The tomatoes are slow this year due to the intense heat we had early on when they were starting to set blossoms. (When it gets hot, the plants throw their blooms, due to stress.) But our great Morovsky Div has three ripe tomatoes on it and I can’t wait for that BLT as they really have great flavor, especially when they’re so early. Many early varieties have so-so taste but not Morovsky Div!

A new variety surprised us. It’s a cherry tomato and what a beautiful little gem it is. Tropical Sunset wowed me with three gorgeous little treats yesterday when I was out in the garden pulling weeds. It’s a bright, shining yellow with a red blush and faint red stripes coming up from the blossom end. Pretty, and tasty too. I ate every single one. (Sorry Will.)

Aren’t these Tropical Sunset cherry tomatoes gorgeous? They tasted good too!

Will is continuing on haying, having baled up three more fields this week. Blake is hard put to keep ahead of him on the rake! But rain is forecast in the near future so it’s hurry, hurry, hurry.

Will and Blake busy haying yet another field.

Our beans are so great this year, despite all the stress of heat and drought. Huge plants and tons of beans too. This morning, my friend, Heather, came over and picked the row of Providers for her family as I was too busy to get them picked today. I know in a few days they’ll have many more! They really are well-named.

I simply love my fancy daylilies. Many that didn’t flower last year are putting out gorgeous blossoms that just stun me with their beauty. (Yes, I know you can eat the buds but who could possibly do that? I’d have to be really hungry.)

See why I love my fancy daylilies? I just love their blooms!

— Jackie


  1. Tomatoes, tomatoes, tomatoes. I have 25 plants and am picking about 9 pounds a day! Am canning every other day and expect to for a long time to come.

  2. I will gladly add my thanks to you for sharing your experiences with us. I discovered you this past winter through Mother Earth bookstore and bought one of your books. Then learned about your blog. I look forward to reading every post. Next spring I want to purchase some Provider bean seed. I do so through Seed Treasures?

    • Yes you can. We have lots of other great vegetables too, all open pollinated so you can save your own seeds including many great old-time heirlooms.

  3. Jackie, I am always thrilled to see one of your emails. THANK YOU for taking time out of your very busy schedule to write to us and let us know all the happenings on your homestead. And the photos are an extra special treat! I enjoy reading the comments, and it’s really nice to know where people are writing from, especially when they refer to what they are growing, what’s ripening, the weather, etc. Would it be possible to ask your readers to mention what state/province/etc they are in when posting a comment? Thanks from southwest Montana. 🤠

    • That’s a great idea Linda! I know it’s confusing when one writer is saying they’re harvesting their tomatoes when I am still PLANTING mine!!

  4. This is the first year of not having tomatoes (chickens destroyed garden for the first time), and like everything else about 2020 it feels so weird. But, gardeners tend to be a pretty optimistic bunch of folks even when faced with setbacks, so we’ll see if we’re able to scrape together a fall garden…

    • Be glad it was just chickens! Cows got into two of our gardens. But they’re slowly recovering and we HOPE we’ll get to harvest from them yet, provided we get a late fall. Yep, gardeners are an optimistic lot, aren’t we? Hey, you’ve got to be as life goes on.

  5. It’s so nice that you take the time to share with us Jackie! As a novice gardener, I have been getting such inspiration from your experience and stories. I accidentally planted a broccoli and two cabbages but did not even know what they were until very recently. My son identified them for me as I was ready to call any stray plant a weed, and so now a wait-and-see idea is best. And a read and research is better than completely winging it. So your sharing your knowledge is helping a lot! Everyone who posts brings their perspective to the table too :) So fun!

    • Yes it is, Dianne. As they say, practice makes perfect. I haven’t gotten there yet so I keep practicing!

  6. Thank you Jackie, your little tomatoes made my mouth water but I have many, many months to wait for any here. And your farm is truly beautiful, I hope you have time to just stand and enjoy. Your posts are a delight at an otherwise bleak time. We are in lockdown again due to a second wave of the covid19 virus. Difficult times but we have gardens to keep us fed and optimistic for spring is just around the corner here. May your harvest be bountiful. Best wishes, sue.

    • We tend to forget others, in different parts of the world experience spring at a different time than we do! It makes me feel kind of out of touch. Like I should already know that! Duh! Hang in there and your tomatoes will look and taste like mine soon. Stay safe!

  7. I too am getting tomatoes. This is the first year in 40 that I have something chewing on the lower tomatoes. I suspect a rabbit. Any ideas? It is very dry here in my area of Wisconsin. I harvested and dried all the garlic/onion bulbs.

