After a lot of hard work, Will now has the cows out on the Wolf forty, munching grass, clover, and seedling poplar trees with gusto. But to ensure they don’t ever get into the North garden again, he and our hired young man, Blake, are re-doing the fence. They’re adding more T-posts to support 16-foot welded stock panels we bought on Saturday. When they get done, there will be a 6-foot welded wire fence with a stock panel tight against it on the “cow” side of the fence. And a few feet out there will also be an electric wire. If they ever get in again, I’ll add razor wire and machine gun turrets on the corners!

Will and Blake are busy putting up the trailer load of stock panels to protect the North garden. See all the weeds out there? Ugh.
The new fence will be much stronger and still protected by an electric hot wire.

I did go in there and examine the cow-eaten corn. Actually, it looks like some stalks of each variety will survive. The tops are eaten off, but the stalks are continuing to grow. But my oh my, so are the weeds! The condenser for the Simplicity garden tractor should be here today, so hopefully I can cultivate like mad tomorrow. If it doesn’t rain. There will be lots of hand weeding out there too.

I want to thank all of you who have sent donations through the Go Fund Me page (see previous blog) for Pete and Alisha to help keep them from losing their farm due to his back injury. A few of you have asked me for their address so folks could send a check or money right to them instead of doing the Go Fund Me transfer. So here it is: Alisha Timmerman and Pete Dudgeon, 11906 Cemetery Rd., Cranden, WI 54520. Again, thank you from the bottom of my heart, especially during these difficult times for thinking of fellow homesteaders who are struggling so hard.

The gardens and flower beds are really booming right now. I’ll be canning Provider green beans next week and I can hardly wait. We have our first ripe tomato, a little guy but real tasty. It’s a Forest Fire tomato and that variety pumps out small, red tomatoes all summer long; the short bush is just covered. So cute! The jackmanii clematis on the front fence is just gorgeous; I’ve never seen so many flowers on a vine in my life! And the huge daylily below it is vying for attention too.

This daylily is trying hard to outshine the clematis.

I thinned my carrots for the last time yesterday. They look so nice now — all thinned and mulched. I sure do hate that thinning though! Planting them with the Earthway planter really helps keep the seeds more evenly spaced so not so much thinning is necessary and I really appreciate that. (If you’d like more information on raising great carrots, check out my article How to grow great carrots in Issue 153 of BHM or the Twenty-Sixth Year Anthology) — Jackie


  1. I went digging in my Backwoods Home and wouldn’t you know that year issue 153 is the one I am missing. I have books going back over 10 years and this is the one I can’t find. I know it’s around here somewhere and I haven’t gotten that far on the Anthology. It will turn up.

  2. I said HAPPY BIRTHDAY on Facebook but will again. I remember your birthday because you are a year and five days older them me.

      • I don’t feel so young at times. But if you can do it so can I. My first garden in years. Canned 120 pints of corn, about 60 pints of yellow squash. No tomatoes but coming on. My beans, yellow and green pole aren’t not ready yet but the lady I am sharing garden with has bush and she has made 5 pickings I think and lots of cans. First garden in years. I am loving it!

  3. Well…late as usual to the party but Happy Birthday to you!!! I hope it was lovely

    I have a question for you or anyone else who can answer. My beans are coming on but I don’t have a canner full yet. I do have a quart of veggie only stock that I made. Since there is nothing but veggie juice shouldn’t I be able to can this jar with the beans?

    Thanks for the wonderful example you are and always have been to the rest of us!!

    • Thanks Pyro! Mine are coming on too and I just canned 4 quarts yesterday. That first picking is a little light but just wait for the next one and the one after that!! Yes, you should be fine canning your beans with your veggie stock.
      glad to help anytime!

  4. I loved your reply – If they every get out again you will use razor wire and place gun turrets up. I got a big augh out of that. My provider beans I got from you are going to town and we are eating them almost every night for supper and some are in the freezer. Plan to do another planting for a fall harvest.

    • At the time, I wasn’t joking (much!), but I’ve calmed down some now that it’s all over. So glad your Providers are doing their job for you. My very favorite bean!

  5. Happy birthday Jackie!! Glad to hear about the progress you’re making. And you’re welcome- happy to help your friends! (Any friend of J & W is a friend of mine.)

    • Thank you Wendy! I’m so touched that so many readers are helping out Pete and Alisha. I sure hope they can keep their farm!

  6. I’m so happy the beans did so well for you. And they’ll keep it up for months too, which is what I especially love about them. I agree with extra preparation due to the COVID thing. We will also be putting up everything we can this year. Just in case……

  7. Sure love your response to the escaping cows !If the ever do it again that you add razor wire and machine gun turrets on the corners!Not funny if they due though !!Glad that some of the corn still growing .

  8. I still cannot get my mind around fencing 40 ACRES…and now with stock panels, electric wire and additional fence posts! What a miracle worker Will is! I’ll buy the first roll of razor wire…if it comes to that. And, if it comes to that, are cows REALLY that necessary to your survival? (You might ask them that the next time you see them.) If time permits, I would like to see a photo of that cute Forest Fire tomato plant. Those flowers are breathtaking! Does the heart good. Thanks, Jackie and family….you are a true inspiration to all of us. Blessings.

    • Remember Will didn’t fence the 40 acres with stock panels, etc., just the acre and a half (big enough!) of the North garden. No cows are not REALLY necessary to our survival. But Will loves them. And they do provide tons (literally!) of manure to fertilize our many gardens. I’ll post a photo of Forest Fire when it ripens more green tomatoes. It’s really stunning.

  9. Happy birthday mom from Alaska

    Tell dad he looks short in those photos next to your ranch hand.
    He also looks like he’s eating good getting a belly for sure. Love you all and miss you guys.

    • Thanks Don! Yep, Blake is a tall young man for sure. And Dad does eat pretty well, as do we all here. Miss you too!

  10. We live in northern Indiana and planted both Provider and Strike bush beans we received from you. They both are great beans, very straight and long and good quality. They did produce quite a lot of wonderful beans. I have canned over 100 quart. I know that sounds like a lot but we are a house of 6 and with all this Covid misery I feel more comfortable having as much as possible on the shelf. Thank You Jackie!

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