I can’t believe this fall — rain, rain, rain. I so wish I could send some to you guys who are suffering drought! But winter’s coming so we have to work through the rain anyway. I just canned up another batch of wonderful applesauce and another 2½ quarts of apple juice. When I juice the apples with the Mehu Liisa, taking only about 2 quarts of juice, it seems to concentrate the sweetness of the applesauce and then I don’t have to add sugar. Believe it or not, there are still many Frostbite apples on our tree. And that’s after sending my friend, Dara, home with several 5-gallon pails, picking a crate for ourselves, plus what we’ve eaten. Wow, not bad for a seven year old tree!

This is the garlic Dara gifted us.

I almost forgot to plant garlic this year. Dara had a bunch of bulbs from an old variety she has grown for years. (It has no name as it was originally from an old, abandoned homestead.) It’s a wonderful garlic and the cloves are huge — only about four cloves per bulb, but they are gigantic. She said she’d give me some and both of us forgot. Luckily, I remembered and she stopped by with them on the way back from the vet. I got busy and got them planted in our house garden, then mulched them well as it’s getting late in the season. (I did save two bulbs to eat — couldn’t help myself…)

For those of you who wanted to see our fat pantry — this is only one part of one pantry!

Will is preparing to set up our new solar array on the south side of the old goat shed/chicken coop. He ran a shallow ditch from where the panels will be located, across the driveway, and under the corner of the house. Some of the ditch was dug with the little 3-point plow he made for various projects, including planting potatoes (which worked very good) and burying our irrigation line on the side of the main garden. The driveway section is being dug with our old, handy backhoe. He will be running the electrical wire through an EMP plastic conduit, ditched down far enough not to run into it with other driveway/flower bed work. Since our ground will soon be frozen hard, he wants to get the wire in and the cement bases made for the rack which will hold the solar panels.

Another pantry view

David is also getting worried about snow and winter so he wants to spend his time after work and this weekend trying to get the roof — or more roof — on his cabin. So much to do in so little time! Then deer season is starting on Saturday and he’d like to get a deer so we’ll see how that goes.

The potato bins are under the pantry shelves. (Yes they are usually covered, protected from light.) Grains, flours, sugar, dry beans, etc. are in garbage cans under other pantry shelves.

I’ve been strengthening our 6-foot fence and gates to keep the darned deer out of the back yard and garden. After all, they nibbled the buds on our cherry trees so we didn’t have any cherries this summer. Remember, they crawled under our side deck to get there. Well, I put a gate across the deck so they can’t do that again and I haven’t seen a deer out in the back yard so far. But this morning when I went outside, there was a big doe nibbling on my lilac bush! Dratted deer! And when I went out to shut the ducks in last night, there were seven deer grazing in our goat pasture. (I’ve moved the goats up to the old goat shed for winter, but there’s still lots of nice grass in the pasture.) — Jackie


  1. Your pantry is lovely! That represents HOURS AND HOURS of labor and lots of $$$$ saved.
    Thank you for sharing your talents with us to keep us inspired.

  2. We’ve been hearing a pack of wolves for a week and they sound closer every day! I do love the sound but it’s time to watch our beagles! We’ve have the same weather up here but today was beautiful. Love your pantry, the product of many hours of hard work no doubt! I just subscribed to Backwoods Home again…Yay! I trust you’ll be contributing again, your articles were always my favorite!

    • Yes, they will take dogs by luring them out into the woods so it’s a good idea not to let your pets wander about untended. (Coyotes will too.)
      Oh, yes, I’ll be contributing as usual. Thank you for your kind words of encouragement.

  3. Miss Jackie, Here it is called crop damage and many a farmer or home-
    steader understands that they may legally take a crop damage deer for their own use. I have always been content to take one during hunting season. As you know, venison is great when pressure canned!!!!In the years when they decide to harvest my apples or peaches before they ripen, I have been known to put the fear of hunting season into them in July or August early in a morning just about dawn as they come in to feast. One year they really damaged most of my 3 year old fruit trees. I was up early and late that summer and on watch. Some years they have eaten holes in lots of green cantalopes, consumed most of my green beans, took bites out of the side of just heading cabbages etc. Deer seem to dislike dried blood meal, I think the odor puts them off, and I use numerous bags of it each year because it repels groundhogs and rabbits as well. With deer season getting so close for you, I think you should plan to bag a robber deer, can it or make bologna from it, and enjoy the meat just as they have enjoyed the bounty of your home grown treasure. Unless you are into showing off a trophy keep quiet about it as many bleeding hearts call hunters cruel. My dad always said you don’t need to tell everything you know. Some things are no one else business.
    Yes rain , Rain, RAIN!!!! Here too!!! Rick in Pa.

