After less than a week, the first hot peppers are popping up. First you see their “backs,” the curved part of the stem that comes up out of the soil. Then follows the first set of leaves and the seedling springs upright. How exciting! Yesterday, as I was getting more room behind the stove because I’d moved the seedlings onto mini-greenhouse shelves in a south facing window, I planted our first sweet peppers and today I’ll get the rest planted. They usually germinate a little faster than do the hot peppers. And they’d better as I will be starting lots of tomato seeds next week. I think at last count I had 158 varieties with multiples of each. Talk about an addiction! I’m also starting extras so I can give them to son Bill and his family and an elderly friend.

The first hot peppers are coming up nicely. See the “backs” that pop up first?
Then, very soon, the two first leaves pop up as the seedlings spring upright. Now they need very good light.

As a gift, David bought Will and me a set of new tires for our ATV. We put miles on it every single day, year around, going to various gardens (some Ā½ mile away), hauling things like plants, feed, lumber, etc. It was getting so Will was having to fix flats way too often. And it is not easy to change tires on a vehicle so small. David’s winter job on the pipeline finished on Friday so he came over to visit and help Will change tires. Will had the two rear tires on but David helped him get the rest on. Boy it looks so nice now with those new tires with lots of tread. Thanks David!

Will and David, working on changing the ATV tires.
The four wheeler looks so nice with four new tires with plenty of tread. And they stay ROUND!

On Thursday I went to Duluth to the dermatologist to have a bigger chunk removed from my arm where the skin cancer showed up. I was sore for two days but now it’s pretty good. They called today and said they got all of it so that’s a relief! I’m too busy to mess with something like that. Especially in a couple of months when planting starts.

A reader emailed that she had been able to get Ball lids from Walmart by ordering online and picking up at the store. She also said Goldman’ was taking “pre-orders” for lids but I’ve seen a couple of sites that are doing that and they say “by fall of 2021” so I wouldn’t get too excited. Jars, however, are starting to show up at some stores around here. At higher prices, of course. I’ll wait. — Jackie


    • Some do; some don’t seem to be as good. But now I’d say ANY is better than none! The ones I’ve had fail was right after canning so I could reprocess the food and not lose it.

  1. My son loves to grow hot peppers and some other kinds that aren’t hot. We don’t eat
    peppers as my husband doesn’t like them so we just give them away. Its so nice to have
    things to give to neighbors and friends. New tires look great – makes it all look new.

    • Yep, I’ve got to staple a new seat cover on the ATV and it will look like new! That rig sure helps us a lot, every single day.

  2. Hi Jackie, just a thought for all your readers: there is an old homestead, abandoned in the woods behind my house. Sometimes during the winter I wander around in the woods and pick up any trash, etc. I found the dump site for the old homestead and dug dozens of Ball canning jars from the rubble. I cleaned them then ran them thru my dishwasher on sanitizer cycle. So far I have picked up about 5 or 6 dozen jars. Talk about recycling!

  3. Seeing your baby plants cured my spring fever! Isn’t it wonderful to have a thoughtful and practical son like your Bill???

    • Yes, we really love our son, Bill, but it was the youngest son, David, who bought us the tires. We must give credit where credit is due. lol

  4. My peppers and tomatoes are growing enough that I transplanted them from the little peat pods into 4 inch peat pots and they should be good there until they go out to the garden. Basil is a little slower. Wednesday I get my first covid shot. Husband wants to stop at the beach and get some seaweed to start brewing seaweed tea. It is suppose to be 50 out so he shouldn’t get frostbite. Got all my canning lids and a few extra cases of pint jars over the weekend so I should be good to go. LOVE the new tires on your ATV. I dread the day we need to get new ones on the RTV which we use in the winter to plow trails around the house and the rest of the year to haul dirt, compost, etc (has a dump bed on the back) Good for you for going back to doctor. Hope it heals quick so you can enjoy being out in the sunshine and digging in the dirt.

    • LouAnn, where do you live, near the ocean? I live 3 hrs from the Pacific coast. As far as dreading the day, save up little by little to pay for them: “Steady plodding, produces prosperity”. Have a great year!

      • I live on the east coast my home is about a mile from the Atlantic ocean. Canning lids and jars have been in short supply since last spring. I got lucky last year as the store I shop at contacted 5 other stores in the state and managed to get a few lids from different stores shipped to my local store for me to pick up. I started searching early this year and managed to find some here and there. We can a lot – beans, carrots, pears, apples, blackberries, cranberries, tomatoes, jams, salsas, juice, etc.

    • I’m waiting for the day Will gets our Kawasaki Mule with its flatbed box running. It kind of got parked behind the storage barn and other projects took the forefront as it had a carburetor issue. That will enable us to carry more stuff than the ATV with one trip.

    • There was an editorial decision to discontinue the series as it started online and it was decided that continuing an article some folks didn’t see the beginning of would be confusing. Sorry.

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