Even with the sprained ankle, I’m pulling in beans, beans, and more beans. When I can’t do that anymore, I seed out tomatoes so I can sit down in a different position. Doing bush beans, I sit on a bucket with a plastic seat which my dear friend Sheryl bought me. It’s a real life-saver for me! Such a simple thing, but what a difference it makes.

This brace sure helps me garden even with a sprained ankle.

We had rain forecast after a wonderful period of Indian summer. Unfortunately, there’s a cold spell heading for us with snow already in the high country of Montana and now entering North Dakota. So we know it’s coming. We aren’t supposed to get so much but even “some measurable,” plus rain for days, is not happily anticipated. So it’s beans, beans, and more beans. Today I harvested two 50-foot rows of Whipple and two of Early Warwick. Even at night, I’m busy trying to get as many beans shelled as I can as some of them are damp from lying on the ground under the bushes. One thing we’ve learned is that you can harvest the beans when the pods are still relatively green, as long as the seeds are colored and sized up. I pick them, then lay them out on an old quilt on the spare bed in a single layer. In a few days, they dry down and I can shell them as I would if they had dried on the vine. This enables me to harvest many more beans than in the past. I’ve done this for a few years and the seeds go on to germinate normally.

These are some Russian pole beans we really love. Khabarovsk beans are very large, fat, maroon and white gems with wonderful flavor.

Will’s been busy hauling manure out of the training ring and spreading it on our North pasture. The ground’s still soft, but the manure has to go, so that mountain in the training ring is slowly getting smaller and smaller. But then, late yesterday afternoon, Will threw a track on the crawler/loader. So he has that to put back on before he can haul any more manure, and he sure doesn’t want to do it in the snow and rain!

Chocolate Stripes is a new favorite tomato. How pretty and tasty they are.

One of the neat tomatoes that’s new to us this year is Chocolate Stripes. This round, mid-sized slicer is tasty, beautiful, and productive too. We’ll be keeping this gem around for a long time. Chocolate Stripes came to us from our tomato friend, Al Anderson, the tomato seed saver who has 1,500 varieties of tomatoes. Thank you Al! — Jackie


  1. Here in Iowa we have had mornings with 23 wind chill but no snow yet, just a tad in Sioux City north of us. Kudos to you, Jackie, in constant admiration!

    • Thank you Ginger. We just keep on keepin’ on….. Luckily the temperature has hovered just at freezing at night. So WHEW!

      • I’ll go out in a minute and snap a photo. It’s so simple and doesn’t cut into your butt like an upside down bucket does. The plastic seat fits right inside the top of the top of the bucket. So much help!!!

  2. We, too are in the final throes of the season, picking and canning as fast as we can. Chocolate Stripe is my all time favorite tasting tomato and I am so glad you found it. Enjoy the last bits of the harvest and rest well this winter!

  3. I know your busy trying to beat the snow and rain but don’t forget to take care of you. You are an amazing woman. The tomatoes look good and l may have to try them. You and Will are still inspiring me. Had to cover the garden will straw last night as it drop to 32 degrees with a wind chill of 29. Trying to make the season last.

    • I really do try, Kathy. But there just are a few things that HAVE to get done right now. I am going to take a mini-vacation Wednesday with my son, Bill’s, family. We’re headed out to Yellowstone National Park for a couple of days. That’s awesome! We’ve had 32 also, but were glad to have it only get that low…it could have been worse!

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