I’m not a person who ever asks for serious help for myself. But here goes: Our wonderful apprentice, Alisha, lives in northern Wisconsin with her boyfriend, Pete. Last year he was at work and driving the company van when he was in a terrific accident. I was horrified when he texted Alisha a picture of the van; there was hardly anything left of it. We didn’t know how he escaped alive! But he did have back and wrist injuries, which he’s had surgeries and a whole lot of pain throughout. Because he couldn’t work, they’re in imminent danger of losing their homestead — their lifelong dream. So I suggested Alisha start a GoFundMe fundraiser as I had a friend who survived cancer but nearly lost her home due to the medical bills. GoFundMe saved her home and gave her the strength to move ahead. Alisha did that three days ago and already there are some donations. Can any of you help them? Even a few bucks adds up. They are very good, Christian folks who truly love their homestead and work hard to improve it in all ways. Here’s the link to the page:https://www.gofundme.com/f/petes-bills-and-needs . Thank you from the very bottom of my heart!

Can you believe Pete actually walked out of the van after the accident which demolished it?

Will’s working hard to finish the fencing on the Wolf forty. The pasture’s getting a little short where the cows are now pastured (still grass in the woods but they don’t like it so much). Just this morning the blankety-blank cows again broke through two fences (electric and welded wire six feet high) and got into the North garden where they just about cleaned out the corn. I haven’t had the nerve to go look yet. Will says the squash, pumpkins, and potatoes look okay. The fence doesn’t, but he and Blake, the young man who is working for us occasionally now, put it up again. But it’s not a pretty fence I’m told. We’re going to bite the bullet and buy more fence posts and stock panels and fence the whole acre and half with them, also leaving the six-foot fence and electric fence in place. Ooof! Will and Blake are out there now, adding another two strands of barbed wire to the east side of the Wolf forty, having put up two yesterday. We bought three rolls of woven stock fence to further strengthen the west side so after that is up and two gates are put in, we can turn the cows out on another forty acres with lots to eat. Will, David, and Blake should be able to get that done on Wednesday, as it’s supposed to rain tomorrow.

This is the section of fence they’re working on today.

So far, the other gardens look very good. The cabbages are starting to head and I’m seeing tiny broccoli heads starting to form. Our sweet corn and onions look fabulous. The tomatoes are mostly four feet tall and lusty. You can sure tell where the manure stopped when Will spread it in the Sand garden; those tomatoes are half the size of the others! So I have to mix up some fish emulsion and spray the heck out of them to give them a good boost. We’ve just about got all the row crops weeded by hand now and I’m working in the hoop houses. Those weeds sure love the heat inside them!

We’re really happy with how the gardens (except for the cow-eaten North garden!) look.

— Jackie


  1. I wonder if she shouldn’t reduce the amount of the ask. I think 70k seems psychologically insurmountable …. whereas if the amount was less (ie 10,000) it might get some traction and lots of times the amount goes over and above what the ask was for originally.

  2. Thank you so much for the kind words and prayers Jackie
    Alisha absolutely adores and admired you
    You have such a vast knowledge of it seems everything that grows
    Thank you for sharing that knowledge with everyone especially Alisha she has learned so much from you and your family
    A little more explanation and answer to some of the questions I see in the comments
    Yes I was on worker’s compensation for almost a year my income was reduced to about 1/3 of what it was while working
    We were able to pay the bills and get by it was tight but we could just manage
    Ultimately the worker’s compensation insurance sent me to an independent medical examiner (ime)
    The IME declared that my problems were pre existing,that I had them prior to the accident
    Having never been to a doctor to complain about back pain or seen a chiropractor that is not the case
    I have a lawyer that is helping but the doctors that are trying to find answers and help me will need to declare end of healing before a lot happens
    So we keep seeing different specialist hoping for an answer as the bills pile up now that worker’s compensation will not pay
    We continue to hope and pray for the best but plan for the worst
    Try to keep our heads up living day by day and try to see into an unknown future
    Unfortunately this means selling off our dreams to keep the bills payed and bank satisfied
    I have never in my life felt so humble to the point of embarrassment we have lived our life’s helping people that needed help now the shoe is on the other foot
    Thank you all for the prayers and kind words, thoughts, ideas and donations
    You are in our prayers and may God bless each and every one of you
    Thank you so much for the help and prayers Jackie and spreading the word of our struggles
    Prayers for you and your family
    Best of luck with your naughty cows
    Thank you

    • That’s nice you provided more explanation for folks. We pray for you daily and hope you receive the help you need so much right now. We’ve all been there in one way or another. Just remember there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. Hang in there!

