We’re working toward that too. After all, following the exciting and peaceful holidays, visiting family (social distanced, of course), and eating lots of goodies, we’re getting back to work. Seed orders are flowing in, which makes us very happy. We love helping folks grow great gardens and introducing them to new-to-them varieties. And we, too, love finding new varieties to love. Just recently, a reader from Costa Rica, emailed me, offering some of their favorite heirloom seed varieties in exchange for some of ours. How cool!

On this New Year’s Eve, we cherish the times just past, when our family could get together, even masked and socially distanced (except for this photo!). This is my son, Bill and his family, along with Will and me.
Light, puffy snow is so very pretty.

This morning, not only did we have a couple inches of new snow, but the sun shown through sparkles as it came up. Very beautiful!

2. This morning, the new snow sparkled like diamonds!

I’m working on plans for our new permanent greenhouse which we’ll put in the house garden, next to our house. Will already has a stockpile of nice, solid windows collected from the dump and Craigslist, so we sure won’t have to spend much to build it. And that greenhouse will save us so much time and also result in stockier plants to set out when the weather warms in the spring. I can’t wait! And I’m drawing diagrams for all nine gardens, outlining what I’d like to grow and where. Boy, if you think doing this for one or two gardens is tough, you ought to try nine. Of course, we want to save pure seed for most varieties so some crops must be planted in isolation from the same species or even genus. Then we also have to grow a bunch of Jack-O-Lantern pumpkins for our friends at the Watering Can nursery, to sell prior to Halloween. These, we’ll plant in the North garden, as we won’t be saving seeds from these, often, hybrids. But we can also plant some other squash and pumpkins as long as they’re a different species. (Most mid to smaller-sized pumpkins are C. pepos so we can plant a good crop of one C. moschata and one C. maxima too.) Then there are the various corns, some of which are early and others quite late so we can juggle them around in the same general area as they pollinate at different times. (See what I mean?)

Well, let me wish you a very Happy and Healthy New Year and also the best gardens you ever grew. Stay safe! — Jackie


  1. Happy New Year from the (very) rainy state of Oregon to your snowy wonderland! I hope your onery juvenile delinquents stay out of your gardens this year πŸ˜‰

    • Boy, so do we!!! We’re adding an extra electric fence outside the present electric fence. Next is razor wire!!

  2. Happy new year, Jackie and Will! Here’s to a great 2021. I hope the covid vaccine proves safe and effective so that some sanity can return to the world.

  3. Happy New Year! Thanks for sharing your life and experience with all. May you have a great 2021. I wish for you a healthy and productive year. I’m going to try again to grow flint corn-the raccoons just love it inspite of 2 strands of electric fence. They β€œknow” when it’s time to invade and eat.

  4. Happy New Year ! Buckle up and hold on for the roller coaster ride 😁😊. I hope you have a wonderful and abundant garden this year. Thank you for sharing your life with us.πŸ’•

  5. Jackie,
    I need to grow my tomatoes in large buckets on my porch due to the deer.
    Which ones are the best to plant?
    Have a great year in 2021 in I know you’ll have 9 beautiful gardens.

  6. Happy New Year! And let us know when the new granddaughter comes. It feels like David and you are my relatives.

    • I will, for sure! Yesterday, Elizabeth was out shoveling snow to hurry up things. No dice….. I know what you mean; you all feel like my family too!

    • And you too, Mardell! I’m crossing my fingers on the greenhouse; Will just spoke for a bunch of new solar panels and they’ll have to be put up……

  7. Happy New Year Jackie and Will. Received my new catalogue a few days ago. My garden was small last year due to health problems and only canned 12 quarts tomatoes. 2021 is a new year.

  8. How do I order some seeds from you? Do you have a catalog or on line place? I wanted some of those hull less pumpkins and Jim Bean Tomatoes.Thank you.

  9. Hope ya’ll had a Merry Christmas and wishing you a safe happy and healthy New Year! I can FINALY order seeds from you as my daughter grandson and I Finaly bought a home! It’s a mess and needed/needs a lot of repairs yet but I can Finaly have a garden. Altho a fairly small yard we will make it work even if we have to go verticle!! From Florida where it’s 80’s today. Gave already turned my walk in closet in a pantry.

    • Wow, 80!! If it wasn’t for COVID, I’d hop on a plane and come visit! I’m glad you can get your garden this year and I’m confident you’ll make it work. Go girl!!

  10. A very happy new year wish to you, Will and your family Jackie! Your snow looks beautiful. Received our new seed catalog and just might have to send in yet another order! Stay warm and healthy, and thank you for the new year wishes and the update!

    • Glad to hear you got your catalog! We had some folks who’s catalogs came badly damaged. One only got a cover!!! I think it was the Christmas mail crunch thing. Boo

  11. Happy New Year to you and Will. 2020 did come with some great difficulties but it also gave us time to slow down, stay home and spend time around our homestead. Able to do more with our two children still at home as well as keeping up with the gardens. Am looking forward to planning our garden, starting seeds and planting. Always a good feeling knowing Spring is coming and winter and snow will soon leave us.
    May you and Will stay healthy and have wisdom on planning your gardens.

    • Thank you so much Kathy. I hope you have a great New Year’s garden and have fun with your children. They grow up so quickly!!!

  12. Jackie,
    When you grow your squashes, and other plants, for seeds, how far apart do you have each type?

    Thank you for your many inspiring articles.

    • We can only grow one species of squash/pumpkins within 1/3 a mile, and that’s through dense trees too. They are quite easy to cross because of insect pollination. Tomatoes can be quite close; 5 feet is usually fine if you stake them so they don’t intermingle. Bush beans can be planted fairly close and not cross but pole beans need to be as far apart as you can reasonably get them. Melons, like squash/pumpkins, are insect pollinated so must be far, far away to avoid crossiing.

  13. Please join me in bidding the dumpster fire of a year adios, sayonara, arrivederci. Looked outside a few minutes ago and two very large does near one of my feeder boxes (now I hear the neighbor’s dogs barking). While I know the new year isn’t going to immediately be better, may it not be so painful until it does get better.

    • At least there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. Now I just hope people take wearing masks and social distancing seriously until we’re all vaccinated!! Happy New Year, Selena!

  14. happy new year to you yes and let’s grow our best gardens in 2021. Let’s hope and pray that covid will be under control and people will be able to work and you and Will will have
    a beautiful granddaughter soon

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