No, Will didn’t fall off the tall extension ladder trying to carry them up 14 feet. Luckily, he asked me for help and we used the loader bucket of our Ford tractor to boost both he and a panel at a time, up to the top. He slid one panel at a time into place, resting on the panels below temporarily. There was no wind for the first two. But when the third went into place a 20 mph breeze was blowing. There were a couple of minutes of hair-raising holding our breath while I lowered Will. The panels stayed in place, and he quickly got the extension ladder in place on the back of the array and went up to begin bolting the panels into place permanently. All went well, and today we’re looking at a full array of six huge (to us) panels. Wow!

We’re so happy the new solar panels are all in place and ready to hook up!

And as I got a check in the mail and Will received payment for a quarter of beef, he was able to order the much needed combiner box, breakers for it, two charge controllers, and some wire cable to get everything hooked up. Merry Christmas to us! (Who needs diamonds, a cruise to the Bahamas, or flight to Hawaii for Christmas?) Yep, we are homesteaders to the max.

I had to laugh when Will was up on the ladder; Mittens, who acts as our building inspector, quickly climbed way up the ladder and started rubbing against Will’s boots. I guess that meant she approved of the new construction. She oversees everything. When Will was putting up the trusses in our new barn, she was hopping from one to the next, way up, off the ground. It kind of scared Will and I, but not Mittens.

Mittens is hurrying to “help” us, as always.

Have you been getting new seed catalogs in the mail from various companies? We have and I’ll admit I’ve started making a list and checking it more than twice. Hey, it’s gardener porno they tell me. It does pay to carefully plan out your crops for the coming spring. What you’ll buy, which seeds you have already saved or bought last year, new ones to try, and ones which will give you more food per square foot. Even with more than three acres now in gardens, I struggle to plan out everything, especially when we save a whole lot of seeds and don’t want anything to cross. (If you’d like a few tips on getting the most out of your own catalogs, check out my article on the subject in Issue 110 of BHM, also found in the Nineteenth Year Anthology.) I’ve got our Seed Treasures website updated so if you’d like to check out all the new stuff and plenty of photos, just click on the Seed Treasures box in this blog. — Jackie


    • No, Marlene, our catalogs are always free to any interested gardeners. I’ll put your name at the front of our list so you’ll get a catalog right from the printers.

  1. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year Jackie and Will :) Those panels are better than a Christmas present lol Tell Mittens to keep up the good work :)

    • And a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you too! We LOVE the solar panels!!! Mittens always keeps us in line.

  2. Just watching Will go through the various steps with those panels has been scary. I’m so glad all went well without a mishap. As for seed catalogs I have a list for Seed Treasures. You have plenty of things for me to try. I’ll have an order off soon. We have 2 cat supervisors…one that climbs the ladders and the other that watches every move.
    A blessed Christmas to all of you.

  3. I’m sure it was unintentional when you said, “It’s gardener porno” looking through seed catalogs.
    As we know, pornography is no joking matter. Surely, though, there is a better comparison than that of body exploitation.

  4. Jackie any possibility you will ever sell William Woys Weaver’s Ole Pepper Pot pepper seeds? There must be blog readers other than me who would love to cook up a batch of pepper pot soup if only we could grow/buy the peppers. It would grow well for you in a hoop house but is too long a season for outside where you live.

    • New varieties such as Ole Pepper Pot pepper are always a definite possibility at our homestead. We’ll keep that in mind.

  5. Glad the panels are up safely! I have only received one seed catalogue but it has a lot of old time non hybrid stuff that I would like to try out.

    • Yep, we’re trying new stuff each and every year. That’s why I had Will fire up the dozer and create our new Sand Garden. And now plans have that garden filling up fast.

  6. The solar panels are looking great! Hurray! Love Inspector Mittens. Ours are also always into our projects. Yes, the catalogs have begun and so much fun to look over. Thanks for the update Jackie!

    • We love our “inspectors” too. I still remember when our black Lab, Spencer, climbed up the ladder behind Will and his bulk trapped Will on top of the stacked firewood in the woodshed! Will finally managed to squirm beside Spencer but had to carry 85 pound Spencer back DOWN the ladder. He could do up. But not down!

  7. That ocean cruse would be over and done with in mere weeks but those panels will be offering enjoyment for many many years!!

    Waiting on the new seed catalog, already have a few things on the want list.

    • I agree, Reg. Besides I could never enjoy being on a ship with thousands of other people; just like a big city on water. Not for me!! I do love the quiet beaches tho. I really enjoyed the side trip to Sanibel Island, in Florida, Ilene Duffy and I took after a three day Self-Reliance Expo in Orlando.

  8. W all need a cat inspector! Good job to all of you! Thanks for distracting me,Jackie, as my husband is very sick, wonderful to hear all you and fam are getting accomplished!

    • I’m so sorry your husband is so sick. I’ll add him to my prayers and you as well as I know how hard it is to worry about someone you love so much.

  9. The solar panels look great! Congrats to you and Will! I read all your posts as soon as I get the bhm email notification. My only internet access is via my phone. You said “just click on the Seed Treasures box in this blog.”… but I’ve searched and searched and can’t find the link/box you’re referring to. I think it isn’t displaying when viewed via phone. Luckily I know to just go directly to your site, but for others I thought you might like to check into it. Merry Christmas.

    • Hey Sherrie, I just had my son,David, who has a smart phone as opposed to our old flip phones, try on his phone. No problem. Maybe you’re not clicking on the Seed Treasures box but looking for a “click here” box? I was at first then just for giggles I just clicked on the seeds. Ta da! Right to the catalog. Give it a try and let me know. We want to make this work for everyone. Merry Christmas.

  10. Well Merry Christmas to you all looks good Dad. I think you need to put a level on the bottom row looks a little off. Love you guys. And weather here is 45 blowing 50s got first snow on the mtn tops 4 days ago super weird weather in Alaska.
    Your Son

    • Merry Christmas to you too, Don! Naw, it’s just the photo. Everything has been plumbed and leveled multiple times. So there! Fifties??? Wow, I thought 40 was great. Congratulations!!!

  11. The solar panels look wonderful!! Would love to do that someday.

    Can’t wait to look at Seed Treasures!

    Merry Christmas to you and Will!!!

    • Merry Christmas to you, Cindy! I’m so loving the new solar panels and am planning on adding a big, new daylily bed in front of the panels.

  12. Wow! That’s quite an array! I have to admit, given a choice between a cruise and an array like that, the array would win every time!

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