy another one later to replace it.

  2. Eighty degrees in south Georgia. When I lived in Wyoming I missed the long growing season of south Georgia. I am 70 years old and raising my granddaughter because my daughter passed away from breast cancer. We are looking for a small place to raise food and a few animals. People say I am too old but even though you are younger than me you inspire me. Love reading your post and if it doesn’t warm up there soon come visit us in south Georgia.

    • I’m so sorry to hear about your daughter but am glad you are there to help raise your granddaughter. I hate that when people say “you’re too old”!! Naw, I’m not younger than you. I’ll be 72 in July. Yep, we’re a little slower but have learned to work smarter not harder. So we don’t burn out like some younger folks do who try to do everything at once. Do what you want and tell the nay-sayers to butt out!

  3. Miss Jackie, I’m sooooo sorry about your long winter, extreme cold, snow etc. We had a dump of 7 inches wet heavy snow Sat. evening, but it warmed Sunday and today it was 67 F, Snow is gone, supposed to be warm and rain tomorrow. Stupid groundhog!!! But whatever he says it isn’t safe to plant in my valley before Memorial day, and sometimes we get killing frost till June 10 or so. I love it here from planting time until New year, then I’m ready for May again. Happy seed starting! The season will change!That’s a promise. Rick

  4. -17 on my front porch this morning. Bleck. And after our snow dump this past week end (another 18 inches!), I think I’m ready for spring. It helps tremendously to have veggie and flower starts in the basement under lights :). Reminds me that summer can’t be too far off. Right?

  5. Aw so sorry that you got a snow dump yet again. We are enjoying warmer temps here in lower Michigan (in the low 60s today!) although the flooding (and potholes big enough to swim in) are causing some people difficulties.

    It’s great to have those seed starting chores to remind us that spring is truly on the way. That is A LOT of beans and tomatoes! How wonderful that you have David and Ashley there to lend a hand. Thank you for the update. Always a true pleasure to hear about the homestead happenings at your place.

    • I sure don’t mean to whine… Hey, when we moved here, we knew what kind of weather to expect. It’s what keeps the wilderness, well, wilderness. If we had nice weather, year around, there’d be people elbow to elbow with all these lakes and rivers around.

      • We got really lucky finding our homestead. 60 acres in the middle of nowhere in northern MS. It does get hot in the summer, but the mild winters make up for it in my book. Our nearest neighbor is over a mile away as the crow flies, and our driveway itself is 3/4 of a mile, so we definitely aren’t crowded. Plus we have plenty of lakes large and small and a few nice rivers around. We’re blessed. Love reading your blog, Jackie, and hope spring gets there soon for you. I bought my mom your cookbook and canning book for Christmas this year, and am currently reading your new homesteading book… love them all.

  6. so you start your seeds outside in containers too. I do that. I read on the juicy gardener, that she planted a pepper plant in a container outside, then for winter brought it inside to keep alive. in the summer, brought it out and it took off with green growth and peppers. her other peppers were no nearly as large or productive. a super head start.

    • Actually, we start them inside, in containers. Then they get transplanted to larger containers and finally into our hoop house or large containers. Like the Hot Chinese pepper Will potted in a large tub and brought in the fall before last. It overwintered in the house but was attacked by aphids and barely survived. But it did survive and went out into the hoop house in the spring where it produced tons of peppers for us. It was a head start for sure, despite the aphids.

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