Oh yes, they are. Two of my friends, Dara and Leslie came over yesterday morning to help me weed. And weed we did, from 10:00 to nearly 3:00! The Sand garden had a few really weedy sections, chiefly the melons, peppers, and potatoes. I’m talking about big pigweed here. But we visited and pulled weeds and now today, it’s really cleaned up. Wow, how I appreciate their help!

I had to share this photo of one of our beautiful daylilies — they’re blooming up a storm right now.

All of our beans are looking great. Both the bush and pole beans are lush and very productive this year. The star, though, is our Crawford beans! These topped our taste test last year as snap beans so we planted plenty this year so we could eat lots and offer them in our seed catalog. (If you’d like to read more about growing your own beans, check out my article on Growing Beans in Issue #158 of Backwoods Home Magazine or the Twenty-Seventh Anthology.)

The Crawford beans are getting nearly big enough to eat. We’re pretty excited!

Our weather in June was terribly hot, and because of it our tomatoes are a bit late this year as when it’s hot, tomato plants often cast off their blooms instead of setting fruit. I’m talking about 90’s here, which is really unusual in June. But now it’s cooled down and tomatoes are popping up like mad. We had members of a local gardening club stop by yesterday for a garden tour and they all swore they’d be back, come fall, to taste lots of those unusual heirloom tomatoes.

Just look at these tomatoes on a Forest Fire plant.

Will’s busy haying and just finished another big field today ahead of rain that’s supposed to come for three days. Yeah, supposed to come. We’re still very dry here and watering as much as possible from two wells and our spring — so far, so good. But we DON’T want hail. Leslie showed me pictures of her garden and the big hail covering the ground. I think her garden will survive, but it sure took a hit. Dara didn’t get hail, nor did we. Thank you, God!

Have you ever seen a clematis bloom like this one? I haven’t!

Sad news: David and Ashley broke up. Ashley is moving to South Dakota this weekend. We’re sorry as she is a nice girl. But like so many want-to-be homesteaders, she loved the cute animals but didn’t show enthusiasm for working hard, as homesteading requires to be successful. We do wish her the very best. — Jackie


  1. Sorry to hear about the break up. David is a fine hardworking young man and I am sure his cinderella will appear someday. Hang in there.

    Love to see what you are doing Miss Jackie and Will. Thanks for all the advice you share with us. I appreciate it.

  2. Those Crawford beans sound amazing. Hope to try them next year. No garden this year as I am in starting over situation. You have wonderful friends that will help weed a garden!

    • Yes, we do have good friends, indeed. And I hope they know how appreciative I am of that. I hope you get a wonderful garden started and harvested next year.

  3. While sad for David, sooner than later is best. Regardless, he needs his own place to live and he is soooo close to having it. The right person is out there, he’ll find her. I liken the cute animals/hard work to getting married/being married. Easy to get married, not so easy at times being married. Easy having a baby, hard being a parent.
    Do you sell garlic bulbs? While I am *not* knocking it, spouse is into planting it this fall (and for reasons unknown to me, he finally realized just buying garlic at the store and planting it just doesn’t cut it). If not, suggestions as to where to purchase bulbs?

    • You’re so right about the easy/hard parts of life. David’s back in the saddle working on his cabin, regardless as, like you said, he needs a place to call home. And it’s getting there.
      No, we don’t sell garlic bulbs; too many regulations there. You can try Fedco Seeds and High Mowing. both sell nice garlic varieties that should do great for you.

  4. So sorry to hear about David. It always hurts when those things happen. I hope he finishes his cabin.

    Wow those beans really look good! Now what is that tomato plant that you showed? WOW I am going to look that one up.

    You are so blessed to have friends like that who help you weed!

    I had another round of lymes and babesiosis. Almost to the date I had lymes last year. Do you believe those tick borne illnesses harbor in your body? I need to research that!

    Thank you for sharing. Cindy

    • David’s still working away on his cabin, regardless, and hopes to be able to move in by winter, even though the inside will still need lots of work.
      That’s a Forest Fire tomato. Needless to say, I’m really impressed! Now I hope it tastes great too.

      I, personally, don’t believe tick borne diseases stay in your body, once successfully treated, to pop up here and there. But we do come in contact with ticks all summer, each year. So it stands to reason we can come down with it more than once.

  5. I have to tell you my experience. Several years ago while working at an old Ace Hardware in my hometown. I met an older gentleman that used to come in and sit in the rocking chairs and talk. He was proud of his garden. He gave me some beans he said all he knew them by was the name Crawford beans. Well I gave planted and love those beans ever since. I have to say my Crawford beans look just like yours. Now us that not awesome! Just thought this was a good story.

    • Oh my God, Iris!!! Wow, what a story. Can you possibly send me some of your Crawford seeds to plant next year. I want to see if they are, in fact, the same beans. Wouldn’t that be great??? How exciting.

  6. Glad that you had that great help from friends for weeding. It makes such a difference. Your flowers are so beautiful! Sad to hear of David’s breakup. Wishing them both the best as they forge new paths for their lives. Hope you get the weather and rain that you need!

    • We did get two nice rains so things are looking up. The gardens are fantastic so far. (Please God, NO HAIL!)

  7. What is the variety of day lilly shown in your photo? It is gorgeous! Also, my condolences to David. It is always heartbreaking when a relationship fails. If I were 40 years younger, I’d be chasing your son because he is quite a catch! 40 years ago, I built up my own homestead single-handed, so I wasn’t afraid of hard work, either.

    • That daylily is How Beautiful Heaven Must Be and it’s been in my garden for four years now. I just love it! I’m hoping David will find a homesteader-at-heart gal who really digs into homestead life, full tilt. I’m sure there’s someone like you out there for him.

  8. It’s always good to have friends like that. The beans look real good. I have never tried Crawford Beans. Do they tolerate the heat well? So glad Will is getting the haying done. Sorry to hear about David and Ashley. Best wishes to her on the move and l hope David doesn’t give up on the cabin or finding the right partner. Keep inspiring me and the rest of your readers. Happy Belated Birthday.

    • Yes, the Crawfords seem to love heat as we had 90’s in June this year!
      Naw, David’s going right ahead on the cabin. I hope if he’s learned nothing else from me it’s not to quit when things get tough. He’s been through a lot already from losing his dad at 14 to having flesh eating bacteria in his hand and arm a year later. And he helped me a lot when I had cancer and we were building the house. He won’t quit.
      Thank you for your Birthday wishes!

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