My friends, Dara, her daughter-in-law, Grace, and Heather came over yesterday morning and by mid-afternoon, we had not only planted all of the tomato varieties we’ll be growing this year but also got four and a half rows on Navajo Robin’s Egg corn seedlings transplanted. Dara had grown all of them in deep 6 packs and the corn was about three inches tall with roots like giants. This morning the corn looked like it had been growing in the garden for weeks. There was absolutely no set-back. I’ve transplanted corn in my garden rows to fill in where ground squirrels ate some of the seed and found that, indeed, corn doesn’t mind transplanting at all.

There are now a LOT of tomatoes in the Sand garden, thanks to help from friends.
Each variety has a name stake in front of it so we can keep track of what we’re growing.

Grace is from the Philippines and is a new gardener and so anxious to learn. She wanted to come back today, so I drove over and picked her up this morning; she only lives 15 minutes away. We started in by planting Hopi Pale Grey squash, Howden pumpkins, and Kentucky Field Pumpkins (all three are different species) in the Sand garden. Then we replaced some tomato plants that had broken off due to today’s strong winds. We also talked garden, seeds, and recipes while we worked. It was a fun morning!

Here’s Will filling the corn planter’s cans with the first corn seed to be planted in the North garden.

Will got our retrofit John Deere corn planter hooked up and I supplied him with three varieties of corn we’re going to plant in the North garden. It’s tricky as corn is wind pollinated so we must be careful to plant longer season corn up wind from the earlier corn and allow a very wide space between sides of the North garden to help prevent crossing. This afternoon I’ll be going out and planting our Bear Island Chippewa corn with the push-type Earthway planter as we don’t have much seed corn left; it’s been very popular this year! So, we’re not only planting it in the Berry patch garden but also some in the North garden to hopefully be able to save more seed this fall. Will’s also been working faithfully on the Wolf garden clearing and hopes to rake the debris off soon so we can give the new garden an initial tilling before spreading manure on it. This all needs to happen soon as we’re going to plant Yukon Supreme sweet corn and Theron’s Winter squash out there, in isolation. And it needs to be fenced as well. Whew! Time for a nap. (Just kidding…) — Jackie


  1. Jackie, I thought I was “big time” with 16 tomatoes planted this year….275??????? Oh yeah, I bet the salsa and sauces, seeds too, are “big time” in your pantry. Wonderful. Praying we don’t all long for more, as winter comes 2020, the year of our generation’s first deprivation of the bounty we’ve taken for granted for so long. Grow all you can manage. God bless us, every one.

    • I love my tomatoes as they’re so versatile for making everything from salsas to taco sauce, barbecue sauces and more. We are growing all we can as we foresee a great need for seeds so folks can eat well in 2021.

  2. With the surge in gardening interest, come the Fall when everything is ready for harvest, I suspect there may also be an upsurge in interest in learning how to can and preserve. That of course, makes me very happy. The more folks that learn self-reliant skills the better for many and their families and communities. Maybe Jackie will see increased sales of her canning book. That would help both Jackie and the buyer.

    • so true, Donna. And I sure wouldn’t be unhappy to see the sales of my canning book skyrocket. Everything helps!

  3. My garden is coming along so nice. Hard to do when it has been so long since I planted a garden. Still waiting for my yellow pole beans. I should have looked at Seed Treasured to see if you had them.
    Got some of my tomatoes hung up and have several more to do. Hard to find buckets though A good friend is gardening with me as she lives in town and has a very large family. We are doing well.

    • I’m so glad, Nancy. (Yep, we have several varieties of yellow pole beans.) I think it’s hard to find buckets now as everyone is gardening and those with no room are using them to grow in. You can usually find them at farm and ranch stores although I much prefer free or cheap ones!

  4. Sorry, that should be “David is so fortunate to have the opportunities to LEARN so many useful living skills.” Darn auto-correct.

  5. Jackie, my sympathies on the loss of the calf. I k now it is part of life and homesteading but still difficult to see new babies (of any species) have such short lives. I figure each one is here for a reason and deserves a chance to grow. At least your efforts gave it care and love during its time here.

    David is so fortunate to have the opportunities to leave so many useful living skills. Not only from you and Will, but everything he learnt working for Voyageur Log Homes and now Ziegler will give him good skills he can use in his homesteading.