    • Do you have ground squirrels or chipmunks? These and voles will chew on tomatoes and other veggies. The voles are starting in on some of our squash so I’m spraying them with Liquid Fence in hopes of thwarting them. It’s dry here too although we did just get a 2″ rainstorm.

  8. In Michigan I have a lot of tomatoes with only one that is ripening so far. We had a really hot spell that is unusual for Michigan to be that hot 95 degrees or higher for about 2 or more weeks but its cooler now and more rain. I have plenty of green beans – had four pickings. I’ve had the shingles for about a month so the garden was mostly neglected during that time. Extremely painful. Hope none of you ever get them. I have a milk weed plant growing and I kept it as I know you can use it for something but I can’t remember what, Can anyone tell me.

    • Eeek! Shingles! Dad had them when he was a fairly young man and boy did he ever hurt. He drove city bus in Detroit and had the rash/blisters on his arm and shoulder so when he shifted the bus ten million times a day the area rubbed on his shirt. No wonder I got the shingles vaccinations when they became available! I hope you heal quickly.
      As for the milkweed, all parts of it are edible: The opening flowers are great fried in bitter or made into fritters after being breaded. The new shoots taste like asparagus (but make SURE you’re eating milkweed as poisonous dogbane looks similar when it’s just coming up). And you can also munch on the fried leaves or the small, tender new pods (like an inch and half long; before the silk matures inside).
      But as milkweed is a very important food for the monarch butterfly caterpillars, please don’t eat too much of a plant and try to propagate it so it will spread and feed more monarchs as they are in a declining population. I plant plenty every year.

  9. Harvesting grapes here in sunny Florida. Time to start planting our hot weather crops, but I’ve been gone for 3 months caring for my dad, so the weeds are as high as I am. Need to get on that soon as I get the grape juice in the freezer.

    • Yep, those darned weeds. This year we’re fighting them as we didn’t have enough mulch due to a poor hay crop last year.

  10. I love hearing about your garden progress – it is so vastly different than mine here in NE Oklahoma where my garden is just about done for the summer (still have tomatoes squash from my spring planting but they are dwindling) and i am putting my fall tomatoes, beans, potatoes, and squash out now having pulled up my beans about 3 weeks ago as they were done. I can’t imagine the patience it must take to wait until August to get your first tomato – i don’t think i could!! :D

  11. What a Gorgeous Daylily!!! And that Tropical Sunset tomato!! OMG. I am making a list of everything that you comment on that we will eat. Please keep sharing. That give me such ideas!!!

    Glad you are getting the day done. That is such a big job.

    I too am pulling weeds. Up to the tomatoes now. So we keep at it and hope for the best!!

    • Weeds! Ugh! I even eat them in hopes it will discourage them. (Most taste great too!) I sure miss my mulch. Hopefully next year we’ll have enough……

  12. We had a very rainy cool spring here on Vancouver Island, that lasted until mid July and we now have very hot weather. The lettuce and greens and peas did well in the cool weather but the heat lovers really suffered. Once the weather turned hot mid July, the tomatoes, cucs etc perked up. I’m still concerned about blight however. My beans are finally coming on strong. Today after 3 weeks of “summer”,I woke up to a cool rainy morning that feels like fall has arrived! Very unusual weather!

    • It sure has been strange weather for us too. But I’ve learned to take what we get and be thankful for that. Whew, I do wish it would stop raining for awhile!

  13. I have a few red cherry tomatoes I picked and have a bunch of broccoli soaking in salt water to freeze. Also green peppers and more yellow squash to can. Busy busy.

    • You sound like you’re about where we are. My broccoli is coming on nicely although the heads are smaller than usual. But I’m hoping the side shoots will make up for that. Busy but ain’t it grand????

      • My broccoli was really strange this year. A bunch of tiny little heads with different length stems. No fairs so far this year so a garden for the first time in way to long.
        but really enjoying it. Not many tomatoes yet but hope to try your tomato soup recipe this year.

  14. I have tons of green tomatoes, but no ripe ones yet, we have had some really hot weather. triple digits, but
    now cooling down to the low to mid nineties. Hopefully t hey will start to ripen. It has been an unusual year. Peppers are doing great, onions too, and cucumbers are coming on fast. I am just amazed at all you folks do.
    Happy gardening. Hope you get all the hay in before the rain.

      • Jo, yes it is possible. And it is just as you say; just cut the ingredients in half; done deal! You can also double the recipe, unlike jam and jelly.

    • Thanks Zerilda. We hoped to get more in before the rain came again but the fields have standing water in them; Will tried to bale today but stopped after three bales due to the wet condition. Hopefully we won’t get much rain in this next forecast system!

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