Yesterday I went down to Duluth, to have an EGD to see if my bleeding ulcer had healed up after my stay in the hospital early this spring. Ta Da! All nicely healed. We still don’t have a clue why I got the ulcer but I’m so glad it’s gone. Naturally, I was a little concerned and it sure is a relief to know it’s gone.

We got 2 inches of rain on Saturday. Yep, we did need it but wished it would have held off a few days as Will’s friend gave him a field of wheat he’d cut down, but had given up on because there was so much grass and clover grown up in the very short grain due to the drought. It wasn’t dry enough to rake and bale, then got rained on good. Will went over to check on it today after a dry couple of days, but there was standing water in the field. So no go. Maybe tomorrow?

Will and our part time helper, Heather, weeding in the onions.

The garden is just jumping! The Seneca Sunrise sweet corn has nice fat ears, often two per stalk, the Glass Gem popcorn is now 10 feet tall and setting nice ears, and the beans! Holy cow, what beans! Our friend, Heather picked the row of Providers and Strikes on Thursday of last week and I need to pick them again this afternoon. Wow, how nice!

The Seneca Sunrise sweet corn is setting as many as three ears per stalk this year.

We have a small chokecherry grove next to the Main garden and despite a late spring frost, it’s simply loaded. The branches are just bending down with fruit. I’m thinking I’ll be picking them tomorrow to juice up so I can make jelly and syrup — our favorite. And I spice some up too by boiling a few jalapeno peppers in the juice prior to adding the sugar, then removing them. That flavors the jelly up with a little spicy kick we love especially on cream cheese and crackers or biscuits.

The chokecherries in the garden edge are simply wonderful this year. Lots of jelly and syrup there!

I’ve got to go out and spray animal repellent on the Gold Buttercup squash. They’re only a few inches in diameter but already the voles have discovered them and started chewing on them. They are so sweet that last year out of more than 100 squash, we could only harvest three and those were chewed on! I’m also setting mouse traps out there, protected so Mittens doesn’t get in them. Dratted voles!

Good news: On our way to Duluth to the doctor’s, David and I saw the mother wild turkey with four nearly grown babies. Three were wild turkey colored and one was lighter, with grey in the feathers from our one tom. We were so happy to see her and hope she brings the family, all safe, “home” for the winter. — Jackie


  1. As usual I am behind but am so glad you are feeling better!!! I have battled gophers, deer, voles, and tomato hornworms this year. Hornworms get walked to the middle of the road…squish. Deer and gophers fenced out…hopefully. Voles…I have no outside cats or dogs to worry about so I shred D-Con into fine little bits that will fit into their fine little mouths and then I drop it into their fine little holes! Works very well…hurray.

    Sheryl – Pyro :-)

    • I don’t have any sympathy for voles! But hornworms? did you know they’re the larva stage of hummingbird moths? I used to squish them, now I plant more tomatoes! lol

  2. It’s 5 am in Florida. Couldn’t sleep, so figured it was a good time to put up the peaches I bought earlier this week. Got 15 pints in the freezer. Now I’ve got to choose between staying up for the day or going back to bed for a couple of hours?

    • Yep, been there/done that! Once when a Farmer’s Market I attended got rained out I ended up with a truck load of sweet corn. I canned all day and night for 2 days! Yep, I was sure tired but that corn sure was good!

  3. From what you describe, you have a smoke phase turkey. Color works well for her (usually “her”) in the winter but not so much otherwise. Haven’t seen any of “ours” since last summer but I’ll have to ask one of the neighbors. So far we’ve seen only one chick with a mama. One year a mama had 11 chicks and 9 made it going into the winter – I was quite impressed. I can get with 3-4 feet of the toms’ but the hens are far more skittish. I would not be surprised to see an albino one of these years.

    I feed year round (birds, squirrels, turkeys) and of course chipmunks and possums. Try to deter raccoons and skunks of course.

    For the first time in years, no zucchini for us. I’m going to have to start more plants indoors next year. The lone zuke had some sort of infestation/disease – as did one of the yellow squash. The rest of the garden is doing well – potatoes we’ve dug are large and quite tasty. Already planning next year’s garden!

    • Sorry about your zucchini and yellow summer squash. Every year some things do very well. Others, not so hot. We’re already planning next year’s garden too and we are barely starting to harvest.

