On Friday the 13th we got our new pure sine wave inverter after the mix-up with Amazon. Will quickly read and re-read the instruction booklet just to make sure he totally understood how to connect the inverter to our system. So over the weekend, he got busy and hooked it up. How exciting! Finally, the new stove’s digital display lights were on. To celebrate, I baked a pizza in the oven for the first time. Wow, how cool is that? Besides having the new stove working properly, we noticed the ceiling fan in the living room is much quieter. Before it had a hum. Now it is totally quiet.

We haven’t had to run the generator now for a week; the on again/off again sun has kept the batteries charged enough for all our uses. That included washing and drying (propane dryer) clothes. We feel so blessed!

Even with the COVID-19 epidemic, we’re pretty much living “business as usual.” After all, preparedness is our lifestyle. So there’s no emergency stocking up, just rounding out a few corners. It’s shocking to go to stores and see empty shelves where once toilet paper, peanut butter, Campbell’s soup, and SpaghettiO’s used to be.

I received two number 10 cans of kidney beans so I decided to can up more chili as we have lots of hamburger in the freezer and I find it’s so handy to have quarts of chili already cooked for quick meals. I mixed up the drained beans, fried three pounds of hamburger, added that and four quarts of tomato sauce, a pint of salsa and a half pint of canned sweet peppers, some garlic, chopped onion, and chile powder. Ta Da, seven quarts of chili! Of course I tasted as I was heating it up so I got just the right flavors. (But I wanted to gobble up spoonfuls!) (You can check out my article on canning Meals in a Jar in Issue 109 of Backwoods Home Magazine or the Nineteenth Year Anthology.) I think I’ll can up another batch tomorrow. It is so good. And so very handy too.

Here’s my latest batch of chili. More to come tomorrow!

I’m glad we are getting so many seed orders though our little seed business. Not only does that help us, but it shows a lot of folks are getting serious about gardening so they will ensure their family will have fresh food this summer, despite what the Coronavirus or economy throws at us. Way to go guys!

From our seed racks to hundreds of homes, ensuring big gardens and lots of food.
Seed to food, we’ll all need it!

— Jackie


  1. Hey Jackie,

    Exciting times how many panels do you guys run and and what all do they run. Solar is going to be our next big big thing not sure how many we are going to want or need. The seeds we got from you are awesome, very pleased with the seeding rate only one big Jim hasn’t came up yet, and I’m sure it will brake through soon. We noticed on your earlier post you have your seedlings next to the wood stove in baggies, why do you do that. Thanks for the chili idea, we are going to apply it to ham and potato soup. Taking 4 ham bone we had ratholed in the freezer and making the base in the turkey cooker pot and pressure can it in quart jars, just add the potatoes later. What veggies or garden seeds do you normally start indoors and when do you start them. I think we are a month behind this year. We usually start tomatoes, peppers and cabbage at the end of January, but it was end of February this year. Getting excited for spring, the last few days have been cold at night but in the upper 50’s during the day unfortunately the ground is still frozen. I guess we will be busy enough soon enough, take care and keep your head above water.

  2. Love the seed racks. Thank you for the updates! It’s business as usual here too. So thankful that we have spent years being self-reliant. We have learned so much from you and Backwoods Home through the years. It’s paying off big-time here. Today I will make and can jellies from the juices saved from last fall’s harvests. (Making room in the freezers for the few meats I bought recently.) While we are able to lay low during this time with no supply problems, I am the community’s fire chief and am still running calls for help. We expect our call volume to increase and we are trying to be as safe as possible. Be well Jackie, Will, and family!

    • Thank you Wendy. We are pretty much snuggled down but keeping up keeping up. I feel so bad for those folks who laughed and said we were all nut cases for preparing for “doomsday”. While we don’t live in a bunker or wear tin foil hats, we do feel secure with what we’ve worked hard to put by. I pray relief comes to those who didn’t prepare.

  3. Hello Miss Jackie,
    All your lovely seeds arrived in great shape. I was quite pleased. Have all the peppers started and they have all broken soil. What a great system you have; I did wonder how you kept them all organized. Thanks for all the advise over the years! I so appreciate you and Will. Please stay safe and stay away from people! Whoever would have thought we would ever be saying that?

    • You’re right, Pyro. There’s so many scenarios we haven’t thought about as possible. That’s why we try to be self-reliant and independent of the outside. Just in cases like this. Be safe and happy.

    • I don’t know about deserving the new stove but I sure do like it, especially at canning time. No more tipped and out-of-place grates! Yea!

  4. “Business as usual” here, too, except everybody on my team has been asked to work from home (WFH) for now. I normally WFH 3 days a week anyway, and only go to the office 2 days a week for political reasons. Home is where my heart is, and I don’t feel confined. It’s time to trim the apple trees and do a bunch of spring prep – not really an issue to stay home. Mom sometimes complains that I have the freezers and cupboards stuffed full all the time, but no complaining now :-) I think my job will weather the upcoming difficulties, but no guarantees. I survived the bad spell from 2008-2011 without creating debt by living off of my larder built during better times.

    • And that’s one reason to have that full larder! I’m glad you have the opportunity to work from home. I do, also, and am SO very glad, especially right now.

  5. I was wondering how you could possibly keep all those seeds in order. What a nice rack setup you have. I have shared your catalog and seeds with many friends. I even gave some Hopi seeds to a man here in Virginia who has a farm where he is collecting and growing just heirloom squashes. The Hopi was new to him and he was very excited. Many of your treasures will thrive thanks to your efforts. I wonder what you’ll discover this year. Have a great season.

    • Thank you Carol! We’re always thrilled to discover new crops too. It’s like an adventure in history! That rack is only one side; the other is full of beans, corn, pumpkins, squash and smaller seeds like peppers. We HAD to get control of our abundant seeds!

Comments are closed.