We live every day by our weather radio. We listen to it first thing every morning and the last thing in the evening. In this way, we have a pretty good handle on what weather systems are headed our way and we can plan our days accordingly. We knew more rain was coming so we were busy beavers for a few days. Will hauled manure onto our asparagus beds to feed them so they would produce well next spring. We love our asparagus! This year, not only did we have asparagus on the table nearly every day but I was able to can up big batches so we can enjoy it this winter as well. I got two more flower beds tucked in for winter and all of our canna and dahlia bulbs dug and into the house for winter. Our goldfish were also netted and moved into their new winter home, a 100 gallon livestock watering tank in our basement.

One of our pretty Iran pumpkins. Or are they squash?

I’ve been busy seeding pumpkins, squash, and hot peppers. One squash/pumpkin we really love is Iran. This pumpkin-shaped squash is round, ribbed and fat. Ours weigh between 10 and 20 pounds with very thick flesh. I especially love the sea foam green with small lighter specks and a brilliant wash of orange stripes. What a diva! And our hot peppers are outstanding this year. I’ve seeded lots of Thai Baby Dragon (a smaller Thai hot pepper than the common Thai Hot with lots of fire), Venice Bootlegger (a gorgeous, slightly cooler hot pepper with wonderful flavor) and Chinese Hots. I can only do a few each time as I don’t wear gloves and if I do too many, the pepper oil gets under my fingernails and burns like sin.

I love these Thai Baby Dragon very hot peppers. The small bushy plants are pretty enough for flower borders or containers.

I gave my friend, Dara, a bag of Sugar Rush Peach hot peppers after she nibbled on the end of one and loved it. She called later and said she’d eaten a whole one with seeds and her mouth was still burning. Moral: be cautious of every new hot pepper as the seeds are usually much hotter than the flesh.

The Vienna Bootlegger hot peppers are bigger than the Baby Dragons but not as hot, having an interesting fruity flavor to compliment the heat.
And the hottest of all; our Chinese Hot peppers are as hot as we can stand. They have great flavor as well.

Will and I have been worrying about getting David’s cabin dried in before winter snows hit as here in Minnesota, wood rots very quickly after getting wet several times. So on sunny Wednesday, we went over and started working on a wall of the back dormer. After it was nearly finished Will had a “duh” moment. We’d forgotten the wall should be built on top of the roof … which was not on yet! So it had to be taken apart to be re-built later.

David got there after work and we started in on covering the front section of roof between the front dormers with OSB. This, fortunately, went very quickly and an hour before dark, Will was cutting Rex-wrap, a weatherproof felt substitute, I was carrying it and handing it up to David, who was on the roof with has staple gun (tack hammer). After doing the whole section, we still had another half an hour before dark fell. So as I was handing up the last sheet of Rex-wrap, Will began cutting 8-foot 2x4s in half to make the fly rafter supports for each dormer and the one gable end which was not done. This also went well and Will cut the last one in darkness and David nailed it on using his smart phone flashlight! Ta da! At least that much got done before the rain which is falling lightly today. Hopefully, the rains forecast all through the weekend will just be light rain, not downpours. — Jackie


  1. Mine is more a question than a comment. I thought I would dehydrate onions for the first time and did so temp 135 for 24 hours the onion pieces are all firm but brown. Did I do something wrong? Last year I chopped onions and stored in the freezer. Weather here now 40’s and still too wet to get much done outside. I loved the pictures of the peppers. What’s a good reference on dehydrating foods and is brown mean the onions are “cooked”. They taste ok but are they?

    • Everett, mine have always turned brown when dehydrating, I guess the heat toasts them some. They are fine to use, I put them in a bowl of warm-to-hot water and they’re good to go in a few minutes.

      • thanks I’ll use your advice, I’m to much of a Scot to not use them. Next time I think I’ll dry them a shorter period of time. Thanks for your kind advice.

    • I’ve found that if you make slices then separate the rings the onions dry faster and don’t get brown. Give it a try and see if that doesn’t work better for you. Once dry I run them thru the blender to make onion flakes and powder.

  2. Thanks Jackie for the blog. Love keeping up with all you do. Winter is close by. Hope your son gets the roof on his house soon. Just wondering if you will be having seed for seneca sunrise for sale.

  3. Honestly, Jackie, I don’t know how you and Will ever find time to eat or sleep. Trying to do all the canning and seed sorting each day must be a challenge. Any idea when the seed inventory will be ready? You have so many new varieties again, I’m anxious to order.

    • I’m working on it now. We’ll be posting the new stuff on the website as soon as I get it figured out a bit more. The catalog will be out in January, hopefully. Everyone who ordered in 2018 will receive a catalog automatically.

  4. Just made my son a batch of cowboy candy using his Carolina Reapers, etc. He cut them & put them in the food processor for a few whirls. He opened one last night & said it was delicious. I took a sniff and a tiny taste–it is HOT!

  5. I am constantly amazed at how much work your family does! It’s so good to hear that David’s house is getting done! Your canning skills are awesome. I get encouraged every time I read your blog! Thanks Jackie!

    • You’re welcome Pam. We just try to get something done every day. Some days it’s slow; others we can’t believe what got accomplished. Then there are others where it seems everything goes wrong. That’s life….

  6. My son has a salsa business and makes a couple of super hot ones…milk or dairy works best when something is to hot….we use it all the time when testing the salsa..like ghost pepper,Carolina reaper or scorpion pepper…

    • Bicarbonate of soda will help neutralize the heat on fingers when you forget to wear gloves. Not sure if soda is gritty enough to wash the oils off or it actually neutralize the oils. If by chance you rub your eye with “hot pepper” fingers (don’t, it hurts) soda and water helps to ease the sting there too.

  7. I’m so glad to see all the work that’s getting done at your house. We as well are on our way to finishing up the fall cleaning and harvesting.
    I love asparagus as much as you all do. I’ve decided that the” Purple Passion” is the best there is…amazingly sweet. It’s neat to see it turn from purple to green after it is cooked.
    Keep plugging away and remember, there are many out there doing the same thing.

    • So very true! Today I worked on apple juice and applesauce to can up and will to that tomorrow. Yum!

  8. Gotta love the rain when it comes, even though it’s not always when you need it. Just like a lot of life. If you eat a really hot pepper and your mouth doesn’t stop burning, drink a sugary cola. It helps cut the pepper oils so your mouth can cool down. I’ve even drunk diet pops and it works. Maybe it’s the bicarbonate in it to make it fizz?

    • Yes, that rain is helping my late-planted spring bulbs grow roots. So there’s that. And it makes me stay mostly inside and work at canning and pulling more seed from various squash and corn. I didn’t know that about the pop. I usually try to eat a tortilla or piece of bread as that seems to tame the heat.

      • Yes, bread will help absorb the oils and remove the heat from your mouth. A little butter on the bread will also help attract and remove the pepper oils.

        I’ve tried milk, yogurt, and other dairy and, for me, the bread and butter do the trick.

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