We were so happy to get another good rain. It came at night with a lot of thunder and lightning but no severe weather. We were worried about getting hail from the storm, but we were fortunate and just got the rain. The gardens continue to grow well (except the cow-eaten North garden!). I kind of took a peek into the North garden from the gate and the potatoes and tomatoes (extras) looked well, as did many of the squash and pumpkins. I didn’t dare go look closer as Will said he’d only found six stalks of corn that were not eaten out of four big patches. Perhaps some others might continue to grow after the top was eaten? I sure hope so.

Yesterday Will and Blake got the final barbed wire fencing finished on the Wolf forty and in the evening, Will went out and hung the two gates on the Wolf road. Today, they and David are busy trying to get all three rolls of woven stock fencing up on the west fence, between our land and the neighbor’s hunting land. We don’t want any stray calves crawling under the wire and “trespassing” on his land. With luck, tomorrow we should be able to turn the cattle out on that good pasture — all 30 acres of it. (David’s cabin area has about 10 acres fenced off with the cabin.) If you’d like to have more information on how to make a good fence for any of your livestock, check out the fencing chapter in my book, Homesteading Simplified, available through BHM.

We’re starting to eat a little from the garden. Besides the pigweed and lamb’s quarter greens (weeds!) we’ve been harvesting for a month now; our lettuce and radishes are giving us salad fixings. When we tilled the House garden, some old radishes survived and started growing. Now there are quite a few plump seed pods. I love munching on those and adding them to a summer salad. They’re crisp, juicy, and have just enough radish flavor to make them very tasty. Of course, the asparagus is finished and I’ve let it go to ferns but boy, did we enjoy it while it lasted. And there’s plenty in the pantry, all canned up for winter too.

We love eating fresh radish seed pods!

The pole beans have climbed to the top of the stock panel trellises and are reaching for the sky. All of the beans are starting to bloom, and some have such pretty blooms, ranging from pure white to deep purple. The bees sure love them! We don’t have honeybees because of Will’s allergy, and no neighbors within six miles have them. But we have lots of bumblebees and other wild pollinators.

Here’s one of my fancy daylilies, blooming despite my neglect.

My fancy daylilies are starting to bloom. I’ve kind of neglected them as we’ve been so busy with all the gardens and my wonderful apprentice, Alisha, hasn’t been here to baby them. But daylilies are forgiving and bloom despite my lack of care. (I promise to weed them soon!)

Isn’t this water lily beautiful?

This morning I saw a beautiful bloom on the water lily I’d planted in the fish pond this spring. It was simply stunning! How a few flowers lift your spirits. — Jackie


  1. Total drought here and the town has asked us not to water outside so my garden is pretty sad. I keep a dishpan in the kitchen sink and take rinse water from doing dishes, washing produce and hands to the garden which is keeping the tomatoes and peppers happy. Occasionally there is enough water for the cucumbers, cantaloupe and squash. To add insult to injury, a rabbit is inside the fence. I don’t know where it got in and can’t seem to find it when i go out to search.

    The nearest to rain we’ve had are tiny little showers with no measurable amount. Today’s tiny shower did not even wet the ground although the plants leaves were wet.

  2. All my beans got destroyed by grasshoppers! And other plants too, but beans and peas were ate to the ground. Could I still plant some now for fall? And do you have greed / yellow / wax beans left if I were to order some?

    • Yes, you can still quickly plant short season peas and beans for fall. We have Provider and Strike green bush beans as well as some Ukrainian wax bush beans that are early (not in our catalog or website but if you mention Ukrainian wax beans I’ll send you some).

  3. Now it doesn’t seem to want to STOP raining! Shew. Our first tomato is ripe on the vine; a Forest Fire, and dozens are green on the plants. Wow what a little firecracker that variety is! I won’t be canning tomatoes for awhile but between weeding and stuff, I’m kind of glad!

  4. Always so nice to “visit” you, Jackie. It’s so crazy out there that I pretend I live on an island with my kids, chickens, and little garden. Can’t stand any more talk of pandemics or insane riots. Keep safe and healthy.

    • I know what you mean. We do what we can do to do the right thing then just shrug and say “plant more beans”, meaning there’s things you just can’t “fix” so do what you can do to help your family and others. Our homestead is our little island of peace.

  5. Michigan continues to be hot! We had rain last night. My zucchini have gone crazy! The really big ones go to the chickens. Green beans are on, eating our first batch tonight. Blueberries are on and taste so good!

    • The really big ones make great zucchini pickles. They’re sweet as candy if you like sweet. I just set a batch this morning.

  6. Jackie my Roma tomatoes are insanely big! They are all intertwined with each other though we spaced them according to the package directions. My little clusters of tomatoes aren’t getting bigger after a week. Should I be concerned? We had 90’s ( or near 90 ) for close to two weeks with just the last few days more seasonal. The clusters of tomatoes look about the same as they did when the heat wave kicked in.

    • What variety of tomatoes aren’t getting big? (Some are just plum sized and never get big but sure are tasty!)

  7. I never thought about eating radish pods! I always leave some radishes go to seed because the bees like the flowers in the fall when other sources of pollen are disappearing. Sometimes the volunteers are a nice treat in the early spring, but most often the volunteers seem to grow woody.

    Apparently I planted some pole beans this year as they were climbing the onions! I usually plant bush beans, so I wedged a fence in there for this year’s climbers. We also got some good rain here in western NY, and my broccoli greened right up. Raspberries appreciated it too, and after 2 years of poor crops I have been able to replenish my freezer before totally running out. Our dog died last year and I’m starting to get critters coming in the yard and munching the garden, so fencing is on my list, too.

    • It’s always fun to try something different or discover new favorites. Sometimes some bush bean varieties, often due to weather stress, decide to shoot out runners and even become pole beans. I’m not sure why exactly this happens but I’ve seen it several times.

  8. Unfortunately, a week ago we got tennis ball sized hail in South Dakota. I was more upset about the pulverized garden than I was with the all the house windows busted out and holes in the roof. Ahhhh, the life of a homesteader. Everyday is an adventure!

    • Awww, I’m so sorry. I’ve lost three gardens to hail and know that sinking feeling when it’s all over and done with. Stuff like this is why I try to keep enough food canned up for 2 years ’cause you never know what Mother Nature’s going to throw at you or even life’s jokes on you. Hang in there.

  9. We all owe our lives to a thin layer of soil, sun and the fact it rains on occasion. We’ve been harvesting and canning green beans and put up a lot of blackcap jam. Peas all harvested. My cattle got out too but fortunately went to the field corn and left the gardens intact. I can sympathize. Fencing is a necessary tool. The daylilly is beautiful.

    • I’m so happy your escapees got into the field corn, not the garden!!! We’re fixing things so that North garden won’t be broken into again. Ever! I’ve got three inch long green beans so will be canning the first batch next week. We’ve been eating peas but I didn’t plant enough to can as we have so many tomatoes and beans this year and needed the extra space.

  10. So glad we finally got rain. About 2 inches they are saying. Maybe l should invest in a rain gage. All 3 rain barrels are full. Just finished caned 8 pts of stewed tomatoes. I can in pints because it is just him and l here. Easy to manage for us. Day is just getting started and l have to go to the garden an pick tomates so l can do itball again in a couple of days. What a beautiful water lily and day lily you have.

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