And boy, was it a treat! First off, this squash is huge. Ours weighed 40 pounds. And the orange meat is so thick I had to have Will cut it open with Mom’s old butcher knife. And even he had a time of it. (I usually just chop such a squash with my trusty hatchet but figured that is a little brutal…) My gardening friend, Dara, called and said she was cooking the one I’d given her so I figured I’d give it a go too. She texted me back sometime later and said hers was only average tasting so I was disappointed. But I baked a chunk anyway, just to see. There’s often some variation between squash even off the same vine, and Dara is quite picky about her squash. We had ours for supper and we all agreed it was very good. I even ate the skin without realizing it! We graded it as a “B” as it isn’t as good as our old favorite, Hopi Pale Grey, but it sure was good in our opinion. And because there is so much of it, you could can up tons and tons from only a few squash. It has also been used as a livestock feed as it is very productive and pretty early too, only 100 days. It’s a definite regular around here! I originally bought the seeds from Adaptive Seeds because of its name, Theron’s — Theron was my grandfather’s name so I figured it was a sign.

Will had a hard time cutting one open because the meat was so thick.
Will carrying in the 40 pound squash during harvest time. We love the “big belly button” on the bottom of Theron’s Winter squash.

The loggers are busy across the creek. They start at about 5:20 AM — way before daylight — and work steadily all day with two skidders going back and forth with bundles of logs. They’re doing a nice job too. They left a nice border between us and the beaver pond and creek so you don’t see the “ugly” cut-over woods. The deer sure love it as they can now easily munch on poplar twigs. I’ll be glad to get that check so we can pay down on our land loan. I hate debt!

With Christmas approaching, David brought in our Christmas tree. It had been in the back of our pickup and was covered in snow. But, luckily, he was able to tunk the trunk down on the ground a few times and nearly all of the snow and ice fell off. He got it into the living room and set it up in the stand. Now it’s thawed out so tonight we’ll be decorating.

David, straightening up the Christmas tree.

My son, Bill, let us know last night that their pump for the mound system had quit. For those of you who don’t know what that is, it’s a septic drainfield, mounded up above ground to supposedly provide better drainage than a regular septic tank drainfield in low or clay soil. We’re not fans because, as Bill found out, the pumps fail. And they’re down underground several feet, and when they fail, it’s usually winter. He did manage to get the pump cut loose from the PVC pipe and tried it — no good. It’s supposed to get way below zero for a day and night so he’ll have a devil of a time replacing it. The mound system is required in many areas, but we feel it would be better if the area was, instead, dug out several feet and a thick bed of gravel and sand put in to lay normal drain tile on so the system could drain via gravity. But then, no one “asked Jackie!” — Jackie


  1. Wow, that’s scary! Luckily, our Credit Union is VERY good about that and has never yet made a mistake. We always try to pay more on the principle than required as it sure does lessen the length of any loan.
    Merry Christmas to you and yours!!

    • Merry Christmas to you too, Ginger! You’ll never know how much I enjoy having you participate in the blog.

    • Naw, I can’t control it well enough. Might chop into my leg! I do use one to harvest corn stalks, though. Will doing the cutting is safer. Merry, merry Christmas!!

      • Bill did get the new pump in and hooked. All is well again! And he didn’t have to call out a “septic specialist” either!

  2. Merry Christmas Jackie and Will:
    I thoroughly enjoy and am inspired by your articles and posts. If you are interested I will send you some seeds from “North Georgia Candy Roaster” winter squash. It is an open-pollinated heirloom that was grown by the Cherokee. It is a very good substitute for sweet potatoes. We get them from a friend at church and use them in souffle’s or just roasted with a little salt, pepper and olive oil. They typically weigh 5-8 pounds so they are not overly large and are excellent keepers. They too mature in about 100 days.
    Thanks again for all you do for the homesteading and self reliance community.

    • Merry Christmas Dwight! I’d love for you to send us some North Georgia Candy Roaster seeds. I grew it two years ago but the darned cows got into the garden and ate every one, along with ALL our other squash in that garden and corn too. (I really enjoy roasts and hamburger now!)

      • I will be cooking one next week and will save and dry the seeds. I will also send you a sample of some hot, dried, smoked chiles a friend’s mother brought from Mexico. Thanks again for all you and Will do.

  3. Do NOT get me started on septic systems. Yes, some lots are too small for septic systems. I do agree with a little time and material, a conventional will work (providing lot size is adequate). I’m gearing up for a battle IF the day comes our system “fails”. Don’t tell me that I can’t have a conventional system on a five+ acre lot when just down the road, conventional is okay for lot sizes under 1/2 acre (same soil composition).
    There are other options that work well and are less expensive and easier to maintain than a mound/engineered system.
    I’ll take a well and septic any day over city water/sewer.
    I too hate debt. We’ve been putting extra towards our mortgage (only debt we have) and see the light at the end of the tunnel. Sad to say but if one does make extra payments to principle, please verify that those payments are applied to principle. Suffice it to say I had to been vigilant and insistent as I discovered misapplied payments to principle.

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