There are still more crops to get planted, but we’re seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. Will is hard at work getting our oats and hay seeded in. It’s late this year but our fields were so wet the tractor would have been stuck or at least left deep ruts in the field. So he seeded in two fields yesterday and is working on our two small fields here at home, today. He uses a cone-type broadcaster and pulls a harrow behind the tractor, doing two jobs at once. Yep, using a drill would be best. We do have one. But the cone seeder is faster and right now speed is important as we hope the forecasted rain will come today. We need it for all our crops.

Will is busy seeding in our oats and hay seed.

I’ve planted all our corn now and am just waiting. The first is up nicely but the old corn donated to us by Father Grubba (1990’s and older, stored in boxes in a basement) isn’t yet. We planted big blocks and are hoping even a few kernels will germinate, which I’ll then transplant into isolation spots. These varieties didn’t germinate in the house so we’re scared they are just too old. But we’re praying some will make it as we sure hate to lose this corn, some of which is very rare.

Our earliest-planted corn and beans are coming up nicely. This is the Seneca Round Nose corn just up in the Central garden.

I also planted our “left-over tomatoes” here and there in various gardens figuring to just use them for canning and eating. I really hate to waste them! I gave away all I could find homes for, but ended up with several flats. I’m down to a couple of dozen plants now. I’m also going to get the carrots and onions planted. We never have trouble having them ripen well before freezing, so we weren’t under the gun to get them in, although they sure could have gone in weeks ago.

Here’s the North garden, planted in corn, squash, and pumpkins.

We’ve been eating fantastic asparagus! Our favorite recipe is to fry up some bacon pieces then drain off most of the grease and add cut up asparagus. I put the lid on the frying pan and let the asparagus steam and fry, stirring a bit occasionally. When nearly tender, I take off the lid and finish it by frying nearly dry.

Our lettuce and radishes are nearly big enough to begin eating some and we sure can’t wait. We sure do love homesteading! — Jackie


  1. Your comments about asparagus have hit the spot. I have been searching everywhere for starts for an asparagus bed, realizing full well that it will be next year before I could expect to harvest any. Is it too late to start some this year here in Iowa? Do you know a source and do you have a favorite variety? Love reading what you are doing. Keep inspiring us all.


  2. Do you have any tips on how to sharpen veggie peelers? Have watched some videos but their way never works for me. I have a few peelers that are nice but only stayed sharp a few years and would like to save them. Thanks.

    • No, I don’t. I’ve got two old, old peelers which I believe were made of quality steel as I’ve never sharpened them and they still work fine; they were Mom’s. I do usually use a knife for peeling though, a sharp, flexible, thinner bladed paring knife.

  3. Jackie, there are detailed instructions on the Internet for procedures to germinate old seed. In addition Will Weaver has a lot of experience because of his grandfather’s seed collection. You might contact him for advice. It would be sad to lose ancient corn. I don’t know how he did it but the Internet instructions stress cleanliness so the seeds aren’t fighting mold spores and bacteria from your hands, the air, and the sprouting containers. The water should be boiled and cooled and/or distilled. The other tip is a sugar water solution. If you have an incubation box that could be cleaned that would also help. The other seeds besides corn that could be especially interesting are squash, tomato and greens.

    • My parents (when they planted a garden in Tennessee) used to put their okra seed in a mason jar, add water, then add a splash of purex. The purex would cause it to heat up and the seeds would sprout. We always had a lot of okra to eat.

    • I’ve sure checked out the internet and have also had a lot of experience germinating old seed (remember our 1,500 year old Folsom Indian Ruin beans….) Believe me, I’ve tried EVERYTHING to get those seeds to germinate. Two varieties made it so far and we’re hoping to get several plants in damp, warm soil, to come up. Even if they don’t I sure won’t quit.

    • We’re hopeful; we’re all planted and rain, along with warm weather’s headed our way. Yea!!!

  4. We’ve been gorging, sharing, and freezing strawberries. In my book, June bearing is the way to go. But it seems like no sooner than you have dealt with what you picked, there are just as many to pick again! We let a family in our neighborhood come down one day and pick. Nice to see those kids (and other kids) in the neighborhood learning the ropes of gardening. In a few years I’m hoping one or two are willing to periodically help out (with pay).

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