It’s been threatening to arrive so we’ve been super busy since I got back from my mini-vacation to Yellowstone National Park. There were still potatoes to dig, more dry beans to pull, all the peppers in the hoop houses to pick (it’s not cost-effective to run propane heaters when the weather shows no sign of warming up above freezing), more squash to haul in, crates of tomatoes to bring inside, and so on. We had two days’ notice via the weather forecasts so we did hurry. We brought in the four remaining crates of tomatoes using a head lamp, but we got them all in and safe.

We brought in all of our peppers from the hoop houses. Here’s one of our favorites; Paradicsom Alaku Sarga Szentes, a Hungarian sweet pepper.

The temperature bottomed out at 22° F. and lately, we haven’t seen a day above freezing. So Will and I have been busy with other projects such as cutting and splitting more firewood as, at least the rain has stopped. (Snow doesn’t get the wood wet!) Yesterday I seeded out 12 more varieties of tomatoes and have only 12 more to go. It does feel good to see the end in sight. We’re stumbling over crates of melons and piles of squash so I started seeding some of those out too. I was so happy with all those fat seeds. Last night I baked three squash. We ate half of a Hopi Pale Grey and today — David’s birthday — I’ll be making a nice pie. Who needs a pumpkin to make pumpkin pie anyway?

We have piles of squash and crates of melons all over the house! What a wonderful, tasty “mess!”

Beaver forecast: Our beavers have finally given us a heads-up. They say it’s going to be a long, cold and snowy winter. They not only built up their dam early but have stockpiled tons of willow and poplar brush, anchored in the bottom mud of the pond, right off the front of their lodge. (And I was so hoping it would be a nice mild winter…) Alas, that’s not going to happen. The beavers haven’t been wrong yet. — Jackie


  1. Happy belated Birthday, David! I will remember as my this is my Uncle’s birthday. He would have been 106 years old. He once told my kids ” I feel sorry for you kids – everything I did for fun and profit when I was your age is now illegal”. He lived an interesting life!


  2. Started snowing here last night and ended around 2 pm this afternoon. Five inches of snow on October 31 is highly unusual here. We might get a dusting/<.5 inches this early. I too think it is going to be snowier/colder winter.
    Happy Birthday to David – BHM readers watched him grow up.
    For homesteaders, the light at the end of the tunnel is usually winter!

    • It is a time when we homesteaders usually get a bit of rest, just doing winter chores and perhaps some left=over canning. Will and I just get going then, with our little seed business. There’s updating the website, doing the new catalog, getting seeds ready to sell, germination testing. Then, hopefully, orders start coming in and we’re busy filling them and suddenly IT”S SPRING! At least we never get bored!

  3. Please tell David Happy Birthay! I hope he and all of you have a safe happy winter this year with no big issues. How is his cabin going, is he almost in it?

    • No. The cabin is dried in and winter-ready but he probably won’t be working on it much this winter as there is no heat in it yet. (It took his brother, Bill, five years to build his wonderful log home but it sure was worth it!)

  4. Happy that you had a good vacation away and that you’re getting so much accomplished. Happy birthday to David!

  5. I’m amazed at all you take on and get done😳😊.i was using my Back to Basic food mill to puree some cooked tomatoes in order to can spaghetti sauce. I was busy turning the hand crank an was getting quite tired. ( I’m not a spring chicken anymore😌). I asked my husband to help. He turned about 1 min. and said he was going to get his battery operated drill gun. He removed the wing nut that held the handle, removed the handle, attached the drill gun and proceeded to speed process my tomatoes! Wow! And I’ve been doing it the hard way for so many years 😳. So , you may already be doing this but your readers may not have thought of it . 😊

    • Yep, David started this when he was about 13! I still crank by hand, figuring it’s good exercise. But there’s an attachment for my old Kitchen Aid stand mixer I’m thinking of buying. It turns out tomato sauce in the same way. But I’m SO cheap!!!! It may be awhile…..

  6. I totally agree about the pumpkin! Ever since I discovered Sweet Meat squash, a blue Hubbard type that originated here in the Pacific Northwest, that is what I use for “pumpkin” pie, and everything else pumpkin. It’s so much more delicious!

    • I’m going to try Sweet Meat from the seeds I got this year. I know we LOVE our Hopi Pale Grey squash pie.

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