    • Rick! I’m SO glad to hear from you again. I was really, really worried not to have heard from you for so long. Thank God you’re back! Yep, we’re already planning on bagging a robber deer; a big, big doe who’s been a problem for a couple of years now. No, we’re sure not into showing off trophy deer. We’d rather eat a carrot-lilac fed doe as they’re legal this year.

      • Miss Jackie, Have had an injury, a fall, and doctor says I need double knee replacement. For now I am getting around indoors pretty well, outdoors I use a rollator walker with a seat. Have been able to keep up with the bees, and just jarred up a lot of honey today which I had extracted before Labor day. I had a few tomatoes and potatoes,I have to sit to garden and it is very slow…. fortunately we have lots of our own canned goods left, and I canned pork and turkeys this late summer.
        How good to be getting around even if not as in other years.
        Blessings Rick in Pa.

  4. Jackie-
    Love reading your blog! You are such an inspiration. When will you start taking orders for seeds for 2019? I am excited to order some from you for next season!

    • We take seed orders all year long. I’m working on updating our Seed Treasures website now and should have the catalog in the mail in January.

      • Jackie how can I request a catalog? We’ve never ordered seeds from you before. Though I do have several of your books!

      • You can click on our Seed Treasures box in the current blog to see what we have or request a catalog by writing us at: Seed Treasures, 8533 Hwy 25, Angora, MN 55703. I’ll be happy to send one to you!

    • I, too, love a rainy day but we’ve had two months of it and it’s getting pretty tiresome….

  5. Beautiful abundance in your pantry! You will eat well this winter! I’m keeping my fingers crossed that David will get the roof finished before the snow flies. So much to do and so little time! But that’s the homesteading life!

    • That’s for sure, Robyn! We always want to do more than we can. But we keep on keeping on just the same.

    • We eat like kings! That’s reward enough not to mention the satisfaction of looking upon all that bounty.

  6. Continuous rain here in Michigan too! The pantry is looking wonderful. That will taste so good through the winter. Wishing you good luck with all of those chores you’ve mentioned!

  7. Here too in southern Wisconsin it is rain, rain, rain. The grain harvest continues to be delayed (corn/soybeans). I read today the good news that Backwoods Home is returning to a print edition-Hooray! I really missed the magazine. How may panels is Will putting up, what brand, and is it stand alone with a battery bank? Your pantry looks ready for winter or closure of grocery stores–that has to be a good feeling of security. I’m reading Stephen King’s the The Stand and we we truly can be a virus away from disaster. We should heed the need to prepare. Take care.

    • OH, THE STAND!!!! one of my favorite reads…Numerous times. That mutant virus certainly seems plausible, and I loved The Old Lady prophetess and how they harvested her hogs before they moved on to Colorado! MY favorite genre is still the western novel and Miss Jackie is a Master Storyteller. Jess Hazzard is my pardner… Rick in Pa.

    • I’ve gotta read that! I got the same notice about the rebirth of Backwoods Home Magazine as well, today. Yea!!! I’m a paper magazine kinda gal.
      Will is putting up six panels. I don’t know the brand but will let you know when I find out. They will stand alone, feeding into our 8 6 volt battery bank along with our four existing panels and the wind charger. I’m so excited. We also will be adding the panels our friend gave us, in another sunny spot. So we’ll have plenty of power for sure.

    • I sometimes leave the rings on jars but I do wash each jar with the rings off, then dry them and put back the rings. I have so many rings it’s sometimes easier to store them on the jars! Most jars, though, are stored without rings as the rings do nothing to ensure long-term sealing.

  8. what temperatures should you mulch garlic?
    its 25 at night but 40-50 during day. im not sure when to cover them…
    any advice would be appreciated.
    North Dakota
    also, do u plant short or long term? you seem to have same temps as us.

    • I just mulch the garlic after planting it in the late fall. I usually plant each fall, harvesting the bulbs and planting the largest ones.

  9. Love your pantry! All that great looking food. It’s a good feeling to know you have a good supply of healthy and great tasting food canned up. Great work! Hope you can put your feet up and rest soon and just enjoy all the work you”ve done.

    • We love it too. Such satisfaction to just look upon all that great food. I doubt though that I’ll be putting up my feet any time soon. It’s time to get the Seed Treasures catalog together and the website updated….

  10. I agree with Cindy your pantry is like a dream ! You inspire me!!! ? Do you use Tattler lids?it seems you could benefit from them( if you feel they work)

    • Yes, I do use Tattler lids. But now, as I can afford them, I use regular lids, saving many of my cases of Tattlers for emergency use when regular lids are not available.

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