    Glad to hear your seed business is doing so well during this time of pandemic shutdown. I have homesteading friends whose only income is basically their seed business. Most of there sales take place at various Seedy Saturday events here in Canada. With those all cancelled, I was concerned but their online sales boomed so much that they had to suspend their online ordering just to catch up on a three-week mailing backlog. They wanted folks to be able to get their seeds in time for planting. I was concerned for you and a few others I know who also rely on their family seed businesses for income. But the shutdown had amazing effects. It is so good to see people take such an interest in gardening, providing their own food security and being more self-reliant. It’s also good to see folks giving each other a helping hand. Our societies sure need to go back to neighbour helping neighbour.

    I’ve been praying for your well-being and your country and it leaders during this time of upheaval. I too think it is important to speak up when there is injustice. Peaceful gatherings and marches where folks speak out the truth are important or things never change for the better. But I could never understand the looting, burning, and destruction. How does stealing TVs make this better? Often the businesses destroyed tend to be small mom-and-pop type who were not involved in whatever happened. I also read a blog called Na Na Pinches Her Pennies by a woman in Louisville, Kentucky who is in her 70’s. She writes a lot about frugality and living skills learnt from her grandmother. She had a very interesting post about her thoughts on why the looting and destruction occurs.

    All the best with your gardens. Seeing your posts just makes me yearn more for my dream of house and land in the country to happen.

    • I agree with you. On everything. I sincerely hope everything resolves peacefully; the protests, the pandemic and people’s fears. Like we say here, we can’t change the world so “plant more beans”. You can always help out a neighbor or friend. I’ll check out Na Na Pinches Her Pennies.

    • I too read Na Na Pinches Her Pennies. While my budget isn’t as tight as hers, I think we should all share our tips and knowledge. As well as help out when/where we can.

      • I ran across Na Na Pinches Her Pennies by accident while searching for something else. I was very close to and learnt a lot from my grandmother who passed away a few years ago at 101 years. Na Na’s own posts and relationship with her grandmother remind me so much of mine and what I learnt. I also like that her little tag line of sharing frugal tips she learnt, some long ago from her grandmother and some just a few days ago. I have picked up some good ideas from her. Her post titled “Hate and racism is not born..” has some good insight.

  6. On my third picking of the provider beans and they sure are yummy. I don’t l have as big of garden as some of your followers but it’s plenty big enough for my husband and myself. Once again thank you for all the wonderful things you and yours do. It continues to give me the strength to keep gardening.

    • Wow! A third picking so early when mine just have two sets of leaves and a frost warning for tomorrow night. I’m glad your garden is so productive! We love those Providers and always plant some ourselves.

  7. Hooray! Having my first two handfuls of provider beans tonight, with tiny new potatoes. Green tomates on the cherokee and punta bunda, tiny peppers all varieties. Thanks Jackie!!

    • Posts like yours make planting here seem so much more fun as we know what we’ll be seeing in our own gardens soon. Go girl!

  8. Great to hear of all you have done already, and still keep going. I have my garden in, but of course can’t get carrots to grow so will try, try again! Soil is toasty warm here with our 90+ degree days in Des Moines Iowa, and we are watering every day.
    Question: with the tomatoes in the same garden, do you segregate them so there isn’t any cross-polinating? I only put in your Andrew Rahart’s Jumbo so if it works out well in this climate, I can save seeds.
    The Hopi Pale hills are looking good so far, and the King of the North peppers, as well as the Kentucky Blue Bloom bush beans. I totally failed with the Dakota Tears onion seeds so that is another Try Try again deal.

    • Luckily, tomatoes are chiefly self-pollinating with flowers that have both male and female parts. I’ve found that if the plants aren’t touching, they seldom cross.
      Yep, sometimes we succeed and sometimes not; it’s the garden fairies I think……

  9. I know how you feel. I planted 118 tomato plants a few weeks ago and last week 78 pepper plants. All are from seeds I got from you this year. I just put in hopi grey, borchart’s wonder, atlantic giant, howden, san filipe, and a few other of your varieties. Still a lot more to plant, but now it’s time to milk the girls.

    • Wow, our little “children” are doing good! We love to hear that like any proud parents.

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