On Saturday, we were happy to welcome our newest part-time apprentice, Kelly, to our homestead. She lives about four hours south of us in Minnesota and has e-mailed and talked on the phone with us for a while. We had a very full weekend. She and Will finished pulling out the remaining bean trellises and name stakes from the Main garden and Sand garden while I ran the riding lawnmower over the old bean vines and corn stalks, mulching them so the garden could be tilled. It’s been very dry, and it was sure dusty work! Then Kelly and Will went to the end of the Wolf road and cut and loaded a big pile of poplar poles to use as firewood, just like David has been doing. With her help, our firewood pile is getting nice and big. Meanwhile, I took the riding lawnmower down to the Sand garden and chopped corn and bean stalks, then drove over to the North garden and did the same out there. I’ve never seen it so dry! The normally wet North garden was bone dry with a layer of dust on the top of the soil. Yep, we needed rain!

Will tilled five of our gardens for the first time, just ahead of the rain.

On Sunday, Kelly and Will again went out to the end of the Wolf road to cut more poles while I got busy and transplanted several flats of very big tomato plants. As I transplant, I am moving them to the cooler enclosed porch so, hopefully, they will slow down in their growing. Will calls them my palm trees! The peppers are more cooperative, growing slow. Boy am I glad.

Will and our new apprentice, Kelly, unloading poplar poles for firewood.

After cutting and unloading a trailer load of wood, Kelly asked if she could clean and re-arrange the front porch. Oh yes! All fall and winter it’s become a repository of miscellaneous junk: new tractor tires, hunting clothes, various containers full of dead plants, and so on. What a worker she is! By afternoon, not only was the porch clean and organized but she had raked the canna leaves and debris out of the flower bed in front of the porch. I was sure grateful, and happy as could be. Meanwhile, Will hooked up the tractor-mounted rototiller and tilled five of our gardens. It’s lucky he did too as we had rain last night. Now the garden is perfect for early planting of onions and peas.

Kelly can only come on an on-again, off-again schedule as she works from home. But that’s fine with us. Perhaps we’ll have others who will do the same. We’ve found out that things that are meant to happen usually do. — Jackie


  1. I’m so happy you found Kelly, or she found you! I really felt like I might be able to help, because in my mind I’m 2 30 year olds. I don’t think I could have been as much help as Kelly. I’ll continue to pray for your homestead as you are doing something I can only dream of. May God continue to bless you and the family! And everyone that is involved. Be safe and productive. Still in “stayathome” mode here in Tampa, FL.

  2. I just finished reading your book “Starting Over”. I am interested in the one you mentioned on the last page about the author where you talk about a new book about raising farm animals and canning 2009. Please give me ordering information about it and any others. Thanks.

  3. Great addition to your homestead work force! Hope she can come help out often. Dry here in SW CO, having a bit of a heatwave too, no rain in the forecast for 10 days out. Luckily our irrigation water came in yesterday a full week early.

    • Even though we did get a little rain, it is still pretty dry so we’re hoping for more.

  4. We needed rain so I’m not complaining about the nice steady rain we’ve had over the last two days. Discovered even more ramps on our property and grateful some have 3 or 4 leaves. Always nice to see hard work pay off. Of course I’ll be pulling garlic mustard until the day I leave this earth lol.. But it is something productive since we are staying home as much as possible. Not like we are out and about that much anyway. If one puts his/her mind to it, there is ALWAYS something to be done.
    Glad you found a new PT apprentice, a win-win for all parties involved.

    • Yep, there is always more that needs doing, for sure! Sometimes I wish I was twins and twenty years younger!

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