With all the unrest and worry around the country, it’s no wonder doctors are seeing a spike in depression, countrywide. But I feel lucky; as homesteaders, Will and I have real world things to occupy our minds. Every day it’s nice, we cut and split firewood. Will brings in a wheelbarrow load, which sits on a rug in our entryway, in the house to further dry and stay handy until the next day when he stacks the leftover wood in the wood box near the living room wood stove. We’ve been blessed with dry weather lately that’s above normal in temperatures. So he cuts a chainsaw gas tank’s worth of firewood from the pole lengths he’s brought in over the spring and summer, then, later in the day, we split the pile. The next day, he unloads it. Our one old pig house is now stuffed full and this truck load is going into the last old pig house. How wonderful that is to have all that dry, seasoned wood, under cover; cords and cords of it, right off our land.

Will brings in a wheelbarrow load of firewood every day to further dry out in the house.

Meanwhile, I’ve been concentrating on seeding out some more pumpkins and squash. (Few pumpkins will store more than a few months, at best.) The first was a couple of Lakota squash. They have nice, thick meat with a wonderful aroma. I’m making a couple of pies out of the biggest one and canning up the other half in dices. I take out the seeds then rinse them in a strainer, in the sink, under warm water. Then I pat them dry with a folded paper towel and place them in a single layer on a cookie sheet. (Gee, I’ve used more cookie sheets lately doing this than making cookies!) After drying in a warm spot for about two weeks, they’re safe to store. I love it that one cob of corn will plant a 10′ x 10′ spot and one squash will give enough seeds to plant nearly half an acre! Plants are so generous!

I’ve been busy saving pumpkin and squash seeds this week.

So, folks, do what you can about COVID; self isolation, wearing masks, washing your hands, etc. Then enjoy your crops, stay warm, and save seeds. — Jackie


  1. Hi Miss Jackie,
    I’m with Will, raw seeds taste so good. Just seeded my halloween pumpkin today and ate a bunch raw. I don’t have a homestead so I’m not nearly as busy as you are but I do keep busy with my racks of microgreens and making angels. Nothing compared to you but it keeps me sane. Thanks for another sweet blog.

  2. It will be interesting how .gov would be able to enforce seed saving on a personal level. Saving to sell I guess they could catch/enforce, but individuals would be nearly impossible.

    I’ve basically been home alone since the second week of March and did okay mentally up until this week. I’ve had a rough week, but am coming out of my funk the last couple of days. I do notice that it doesn’t take much to upset me so I quit watching TV with very few exceptions. Got majorly flamed on a forum and that upset me, but guess it did the moderators too since the thread disappeared.

    I’m thinking of getting grow lights and setting up a greens garden in the basement. Maybe that would keep my spirits up until I can get back outside in the Spring. I have 20 or so African violets and a couple other house plants which makes me feel better. Christmas cactus is blooming and usually continues until about Easter so another bright spot.

    I continually remind myself to be thankful that I have a home to shelter in and an extended pantry to feed me when so many are losing their homes and struggling to feed their families.

    • I’m not seeing a ban on seed saving in the future; there are all sorts of alternative informants out there on every subject. Just my humble opinion. We try and avoid a constant onslaught of news as too much is depressing. We constantly feel blessed to have a warm house that’s paid for, all the food we could ever eat, seeds for raising more and a belief in God out there, in control of everything.

  3. There is nothing illegal about saving your seeds *unless* it happens to be one of those highly regulated patented seeds like GM corn. OR unless you want to set up a little seed business selling your collected seed. Then you run into government business rules and regs about needing germination percentages and weed seed content but you can still sell your collected seed IF you follow the rules for setting up a seed business.

    Splitting patented plants into divisions is illegal but a lot of people do it anyway and pass a piece on to a friend. The big trouble comes if you try to sell them online or such.

    Hope that helps.

    • We did start a little seed business and, really, the regulations are not that bad, nor was it hard to start up. I’m sure every state has differences, however. We do need a license and mark on each pack how many seeds and what batch they were from, which we do with a simple code. Of course, we don’t deal with GMO or patented seeds at all; who would want to???

    • We did raise pigs but then the price of corn doubled and corn is the base of all pig feed so it was no longer feasible for us to do so.

  4. You hit it on the head again. What makes homesteaders survive better is not how many jars we have in the cupboard but because we have, as you said “real world things to occupy our mind “ and keep us from worrying about things we can’t control anyway.

    • Yup, Jim. If we can’t do anything about something, we try and let it go and work toward something we have at least a good measure of control over, such as gardening.

  5. I’m sorry to seem dense, but really!? Why us seed saving is illegal? I’m just starting to teach my son how to harvest seeds.

    Anyhow, thank you so much Jackie! I love reading your blog!

  6. As always, the voice of pure living and REASON! We all have our opinions about mask wearing, and washing up and staying clean is nothing new. You are right, we have harvests to prepare, can, store. Wood to stack and load. Recipes to perfect. Right now I am renovating my kitchen so I can have MORE space to do what I love in it. :) Be well all and thanks again Jackie- you are keeping us sane!

    • Thanks Margo. We just try to always work forward, doing what we are able at the time. By this “plodding”, you’d be surprised at what gets done, instead of getting stuck by worrying about things we can not control. Progress always is uplifting!

  7. Amen to that, Jackie. That’s right, why worry about what we can’t control when we have chickens to feed and bread to bake.
    But I can tell you, I won’t be lining up for those newfangled covid vaccines anytime soon. I want to see side effect statistics first, for at least a year or two.

    • You’re welcome Peggy. These are sometimes confusing, sometimes depressing times. But we need to overcome both and keep going ahead with our lives, doing what we can.

    • You’re welcome Patricia. These times seem crazy but folks in the past have seen worse and gotten by. We will too. If we just use common sense and hang tough.

  8. You are so positive about everything. Yes we should all feel blessed being able to live in the country. And to be able to can, garden and save seeds and animals! We can fill our days with things that need to be done and not endless blah blah, blah. Is the catalog for seeds on here updated now? Thanks!

    • Our website for seeds is updated and current. Our catalog just went to the post office for direct mailing. So, SOON!!!

  9. I’m not buying making seeds/seed saving illegal. But I will say that using cookie sheets for drying seeds is far more weight friendly than cookies. One might dispute which tastes better however!
    Older daughter has gone into overdrive re: cooking. Besides pasta/pasta dishes from her paternal side, she’s found butcher shops where she can get bones (pork for her latest broth making venture). We were known as the “hippie” parents lol.. All of their friends loved being outside, picking/eating berries etc.
    I miss our pet “triangle”. Down to one pet right now but like in the past, one or two needing a fur-ever home will come into our lives.

    • I have to slap Will’s hands when I’m drying pumpkin and squash seeds. He loves them, even untoasted! Bad Will!!
      I hope you’ll find your new furry friend soon. I know how much we love ours.

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