Our Provider beans have been outstanding. So far, we’ve harvested three times, enjoyed wonderful fresh beans, and canned up a whole bunch. It’s impressive just how much these bush beans do provide! We’ll be picking and canning them until it freezes. And I got crazy and planted three rows out in the Central garden which are just starting to bloom. What was I thinking? (Hey, if you’d like some tips on growing beans, check out my article Growing Beans in The 27th Year Anthology.)

Alisha is our wonder girl. She’s a mad-woman berry picker and canner. She reminds me of me at her age. While our berries aren’t terrific this year, she is going out every day and picking a bucket or two and bringing them home where we make lots of jelly and jam. I also made my Bronco Cherry (pin cherry juice and jalapeno peppers) and a Bing cherry/pin cherry jam which turned out great. I had two cups of chopped Bing cherries and I added two cups of pin cherry juice. Turned out very good!

Alisha is picking blueberries, raspberries, and pin cherries daily for jam and jelly.

This weekend we worked on David’s cabin. He’s been working lots of hours and it seems like every weekend it has rained! But on Saturday, he and Will crafted the hangers for the huge support beams from some angle iron pieces. They cut and welded them up, drilled holes for the lag bolts, and ground them nice and smooth. Luckily, David got the big 250-gallon caged water tanks in through the side door opening earlier as they wouldn’t fit after the door was framed in. Everybody got together and hefted those big timbers into place in the hangers and on top of vertical posts. It looks terrific. Ashley’s dad came up to help so there was plenty of hands on deck, including Alisha, who wants to learn more about building.

The water holding tanks are in place in the utility room.
Everyone got together and hefted the big support beams into place.

Then as they went to put on the upper floor joists, they realized the 2″x10″s were 16 feet long … they only needed 12 feet and 4 feet would be wasted. A quick think, and work stopped on the floor joists, deciding to use them as rafters for the roof instead so there wouldn’t be waste. But now David has to come up with about 50 2″x10″ floor joists. Will doesn’t have any logs that long and we don’t have any big trees in the woods from which to cut them. Plus David doesn’t have time to go logging. (He’ll be at the mill all this week working 10 hour days, then off to North Dakota to build a log house the next week.) So we’re trying to figure out something else.

David showing Alisha how to use a nail gun.

Because they couldn’t go ahead with the upper floor, David and Troy went ahead and framed in the platform between runs of stairs for the upstairs, the bathroom inner wall and linen closet, as well as the entry closet. (It had to be done anyway so they didn’t want to waste a day.)

Our corn earworm problem seems to be much improved. I checked the corn in the main garden this morning and only found two dead worms and there is still pyrethrin powder on the corn leaves. Whew! I also sprayed all the corn in the Central garden and the little patch by the chicken coop as they were starting in there too. There were very few in the berry patch corn and Will squashed them. No sign yet in the Sand garden or North garden but you can bet we’re sure watching. But no potato bugs this year. Hooray! — Jackie


  1. Jackie, I have to tell you my Provider bean story. I had two garden beds full of great looking bean plants. I kept checking them and thinking I should have beans by now, what is wrong? Well, one Sunday afternoon while checking them, a big healthy rabbit raced out. First time this has ever happened and I think it’s because my elderly dog passed last year and now I don’t have a good property protector. I pulled up the green beans and replanted with long beans and put low fences around them. Hopefully, I will get beans. So proud of David and Ashley’s house building.

    • I think if you’d have left the Providers there and fenced them, you’d have had new beans in about 3 weeks. No wonder that rabbit was big!

  2. Jackie what happens if those tanks ever have to come out and be replaced? How will David get new ones in?

    • He’ll have to cut them apart and install a new horizontal round tank. These were much, much cheaper and we have friends who have used theirs indoors for over 20 years so far.

  3. I am glad that you don’t have any potato beetles this year!! I have them all for you! They have been terrible this year. While I was sick with Lyme’s they ate down over 1/2 of the plants. But you are right the leaves are coming back. Now I just have adult beetles and no larvae. But what a job. I am strong enough now that I can pick all 5 rows clean of beetles. At my lowest I could only pick 3 plants. So God is good and is healing me. I just love all the pictures of your garden!! Thank you for sharing!

    • I’m glad you’re feeling better! I remember well when I was doing chemo 12 years back, the log house was being put up by the Voyageur crew and I was so tired I couldn’t lift my chin off the handlebars of the four wheeler. Thank God I can work again!

  4. Jackie, We’re still picking your Iroquois beans, I like pole beans. I have a question, Our Hopi pale grey seem to like the heat here, they’re as big as the ones on your catalog cover already. How do I know when to harvest?

    • Let them go till frost or when you can not indent the skin with your thumbnail. Some get to be pretty huge!

  5. I’m so glad you and Alisha found each other. Win/win for both parties. Thanks for the update on David and Ashley’s place.

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