With spring here and temperatures soaring quickly into the 80’s, along with a good, soaking inch of rain, we’re going crazy with planting. Already we’ve got the Main, House, and Central gardens nearly full of corn, beans, peas, onions, rutabagas, carrots, and more. Right now, Will is busily tilling the Sand garden for the second time this spring, getting it ready for planting. Tomorrow, friends are coming over to help set out most, if not all of our hundreds of tomato plants there. It’s wonderful how improved the soil is in the Sand garden. After Will carried off thousands of big rocks and hauled in tons of rotted manure, that rough, humpy-bumpy sand, littered with remaining rocks has turned into loose, smooth, rich soil. No wonder our homestead motto is “Mo’ poo poo!”

Isn’t the soil in the Sand garden wonderful now? Remember all the rocks and roots?

Old Yeller, our faithful old 1010 bulldozer has been sitting for quite a while due to a broken bearing falling down and causing the bottom of the cast iron housing to break out. (Parts are hard to get for old dozers!) Finally, Will and David found a complete final drive, drove down, and brought it home. Then they started taking things apart. And then more things were found broken. More things were taken apart and now it sits, really apart, waiting for welding and more parts. At least it’s a good thing Will and David know how to fix it.

Old Yeller is waiting for repairs. Doesn’t it look sad?

Sad news though. That weak calf we worked so hard to save finally died. After starting to walk around a bit, we were hopeful. But that evening, he wouldn’t take a bottle, and in the morning, he was dead. We’ll never know if he had a birth defect such as a bad heart or other condition. We were pretty down in the dumps that morning.

We are like most of you; horrified at the hate and destruction going on in the larger cities across the nation after the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Although it is a good two hundred miles away, the shock waves are reaching even here. One local small city, only 45 miles away had a minor riot with burning last night. I totally understand the anger and frustration following this horrific act by a law enforcement officer but can’t see how destroying innocent folks’ businesses and stealing from stores, burning apartment buildings and cars helps anything. Peaceful protests, for sure — not random acts of destruction. I sure hope things cool down. We have enough on our plates with COVID-19 and don’t see any social distancing happening in those riot-torn cities. Shew!

I’m going back to planting food. It’s much more relaxing than watching the news.

I was thrilled to find “my” Lady Slipper Orchid again this spring!

Oh, I’ve got to tell you; remember the purple Lady Slipper Orchid I found growing next to our trail last year? Well, I’ve kept a lookout and it’s back in all its splendor. Boy, I wish it would spread. How gorgeous and such a surprise. — Jackie


  1. Sorry about the calf. My sons heifer had a calf and it sounds like the exact same problem your calf has. It lasted couple months but we think it had some kind of retardation. It was never right. I guess things like this happen. Just take the good with the bad and continue on.

  2. I am so sorry to hear about the calf. It’s the only thing I hate about farming and it never gets easier. Everytime the pigs have piglets I just wait and see and I am out there with them every few hrs after they are born. When my milkers go to have their calves I am a nervous wreck for the mommas too. You never know if milk fever is gonna show up. Looking at the bull dozer reminds me of our house. My husband has an old Ford backhoe out there and I have threatened to scrap it if he doesn’t do something with it. My heart breaks for the business people. First shut down for the virus and now burned down. Happy planting I know I am getting closer everyday to being done in the gardens.

  3. So sorry to hear the little guy passed away. I grew up on a dairy farm and death is occasionally something we had to deal with. It is hard especially after you bond with your animals and put a lot of time trying to help them and keep them healthy. Maybe next time the Lord will bless you with healthy twins.
    I agree with you Jackie and the other posts about whats happening here in America about the protests. Peaceful protests are ok but the looting and burning that is happening, there is no excuse for it and the perpetrators should be arrested and held accountable. I live in Kalamazoo, MI and we have had a curfew this week (lifted now) due to protestors but nothing came of their efforts to start something. God bless your gardening efforts & your seed business with an abundant supply & bless your health also.
    I would recommend a you tube video(s) about gardening from Paul Gausch, Back to eden gardening. He lives in eastern Washington State. Very eye opening. Ruth Ann Martin

  4. Sorry to hear that the little guy didn’t make it. Happy that your planting is happening and yes, that soil looks just wonderful! Praying that you stay safe from all of the perils going on friends!

  5. Jackie, so sorry to hear about the calf, alas, life is sometimes death on a farm. You have another furry angel watching out for you. Yes, the news does nothing but dismay me and some people’s “ACTIONS” are not the proper ones to take (destruction) vs. proper ones that may affect change (protests). I hope more police depts. will act appropriately like the Minneapolis one in firing the officers guilty, and ensuring they get tried for homicides. Hopefully the trials will be displays of justice, not favoritism. In the meantime, YES! I agree that time spent growing food or flowers to feed our bodies and our souls is time better spent! Hugs to you all and keep up the great, essential work!

  6. So sorry about your calf, Jackie. It’s always devastating to lose an animal.
    I’m seriously afraid to read any news. Things are just getting scarier by the day.

    • Yeah, we watch the evening news, just to keep up a bit but sure don’t enjoy what we’re seeing these days. Around here we sigh and say “plant more beans”. We can’t change the world but we CAN plant beans!