  4. Don’t know if you are aware that ulcers are caused by a bacteria called H. pylori not stress that was believed to cause them in the past. Any one can get them, rats! your healthy diet and lifestyle are your best bet to keep ulcers at bay. Probiotics, acquired thru healthy eating are essential in keeping your gut lining healthy. Sometimes a round of antibiotics will kill the normal gut bacteria and increase your chances of getting ulcers. Oh, Joy.
    Voles give us a fit when we plant beans. It’s like they have a little treasure map and dig only where we plant.
    Raccoons are a big problem in our area this year. A friend stopped counting after shooting 19. That’s a LOT of the pests. Found out the hard way that they will eat green pears.
    Keep healthy and keep praying!

    • Jackie, what Joyce said about helicobacter pylori. Hope you were tested for it, and also hope your doctors mentioned that it can be transmitted among family members and they should all be tested. Depending on what your state or county health departments require, you might choose to have your water supply tested at the well(s) and at the faucet(s) if they don’t require it. Frequent hand washing is a must before handling food, especially after being around animals. If you tested positive for it, somewhere in your environment there is a source of this bacteria.

  5. I love the thought about chokecherries and a jalapeño! I’ve got trees and trees ready to be picked tomorrow, so I will try that out when I make those jellies! I’m excited to can mine up! All my romantics are late this year. All your seeds I started, and had 32 plants survive, and then after planting the deer ate them all off. But we sprayed them with repellent and bam! Now I have so many blossoms and lots of not quite ready tomatoes! I have lost several of my squash this year to some sort of borer. Makes me very mad. But there is always next year I suppose!

    • Yes, there is. In that is hope. This year we had trouble with three gardens between cows and deer getting in and too much heat, then too much rain. I’m glad most of your garden is rebounding and always hope for next year’s BETTER garden!

      • Amen to that! We neglected the onions this year, and missed mulching then. So they are all going to be small , but I might just chop and dehydrate then. I’m due with our second baby in 9 weeks and hoping my tomatoes are in before then. This year we’ve learned a lot, and I am just impressed with the ability of the plants to rebound. My cows got out and ate all my beets and radish’s this year, but left the corn. So I was happy about that. Persistence is key for sure.

  6. Happy for you. I too have had an ulcer . Never fun. Mine had bled but I didn’t need blood. It’s thought to be caused by helicobacter-a bug. How one gets it I don’t know. We’re in full swing here canning tomatoes, corn,applesauce and drying apple slices. It’s fun and not stressful. We still live like hermits with the Covid virus and pray for everyone.

    • Yes, Everett, we do too. This is nothing to fool with. We’re so frustrated to see so many folks acting as if they were invincible! And that COVID is “just a cold”. Tell that to all the families of dead people! We’re just starting harvest seriously now. Summer apples are ready as are a few others.
      My ulcer wasn’t a bacterial-caused thing; the doctor doesn’t have a clue what caused it, nor do I. I just hope it (and it’s friends) stay gone!!!

  7. Hi Jackie ! So glad you are ulcer free ! Had 2 chickens killed at daybreak today. Maybe skunk? Nothing was eaten, just a bunch of feathers plucked and one head ripped off. What can we do short of locking chickens up in coop at night? Any suggestions to repel skunks, racoons, etc? Thank you so much !!!

    • If the head was gone, possibly an owl. Sometimes a mink. We lock up the chickens at night as we have too many predators that roam at night; foxes, coyotes, wolves, fishers, mink, weasels, owls and raccoons. No repellents work but possibly a good guard dog outside.

    • We had a real run of racoons in our area earlier this year. I had no idea they could be so destructive. Our neighbor across the field, has a chicken coop and everyday she went to feed and found carnage as you describe. No head, feathers every where and blood. So, she sat outside the coop one night and got I forget how many she got the first night. The coons had invited their friends and family. She lost a lot of good layers before she took care of the problem. It was heartbreaking to see her favorite hen mutilated.

  8. Thrilled about your ulcer! Fantastic. Your chokecherry jelly sounds fantastic. Mangos are in season here in Florida and and I have a bunch I am making in to mango Habanero jam for cream cheese and crackers. Everyone’s favorite!

    • Yes! Adding the almond extract to cherry recipes just before ladling it into the jars makes the taste super good.

  9. A friend said he had cantaloupe growing in his garden and due to the moles that ate them from underneath last year, THIS year he is going to tuck them into pantyhose and hang them from an overhead support so they can’t reach them. So….how big is your squash garden??? Maybe you could try something like my friend did…..

  10. Healing prayers are wonderful, aren’t they. You certainly had a boatload coming your way. That corn is amazing! TWO inches? I did a dance the other day for 0.01″. Looks like a bumper crop of chokecherries. Blessings as you harvest.

    • Yes they are! I’m a total believer in them. Thank you all. I hear you on the happy dance for just a little rain. Been there; done that this year. Now the rain won’t quit! It seems stuck in cycles lately.

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