Due to the unseasonably warm weather, we are getting lots done earlier than usual. We have the whole main garden planted and the beans are popping right out of the ground. The tomatoes and onions look great! The carrots are coming up after only a week in the ground. I’ve learned that planting them when the soil is warmer results in faster germination and stronger plants which can resist baby weeds better. (If you would like to learn more about growing carrots, check out the Twenty-Sixth Year Anthology for my article on growing great carrots.)

Will got the last load of manure spread on the sand/rock garden. (We haven’t decided which name to adopt!) The spreader is old and keeps breaking the spreader chains. We have a new apprentice this year. Alisha is a wonderful, enthusiastic gal who is new to homesteading and wants to learn all she can so she can put it to use on the raw-land homestead she and her boyfriend have bought in northern Wisconsin. She helped Will cut the built up hay strings off the manure spreader’s beater without gloves. My kind of gal! Not afraid to get her hands dirty.

Will loads the manure spreader with the crawler/loader for speed of loading; three bucket loads equals a full spreader.
The final load of manure goes on the sand/rock garden. I hope he can till it soon.

With all the heat and rain we’ve been having, the asparagus is going nuts. I had a bad spring cold and missed cutting it for a couple of days and it became trees! Will and Alisha went out and cut it all and brought in a huge basket overflowing with good spears. We had a big batch for dinner and then Alisha and I canned up the rest. Boy, did that make a nice batch. The pantry is filling back up with good things to eat!

My friend, Dara, gave me a nice basket full of potato onions she had raised. So I set them into the main garden, having just enough room left to do it. I’ve been wanting to grow some for years and was tickled to get them.

I got most of the pumpkins and squash planted in the north garden before the inch of rain came on Saturday and Sunday. Will also tilled the last section up but I couldn’t get it planted before dark. Now I have to wait until it dries out so I can walk on it without sinking in to my shins in the clay. I hope I can plant soon. More rain is in the forecast. — Jackie


  1. It feels good to be caught up with all the activity up there. I have been missing out. Iā€™m glad you have a hard working apprentice with you.

  2. We don’t have lettuce yet but we’ve been eating asparagus and just had a nice batch of lamb’s quarter greens. Oh my God I nearly made a pig of myself; I love them so much!!!

    • Yep, we know that. Our main garden was the same. We started it in 2006 and hauled pickup loads out that year. And one load the next. Etc. This year, we only picked up a pail full of small stones. There IS usually an end…after years of picking.

    • Not a dumb question at all. Potato onions are a medium sized perennial onion which makes a cluster of medium sized onions below ground, come fall. You pick the whole cluster, take what you want and either re-plant in the fall or hold all onions and plant what you want in the spring. That way they’re regenerating. They’re sort of like shallots only bigger.

      • I agree, not a dumb question (I just went to Google myself to find out what they are :) Jackie; will you be offering potato onions for sale?

  3. I just planted potato onions this spring for the first time and am wondering if they will overwinter in the ground here, north of Duluth.
    How does it work for your friend? I am so intrigued by them.

    • Yes, they’ll over winter but it’s easiest to pick all of them then save a few to replant, come spring. That way you can till your garden, then plant a row. But if you want to use as a perennial, they’ll do fine.

  4. Since potato onions are so hard to purchase for planting I am wondering why no one plants and then sells them as starts. Someone would make a fortune if they could find a way to do this. Continue having a wonderful time on your homestead. Glad you found an apprentice.

    • They are just kind of uncommonly grown today. There are a few catalogs that carry them.

  5. Here in Iowa, we have been eating my hubby’s lettuce that he started in basement for about 3 weeks. What a joy to have the crisp lettuce and spinach! But here comes the 90’s for days, am afraid it will all bolt soon!
    Hope us are feeling better, Jackie!šŸ˜¬

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