  7. Sorry about your calf, I have been there. My daughter and I have been planting heavy lately as the main garden just got dry enough to work. Had frosts the last two nights but we got heat into the green house in time so the first sensitive stuff is ok! Put in extra potatoes to share with those who can’t grow them themselves. There is no excuse for stealing and burning but it has happened before: Rodney King riots. I was just reading that the “roof top Korean’s” neighborhood is riot free this time.

    • We’ve been blessed with no frosts so far and are planting like mad. We’re also planting a lot extra to share as we feel things will get much worse before getting better. Yep, I had just graduated from high school when the riots broke out in Detroit where Dad worked as a city bus driver. He retired at that point and was glad to escape the hate, burning and destruction. Yes, it has happened before and probably will again.

  8. Sorry about the loss of the calf. I have tube fed many a baby goat and saved them, but others there is no saving. You did all you know how to do. Bless you.

    We are hitting the 90’s here. I have tomatoes starting to form (N. Central TX).

    Yes, the violence, destruction and all is horrid. I am all for freedom of speech and PEACEFUL protest, just like you. There is rioting about 60 miles away (Ft. Worth).

    • We did do all we could but also know some things are beyond our control. Like the riots. It’s a shame folks’ grocery stores in neighborhoods that need them are being vandalized and destroyed. That’s not protesting but simple thievery and stupidity.

  9. Aren’t we lucky to have men who know their way around machinery? I don’t know how many thousands of dollars have been saved around here. Ours doesn’t compare to finding, repairing, running and working on a bulldozer! What a blessing!

    • I’m SO thankful Will and David know their way around machinery! Who would have thought David would end up working for Ziegler Caterpillar, where they build and repair HUGE dozers and other ore mining equipment??? Working on the 1010 dozer seems like working on a tricycle now to him.

  10. I agree with Kathy B and Holly, I guess I was in the dark about your little calf, but I truly am sorry to hear about him. Even going thru the curfews and quarentine here in the City of Tampa, FL. Here too, there are riots and looting going on. I JUST CANNOT understand the meaning of it. And yes, Jackie, I absolutely agree with the social & physical distancing error made by the violent protestors. Planting, planting, planting is not only an amazing task to rid ourselves of stress but I have a deep gut feeling that we’re all going to have do a little bit more planting if we are to survive this pandemic, and I don’t only mean planting food, I mean planting seeds of survival lessons and restrictions of spending to our younger people. (the ones that are looking for “instant gratification”) They will need to learn the hard lessons of planning as well. I sincerely hope that your gardens do will and that you prosper from your efforts. PS I’ve started going to my local farmers market to get in-season veggies and use my electric pressure cooker to can up some things..it’s not as scarey as I thought it would be. May the Garden Saints visit you often and cast a blessing upon your Land.

    • Thank you Ethel. I agree with you; there are a lot of lessons needing learning today, all around us. Right now we’re teaching several first year gardeners who not only want, but need to learn. And we’re so happy to do that.

  11. It is so hard to lose an animal when one has tried so many things to keep that one alive. That little one received such great care from you and Will and did for a short time become a part of your lives. We have lost our share of animals after we have worked so hard to keep them alive.
    I don’t know how you and Will can keep planting and planting all that you do. I am younger than you and am finding things take me longer and getting down in the dirt is easy but the getting back up is harder. I still have a few more things to get in the dirt and then waiting for it all to come up.
    You are both such and inspiration to all who read your blog. Thank you for giving all of us a glimpse into your home each week.

    • One thing we’ve learned is that when you have livestock, you’re bound to lose some of them, no matter how much you try to keep them alive. Death is a part of life; not a fun part, but a real one, nevertheless. I can’t get down in the dirt anymore; knees won’t let me. But I can sit and bend down most of the time so things get done. And a few friends sure helps too! Of course, we always share with them when harvest comes in.

  12. Thank you, Jackie. Part of the problem in today’s world is that so many are unable to find the joy and the HOPE in a Lady Slipper, in the beautiful native birds that come to our feeders, of the calves, foals, lambs and ‘people babies’ that come into the world each day. They play on their phones rather than digging in to the soil, to grow and nurture things. They are HOPELESS; they have no FAITH in humanity and the future, and sadly feel no self worth. There is no more gratifying feeling than that of helping others – truly! Doing something for yourself or selfishly, PALES in comparison to the feeling of helping others. Sadly, too few have been taught, shown, or come to that realization on their own. Peace comes to those who know, in their heart, that they have helped others.

    You and Will, and your lives, give so many people a glimpse of the true meaning of living. I am sorry you lost your calf, but as you and I know, all too well, death is a part of life. That said, life will go on, and there will be JOY, if one allows it.

    God Bless you for all you do.

      • Amen from me also. Seeing things like the blooming a flower(I have new wildflowers showing up all the time) or helping someone who needs it or watching my ducks play in the pond give me more peace and love than any trick a phone can do.

  13. Sorry to hear about the calf.You are correct in saying that violence never solved anything but quite the opposite.

    • Yes, we did too. But sometimes the answer is no, regardless. We don’t like it but we do accept it.

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