It was so wonderful! The sun was shining so brightly I needed sunglasses. And boy, did the snow melt! The entire west side of the goat shed slid off with a roar, dumping three feet of packed snow between me and the inside. Luckily I wasn’t nearby when it went as it weighed a ton or more! We had a friend’s wedding to attend in the afternoon so we didn’t get to enjoy the sunny weather as much as we might have, but the wedding was perfect to match the weather.

Today it’s not so warm but still sunny so it feels nice. Will took the ATV out to get the mail this afternoon after doing a few side trips. In one logging site he counted more than 40 deer. We’re so glad they made it through the winter so well. They sure love to browse those tender tips they couldn’t reach before. I had to laugh; Hondo waited obediently on our side of the blacktop while Will walked over to get the mail from our mail carrier, Kirk. Will taught him long ago to never go on the road — we didn’t want squashed dogs — and he really doesn’t. He usually finds something to interest him on the “good” side, instead.

Will and Hondo wait for the mail, and hopefully, a bunch of new seed orders.

Because of the melting, our drive is getting a little iffy with places of melted snow pack nearly a foot deep. But we can still drive the Escape in and out okay.

With warmer weather, our driveway’s snow pack is breaking up, making the drive challenging on some days.

Due to the new Coronavirus, we’re planning on planting extra crops in case we end up with several more folks to feed. You never know; life would be easier here where we’re relatively isolated than in a city. Look at Italy, now quarantining cities — nobody in or out. It could happen here too and that’d make life pretty tough for some of our family members and friends. I hope all of you who can, will follow our lead. If the virus comes to nothing, you have absolutely nothing to lose, but everything to gain if we end up self-quarantined or government quarantined. Plenty of fresh food sure sounds good to me in such a case.

I promised a picture of David’s cabin. Here it is. More work will be starting very soon now with warmer weather.

— Jackie


  1. People are in total panic mode over the virus. I don’t believe they are able to think at all. For instance, if the bread shelf is empty, did they go buy yeast and flour? Do they have a clue how to use the yeast and flour? Do any of them know how to think outside the box and find work arounds to problems? If there is no bottled water, did they consider filling their own containers from the tap? Actually, I doubt some of them have a clue how to cook those bags of beans they grabbed. If the toilet paper shelves are empty, did they consider buying packages of cheap wash cloths to use? Or cloth diapers if there are no disposables?

    I’m looking forward to getting into the garden and using the new hoe dd gave me for Christmas. The snow is gone but our last frost date is June 1 although I usually plant tomatoes and peppers May 15 with covers.

    • I hear you, LeeAnn! Same thing here! And all that bread will go moldy unless eaten quickly or frozen. I don’t think many people today actually COOK or BAKE! They’d better learn. I made a comment about the bottled water to Will and he suggested folks are afraid to drink tap water because of contamination in public water supplies such as Newark and Flint. Me? I’d rather drink our well water than water out of a plastic bottle! But we’re “crazy” people, living in the Minnesota back woods
      This week I’ll be starting my tomato seeds. I can’t wait as we have so many wonderful varieties!

  2. I’m tickled your Alderman peas turned out so well. We really love them too and have a hard time not eating them all, instead of saving some for seed! Darned, now I’m drooling all over the keyboard!

    • Amen to that Judy. I’m not so scared of the Coronavirus but the economical hit that will be on its heels. Like I’ve always said “plant more beans”; we can’t do much else about it but what we can at home.

  3. I agree this is an example of why it is good to be prepared even if nothing comes of it. Unfortunately for me I am in the process of starting over and don’t have much put by. I pick up a little extra each time I go to the store and am planning my garden. David’s cabin is looking great! Spring is close and I just received my seeds from you. Itching to plant!

    • You’re doing what you can and that’s important. I’ve lived most of my life broke so I totally hear you. Do try to put in a big garden this spring especially. Sounds like you’re off on the right foot.