  3. Yep, those cows sure like the BEST! Ha! I think they have built in GPS for garden crops. Thank you for sending Alisha and Pete prayers!

  4. I am wondering if I can put store bought potatoes in the cellar and if so, what would work best? We were gifted several pounds and can’t use them all right now. Thanks.

    • Yes, even store bought potatoes will keep a long time in the cellar. Potatoes like a high humidity with a temperature from 40-50 degrees at the warmest. I keep mine in plastic bins as our basement cellar is very dry. This seems to hold the humidity nicely but I do check them from time to time. If there are water droplets on the bottom of the top lid, I leave the lid cracked open a bit for a few days as that means the humidity is getting too high. And keep those potatoes dark. If they’re exposed to light, even a light bulb, they will start to sprout.

  5. I am sorry to hear of your friend’s troubles and we are happy to donate to their quest to keep their homestead! I pray for his healing, and that they get enough in donations to make a difference. Sorry to hear of more cattle trouble for you! Hope that the new fencing efforts keep those crazy critters where they are supposed to be! The gardens are looking great. Things are so busy here that I can hardly keep my head on straight. I can only imagine that it’s the same for you all. Thanks for the updates Jackie!

    • THANK YOU! THANK YOU, for helping out Alisha and Pete. They are really a deserving couple.

  6. Happy to donate Jackie, tragedy sometimes hits all of us and it is up to everyone to take care of each other. May they heal physically and financially. and then those darn cows, you might be happy to be eating one of them soon.

    • THANK YOU Sharon!!! Bless you for caring for “strangers” who are now friends. I know the donations will uplift their spirits as well as help their situation. Yes, I’m getting less and less sad when butchering time comes. I tell Will my tomatoes never get out and eat his cows!

  7. We are in Northern Wisconsin and the weeds this year are crazy! My Roma tomatoes are gigantic with lots of clusters of small tomatoes. I hope the heat stays away so they will ripen. I have a feeling I will get a bumper crop of ripe tomatoes or a not so bumper crop of small green tomatoes.

    • Yep, everything here looks good too. I’m sure your tomatoes will go ahead and ripen quickly. Yea!!!

  8. Hi – Can you please tell me which fish emulsion you use in your gardens? I have no manure to spread in the spring and my vegetable plants just aren’t growing. I don’t want to use anything other than an organic product but not sure which is best, and I know you are careful about your food supply as well. Thank you.

    • Actually any fish emulsion which is listed for use in organic gardens is fine. Mine is Alaska Sprayable all purpose plant food, containing fish meal, blood meal, bone meal, potash and ferrous carbonate. It is manufactured by Lilly Miller Brands, PO Box 22089, Clackamas, OR 97015.

  9. Of course I will help and as a Christian I would hope that others would do the same for me. God bless them and may they receive a FULL recovery in every way….❤

    • THANK YOU SO MUCH!!! I know they’ll appreciate your help as much as I do. God bless your generosity.

  10. Why is Pete not receiving workman’s comp if this was an accident while he was working? Also they need to contact a personal injury attorney. I’m sure there are plenty of them where they live as they are prolific here. There’s no reason for them to suffer because of this.

    • I believe his workman’s comp ran out. Yes, they contacted a personal injury lawyer who said they should win their case with ease but a court date may take over 7 months to happen. By then they’ll lose their homestead. I agree; they shouldn’t suffer for this.

      • Jackie please tell alisha to have him call the insurance ombudsman office through the state governor’s hot line. This office oversees all insurance companies that operate in your state. They can and will investigate why his claim was closed when he is still having problems as that is a big no no. They get away with it because many don’t know they can challenge it. My workman comp lawyer is the one that told me to call my states hotline and it did work. At that point my lawyer took over and the problem was resolved. Hope they are able to get everything resolved quickly. God’s Blessings to both of them.

  11. Oh, no! The cows definitely have the ‘taste’ of the good stuff! Maybe they won’t remember…..? Good luck, Alisha. Prayers.

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