We had been having problems with deer getting into our Sand and Central gardens. Half was fenced with 6-foot welded wire where the Central garden side only had stock panels and a string of electric tape above that. So, Will and I went to work and added another 4 feet to the stock panels with used 2″x4″ wire, then put up stock panels on top of our cow corral plank fence which was only 5 feet tall. There! Only the next morning I went in and found fresh deer tracks and a half-eaten watermelon plus several tomatoes bitten and pulled from the vines. After checking I found they had been jumping into the training ring/cow corral then hopping over the 5-foot-high plank fence to get into the gardens. Okay, we spent another day putting up more stock panels on top of the planks. So there, you deer-creeps! However, we were lacking one place next to the barn. But we thought surely they wouldn’t go there — wrong. So that place got a stock panel. And quite smugly I went to check the next morning. More deer damage and tracks. I trailed them from the garden back to where they had a nice road going through the grass and through a broken plank near the bottom of the training ring. Darn, we’d missed that! I repaired the fence, and the next morning the cows were in garden! In his hurry to fix the fence in the Central garden, making it higher, Will had unfastened the stock panel in the corner. And, yep, the cows had found it and pulled the panel out, opening the fence. So no more corn in there: Navajo Robin’s Egg Blue, Seneca Blue Bear Dance, and my canning sweet corn. The good news is they didn’t damage the melons, tomatoes, or onions. More bad news; no Hopi Pale Grey squash this year. So, if any of you have any pure squash (no other C. maximas in the garden or nearby), please send mature dry seed so I can share this wonderful and popular squash with others next year. Just let me know, okay? The good news, no more deer…

Although I lost my sweet corn for canning, my friend, Dick helped me out, big time!
This is the first bag of corn, all cut and ready to can up. It’s in the canner right now.

I was so down about losing my canning corn I didn’t know what to do. Sure, I have more corn in the pantry but to can no corn? Then I remembered a friend who has two farms, one nearby and one in southern Minnesota. And he had always grown lots of corn. Maybe Dick would be having some I could buy in bulk? I stopped by, hoping to catch he and his wife, Jen, home. Yep, Dick was mowing the lawn! And when I told him my problem, he took me out to his corn patch, which was nearly half an acre! He invited me out today to pick and we traded some beef (No, not fresh beef!) and stuff for the corn although he said he’d give me the corn. Today I am busy canning it up. Hooray! Isn’t it wonderful to have great friends?

Check out the storm that nearly got us!

Will’s been trying to get hay up and boy what a struggle! The fields are sopping wet from all the rain. Even with three good dry days, the fields are still too wet to bale. He cut a new field, which is up on a hill and it has wonderful, thick hay. It lay, drying yesterday and he was going to rake and bale it today. Then, last night a huge storm came up from the North — lightning constantly and huge black clouds. My friend, Dara, texted me they were getting terrific rain and hail. She lives a ways north east of us and we could sure see the storm even though it was night. I spent a long time on the front porch watching it while Will checked the weather radio for tornado warnings. We got nothing. Then, this morning, we got rain. Again. Luckily it was less than ¼ inch, barely wetting the ground. Will went out this afternoon to rake the hay and hopefully he can bale it tomorrow. Whew, what a week! — Jackie


  1. Our garden area is not large though we tilled up some of the paddock area. Not enough room for lots of corn. My brother-in-law planted some for his grandsons to sell for hunting equipment So so friends of ours with a very large family, 12 children, and us bought 100 dozen ears from him. I canned about 120 pints and she froze a bunch. I sure am glad. I just finished canning potato soup and hope to get more of that done. I am glad there were no fairs this year.

    • Good for you in getting all that corn canned up and frozen!!! I have a feeling we’ll be needing that food this winter and on into spring.

  2. WOW! that was exhausting just reading it! Good for you to keep at it. My dog keeps most of the deer away, but then again on only 5 acres, there is always someone else’s garden to get into! Thanks for all the inspiration!

    • Our problem is we have 7 gardens and we don’t let our dogs out all night as we have a lot of wolves as neighbors and they eat dogs. Good news is we haven’t had a deer track in the garden since the last fence repair.

  3. here in Arizona we have broken every heat record ever..I am slowly losing all of my plant..how I wish for some rain..fires every where..it is getting scary..I am waiting for fall so maybe I can plant some things..Jackie you and Will are amazing in the amount of work you do..our farmers markets are low on produce and the prices are out of sight

    • Weather’s been crazy all over this year. I sure hope you get some relief and are able to replant!

  4. Hi. Sorry on the crops problem. I have about 6 Hopi Pale Grey squash seeds that i got from you quite some time ago. Could you use them? Just let me know.

    • Thanks Margie but keep your seeds for next year’s planting. I have a few as I NEVER sell all I have! but I was hoping someone had a big stash somewhere they’d share. Again, thank you for offering.

  5. Hiw awful Jackie, I hope one of your followers will gift you back some of the seed for those squash. Animals are sneaky smart when it comes to yummy food as many of us have discovered lol.

    • Yes they are! I’ve had the deer get in a garden gate I had only left open for 10 minutes while I went up to the bathroom. TEN MINUTES~ I think they watch with spy glasses all the time!

  6. What smarties those deer!! Are you too busy to send any seed orders out right now. Wanting to plant some things for fall here in Oregon.

    • No, we are sending out seeds every day. Order away. We are out of a few things we hope to have later on this fall.

  7. I’ve never thought animals were stupid – if they were, there’d be none left. On one hand you can’t blame them but the other, GRRRR… Glad you found root cause and implemented a solution. Something took a bite out of our first ripe tomato. Most was salvageable. Then another almost ripe had a munch. Left it on the vine, another munch then next day it was TOTALLY gone.
    Looking to me like early winter in my area. We’ll eat what we have and preserve the (little) extra. And prepare for next year.

    • Yeah, we’re hoping the gathering geese aren’t a sign of an early winter but you do what you can do, no matter what comes your way. and prepare for next year.

  8. Oh You could write a story on your animal tales!!! What a deal! I am so glad you were able to get corn! I know how you feel!

    We have a drought going now in Central Wi Watering and watering. Just to keep things going.

    You all take care!

  9. YIKES! Gardening can be such a battle. So many times I feel like giving up. But after reading about your week, I better stop complaining. Wow! I was dying laughing about you trading your friend ‘beef’ for corn. Yes, I thought, a couple of fresh cows full of hopi pale grey squash and all your canning corn! lol
    As always, thank you for being willing to share the victories, along with the struggles. Remember Wide World of Sports? “The thrill of victory, and the agony of defeat”. :) You always manage to look on the bright side, put things in perspective, and encourage us to keep on keeping on!
    Linda-SW Montana

    • I don’t think it’s fair or realistic to only give folks our good days. Hey, life’s not like that at all. We all face struggles. Yep, I sure did feel like giving up when the cows got in the Sand garden and I’ll admit I bawled like a baby. But today I was picking beans and tomatoes out of that garden so life goes on and it wasn’t THAT bad….. Could have been worse!

    • Yes we do. Right now we have about 80% of all our varieties, and all of the tomatoes. Later on we’ll be harvesting more stuff so will have nearly all of everything. But for the Hopi Pale Greys the cows ate.

    • We do. However I can live with the damage the deer did but what the COWS did really, really hurt.

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