  4. I usually plant as much as I can as one never knows what may happen. There is rarely an empty garden bed. The weather doesn’t always do what’s expected though. It seems Australia had the hottest summer on record with bushfires raging everywhere but in our area it rained constantly with overcast days when it wasn’t raining. As a result our summer crops have been really poor with mildew on lots of our veg. and after trying different non toxic sprays, I’ve almost given up, as I say, almost. It’s hard to stop even when the weather is against one. I may have to ration some things and go without others but will survive. Being self supporting gets into the blood don’t you think? I’m happy that the fires missed us and looking on the bright side there is lots of green grass for our little house cow and calf. May your spring and summer be fruitful and above all, safe. Many thanks for sharing your life so generously.

    • I’m so glad the fires missed you. We prayed every day for Australia. Yes, being self-sufficient does get into the blood and it’s a darned good way to be, I feel. We can’t do anything about the weather and other disasters about us. But we can keep on keeping on and will eventually come out on top. Have better growing your next season!

  5. I would say that having fresh food around is good in ANY case! I am getting ready to move out to my place in the country in a few weeks and have already started planning my garden. (The trailer I will be living in hasn’t even been moved yet!

    • Yup, even with two feet of snow on the flat, not counting snowplow berms, I’m hard at work planning our gardens. Tomorrow we hope to take the trailer into town to buy a bunch of fence posts and welded stock panels we’ve been saving for, for both the garden and cattle corral. Grow food like crazy!

  6. David’s cabin is looking great. We, too, are planning to plant more than usual for the same reasons. It’s a great feeling knowing that we are prepared for what may come. Enjoy that sunshine and I hope those seed orders come tumbling in!

    • Thanks Wendy. So far, they are and God bless every single one! We’re so happy we are where we are and have always tried to be prepared so there isn’t so big a rush right now, trying to get ready for this pandemic. Have a great growing year!

  7. Nice cabin. I agree about figuring on extra bodies of things go south. I have kids and grand kids in two coastal towns. On kitchen ranges my wife finally decided to buy the Unique range from the off grid store that I suggested last year when she first had trouble with the oven thermostat. It has grids like your new stove but the but the ignition is one D cell battery!

    • Wow, so cool. I priced Unique but they fell out of our price range. Our new inverter should get here tomorrow. I can’t wait; then I can safely bake in my new stove. Right now when I bake it’s on the wood range.

  8. Hi Jackie!! You are so right about the sun! Such a great reminder of what is to come.

    So what kinds of extra crops are you going to plant? I have no idea what to plant. That is a good idea. Maybe I’ll have to order more seeds from you!!! hahahaha

    David’s cabin looks wonderful. I hope he gets to move in this year. So beautiful.

    Have a fun spring!!!

    • We’re putting in a wide 150′ row of wheat and extra of nearly everything. Especially corn, beans, root crops and peppers. I will have over 200 tomatoes so we’re set there. Of course we grow lots of extras for our seed business but, fortunately, when we harvest, it’s often not just the seeds as I use the “meat” of the crop too. For instance, with the tomatoes, I make 26 different recipes to can from them! That’s a win-win situation for sure!
      Have a great spring and be safe!

  9. The other day at my grand daughter’s first birthday party her other grand mother told me she would never survive if she had to be self sufficient. She said she doesn’t know how to do anything. I told her not to worry she is family and could come to our house we have plenty. This is why I really stress to my kids to be as self sufficient as they can. They always tell us they are grateful for the way they grew up. I always told them as long as you have food and heat you are all set. Just butchered a nice black angus steer so now lets get planting.

    • Good for you, Robin! I think the saddest thing in the world is folks who don’t have a clue at how to just survive, let alone to survive comfortably. It’s sort of like steers in a feedlot, the way people live today. Plenty of food, a controlled environment to lounge around in. No hard labor. No exercise. No worries. Until they eat you!
      We are so blessed to have what we do and be able to share with others. Happy spring!

  10. You are absolutely correct to recommend planting extra crops, Jackie. We are too. You never know what will happen, so it is better to plan for extra food. We can always can or freeze it.

    BTW the Alderman pea seeds we bought from you and Will last year were spectacular! We harvested many pints of peas and still had plenty to cook for dinner or to eat straight off the vines. They are delicious!

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