Our temperatures have been running about 10 degrees below normal — or more. Brrr. When Mittens saw snow on the ground this morning, she made a scrunched up ugly face. She was not happy! It was warm enough for it to melt in an hour, but it’s still overcast and in the forties. I decided to make a run to town as I had to mail some seed orders anyway. On the way I noticed the ditches where two years ago they’d run a brush chopping machine, there was a new batch of beautiful, straight willow shoots. I just have to bring the pruning shears next time and cut a big batch so I can make some baskets. The willow shoots are perfect for that. I love my baskets. Besides being very beautiful in a rustic way, they are extremely useful around our homestead for gathering eggs, harvesting vegetables, picking plums, and rinsing vegetables to mention a few uses.

Mittens was not happy to see more snow this morning!

Because it was snowing this morning, I didn’t put the seedling plants out on the deck for their daily hardening off session. I hope to be able to do that tomorrow afternoon. In the morning I head for Moose Lake for the grandkids’ Grandparents’ Day program at school. That’s always fun although my back gets sore from sitting on a bleacher for two hours.

Even though our tomatoes and peppers couldn’t go outside today, they look happy.
These are the Chinese Python Beans we got from Baker Creek this spring.

This spring I planted something entirely new to us. Baker Creek is offering Chinese Python Bean seeds. (They really aren’t a bean; in fact I’m not sure what they are.) But they are cool looking and grow three feet (or better) long and are supposed to taste great. As I’m pretty sure they’re a long-season plant I started them inside and they’re doing fine. We are really interested in finding out more about them. We always love trying new things! — Jackie


  1. Nice plants. Here the weather in southern Wisconsin has been challenging. Rain, rain, rain. Slowly I’m getting the plants hardend off. I did plant potatoes, peas and onions mid April and so far only the onions are doing well. I haven’t seen any potato/pea plants breaking through the ground. All the calving is done with good results this year. Each year/season is different and calls for adaptation. I look forward to some sunshine. I told all my grandchildren I don’t want any of them complaining of being too hot after the winter we had. What is the corn you have drying that is in the pictures?

    • Yep, we’ve had the rain, rain, snow, rain thing too. Ugh! I’ve got volunteer peas coming up from where we tilled our old vines in last fall but I haven’t planted anything outside yet. We did have a nice heifer born Saturday though. The corn is (yellow) Seneca Sunrise sweet corn. The colored corn is Painted Mountain on L and Spotted Big Horse to the R.

  2. Hi Jackie

    Its Monica in Ottawa – just realized I could leave you a comment – there’s a package on its way to you – so sorry….


    • I’m glad you discovered the comment function of the blog. Now I’m curious as to what’s coming…..

      • It’s just a small envelope smaller than the package you sent that had the seeds

        Did it come yet?

  3. Our weather has been weird this year. We had a very warm March (for interior Alaska) but the April night lows stayed in the low 20’s and teens so I’ve had to cover the flats of beets and cole plants I put in the hoop house to make room every night. I’m transplanting my tomatoes to pots and grow bags in the green house as they are about 16″ tall so I’ll have to run the wood stove on colder nights and use the propane heater if it’s borderline. I have found that up here you gain more extending the season in the spring because we have the light now 5am to 10pm and gaining 7 minutes a day. I transplant my provider beans through IRT plastic into the hoop house. Will start beans next week.

    • It’s been weird here too. Last night it was 23 degrees! And it’s MAY. Our house wood stove is burning merrily too. Grump, grump, grump! We, too, gain more in the spring; not as much as you but here it’s light at 6 and dark about 9 so we’re getting there! But here’s hoping we’ll eventually get SPRING!!!

  4. Your plants look great!! Yes our weather is this up and down business. Now we are heading toward 60 so hope it stays!!!

    Have a great time at Grandparents day! Cindy

    • It didn’t stay. Boo hoo. Snow today! But it was nice on Grandparents’ Day. I went down to the grandkids’ school program and even won an African Violet door prize.

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