Of course, that’s nothing new, but it is so nice to be outside on nice days. Our fruit trees are budding, including the Chestnut crab that we love and thought the voles had killed the winter before last. David and I went out and pruned last spring and he discovered a small bridge of bark behind a sprout that the darned critters missed. That kept the tree alive but poorly last summer. This spring, it looks much better! (We also bought two more Chestnuts as it’s one of our very favorite apples to eat and can up, even though it’s small.) So it looks like now we have three Chestnut crab apples! Not a bad thing, at all.

Yesterday, our dear friend, Alisha, stopped over to pick up some fencing so she can make a duck pen. And, of course, she wanted to help. Will was making benches for the new greenhouse, so she helped him while I was transplanting more tomatoes. Three benches are now inside the greenhouse and today, Will is going to make the ones for the north side. Saturday is supposed to be warm and there are no freezing temperatures in sight, so I’ll be hauling tomatoes out there. I can’t wait! Our old LP heater wouldn’t light so I ran to town and bought a new one. Then it wouldn’t light! Will found out that it needed at least a 100-pound LP tank. He went over and borrowed David’s, hooked that up to the new heater and pop — it lit! I guess we learned something, huh? I’ll bet the old heater would work too. We’ll check it out soon.

Alisha helped Will build benches for the new greenhouse.

Several weeks ago, our wild turkey hens took off to make nests, along with one jake (young male). The other stayed home. We were surprised last week to see a different hen in the woods by the equipment yard, a stranger. She only stayed a day, but yesterday two wild jakes turned up, also strangers. They’re still here today and are getting a little tamer, not running when I put out corn for them. We’re happy to see so many wild turks showing up here. When we lived near Sturgeon Lake, Minnesota we had very few wild turkeys; I only saw one tom all the time I lived there — over 20 years. Now there are big flocks, and they are quite common. I think that’s neat.

We were tickled to see more wild turkeys show up in our yard.

After working on the greenhouse benches, Will went to the Wolf forty to “play” with the new bulldozer, “Old Trusty.” Yep, we renamed him from “Old Rusty” after Will pressure washed him and put in a new hydraulic cylinder and seals.

Will took Old Trusty out yesterday afternoon and began clearing on the Wolf forty, shoving stumps and brush into piles to rot.
A homesteader and his new “toy.”

He worked till dark, shoving piles of stumps and brush into piles to rot. Those loggers sure left a mess! But before long, there’ll be nice clearings for cow pasture and an even larger Wolf garden! — Jackie


  1. Well, I enjoyed last year to much. Had a garden and canned a bunch of stuff. Now signed up for to many fairs. But Hubby is thinking of selling business. I really want to stay home but I will miss our friends. Snf no more Black Rasberry Almonds.

    • I understand your feelings! And those flavored almonds were terrific. Thank you for sharing some with us!!!

    • I love them! (Will, Alisha AND the benches!) Best ever that the benches were made of lumber we had lying around in storage.

  2. I’m enjoying watching the progress on your greenhouse, as this is our first spring with ours. It’s a year of learning for sure. Will you be using a shade cloth? I’m not sure there’s a need if we can keep things from overheating. But I’m new at this, so I don’t know. :) We did fine yesterday when it got to 83 degrees outside, we’re north of Duluth so that doesn’t happen often in early May. Opening windows on all three sides kept things down to a healthy temperature . Do you think a shade cloth is necessary when the greenhouse is just being used for plants on their way to the outside gardens?

    • No, we don’t use shade cloth as even the peppers we grow out in the hoop houses do fine without it. Just keep good ventilation and they’ll be fine. Of course, some climates this won’t work in as well as some plants like begonias and cabbage family crops which like more shade and cooler temperatures.

  3. I’m glad your greenhouse is taking shape rather quickly. Those benches Will is working on look nice and sturdy too.
    I know you’ll be happy to get things going in the greenhouse soon as possible.
    Very glad you were able to get the LP Heater figured out and I bet the older one will work as well.
    Love seeing the turkey and nice you have them around. I’m sure it won’t take long and they will be very trusting of you as you continue to feed them.
    Trusty has a personality of his own and it won’t be long and everything will cleared for a pasture and garden.
    Keep up the great work your doing. I’m encouraged to keep plugging along here!

    • I think so too. I’ll admit I was a little more than dubious when I first saw it sitting, covered with tree sap, mold and dirt…and hadn’t run in 5 years.

  4. I like old trusty. We could use a dozer. 2 more cows to calve. It is a busy time of the year. Do you put all your tomatoes in walls of water? I’ll be taking the usual risk and plant a few tomatoes 5/15-zone 5 and cover for cold nights.

    • We sure use our dozers a LOT! For so many odd jobs too. We’re just approaching calving as we like them to get out onto fresh grass right away. No, we don’t use Wall’O Waters on all of our tomatoes. We have just got way too many to be able to, physically, do that. Like you, we sometimes do take the risk, looking at the weather forecast for the next week and plant. Of course, some years we have to run out and cover well if a freeze is coming.

  5. Everything is looking great at your place! So happy that your greenhouse is done. You’ll love it so much! Thanks for the update.

  6. Here is another quick question. When do you start the following vegetable starts: onions, tomatoes, peppers, winter squash and melons in the house? Thanks!
    Congratulations on your greenhouse!

    • Onions are the first crop we start in the house. Here, in Minnesota, that’s about the 3rd week in February. They do have to be trimmed off about 3 times before they are big enough to go out in the garden though. Peppers, we start in mid-March as they take longer to grow. Tomatoes go in about the last of March and the squash, melons, pumpkins go in just four weeks before setting them out in the garden. Cabbage family plants go in at the same time. If you start them too early, the plants get set back due to getting root bound and do poorly in the garden later on.

      • Thanks so very much Jackie! You are a wealth of information and so sweet to share! Blessings!

  7. Just a quick question Miss Jackie, about plants going into the garden from the greenhouse. Do they need to be hardened off? I’ve asked on a lot of forums but no one has answered yet. Your benches are looking swell as is the new greenhouse. You are gonna love I’m sure!

    • Sheryl if they been in the greenhouse they would be use to the bright sunlight and heat do no hardening off is necessary.

    • The wind is the thing you need to think about when transferring plants from the protected greenhouse to the outdoors as they aren’t used to that. We use a fan to blow on the plants, simulating wind. This sturdies up the stems. Without that or hardening off, the tender plants frequently break off at the ground level in a wind.

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