What a trip! The stove heated perfectly even though I had to light it with a lighter not the electronic ignition. (Still don’t have a pure sine wave inverter … but soon!) The quarts of diced potatoes I canned held a perfect pressure for the entire time; no fussing turning the heat up or down. I now have an entire two-foot deep shelf full to the front of diced potatoes. They are so awesome if you want a quick potato soup, drained for fried potatoes, or added to stews. (If you’d like to check into canning some for yourself, check out my canning book, Growing and Canning Your Own Food, available through BHM.)

I just canned potatoes on the new kitchen range.

We are tickled that the weather has warmed up. I’d been getting up in the middle of the night and going out to the goat barn, worried our doe would kid when it was -20° or worse. But she held off. Then, on our first warm morning, she suddenly cooperated. Sparkle, her beautiful black and white spotted doeling was born at about 7a.m. with temperatures near 30° F. I was so excited I could hardly wait to tell everyone. Her mom’s being a butt, not letting her nurse unless we hold her, but that’s kind of common with first-fresheners. So I go out several times a day and hold Bella so Sparkle can nurse. Bella has a near-perfect udder and teats so that’s another thing to be grateful for. And so easy to milk, too!

After days of waiting, our doe, Bella, finally had her doeling kid and she’s beautiful!

My wood kitchen range was acting up and not burning well so I knew it was time for a clean out. Alisha wanted to learn how it was done as she hopes to have a wood range some day. She got her first lesson on Saturday. Few people know the soot and ash eventually clog up under and beside the oven, in the space where hot air is supposed to flow around the oven to heat it. With the long-handled clean-out bar, Alisha attacked the ash and soon all was clean again — over the oven, beside it and underneath. That evening I lit the fire and it burned perfectly. Job well done Alisha! We celebrated with taco pie with cornbread for the top crust. Yum — and it only took ten minutes to bake.

Alisha worked hard cleaning out the ash which had blocked the wood range’s air flow.

With the warm weather, Will got busy and started cleaning out the big “compost” pile in the training ring. He removed the four planks on the north end of the training ring and with the crawler/loader, he started carrying buckets of rotted manure out onto the Sand garden. It’s about half done and looks great. All that poop on the garden gladdens my heart.

Will is busy cleaning out the big manure pile in the training ring.

On Sunday, after church, several of our friends stopped by to visit, spin some wool, and pick up some seeds for their spring gardens. We had a great time and everyone was amazed at how fast and well Alisha is spinning perfect yarn.

Now it’s back to business as lots of orders for seeds are coming in. We try valiantly to send out seeds the day after we get the orders. We may not have all the bells and whistles big companies have, but we do have excellent customer service! The Post Office ladies laugh when they see me hauling in big bags full of seeds headed out all over the country. Yep, spring is almost here! — Jackie


  1. So happy to hear the kidding went well. What a beauty! Since moving to Montana, we miss our 2 Saanen dairy goats we had in Michigan. Our kids (the human ones, not goat haha) grew up strong and healthy on that wonderful milk!
    Excellent job on the fast delivery of my seed order. Looking forward to getting some started today! Also received my copy of ‘Starting Over’ today. After reading your blog for many years, I am excited to hear “the rest of the story”. :)
    Many blessings on you, your family and your homestead.

  2. I love to can potatoes. They have so many uses and I like them better than fresh other than need fresh for hash browns!

  3. Hi Jackie, just love your blog ! The little goat is precious ! What a beauty! Love the potato info ! Very timely since I had almost tossed all my jars of canned potatoes . Take care, and thank you for all the info !

    • We love her color. I figured I’d probably get a brown, plain buck kid so I was SO surprised at a flashy, beautiful doeling. I’m sure glad you didn’t throw out your potatoes!!!

    • We figure other gardeners love their seeds like we do so try to get them to folks as SOON as we can. Happy Spring.

  4. Oh Jackie your goat and little one are the cutest!! Just adorable. You are so blessed

    I wanted to thank you for the seed order. It came with in the same week that I ordered from you! Now that is service. You beat the big guys!!!

    Your range looks great and I bet you will enjoy using it for years to come.

    • We think the goats are neat too. Sparkle is doing just great.

      You’re welcome for the seed order! As we are homesteaders first, we deeply understand how much folks want those seeds in their hands and try to get orders in the mail the next day after getting them. Do unto others….

    • We built the training ring so I could train my Friesian mare. Unfortunately, every since, it has kid of been taken over by the need for somewhere to separate cows. Oh well, the mare is doing great, even though “untrained”. We now have only two horses, Ladyhawk and a pinto (who IS trained!) Gypsy.

  5. Do you have a seed catalog, Jackie? Or a webpage to place orders? I was interested in some of your green bean seeds. Thanks!

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