As usual, we have been spreading manure on all of our nine gardens. Well, Will runs the tractor and loader and I open and close gates, chasing cows away from them so he can get in and out. Our cows are such nosy critters. They have to get right up and check out everything we do. So far, we’ve got the Sand, Central, and Main gardens, Pinky’s pen (a small isolation garden), and the Berry patch done. Now we are working on the North garden. On Saturday, the sun was out, and it was relatively warm so we worked all day and got about 3/4 of that garden (which is a little over an acre) covered with rotten manure. It works great as Will has driven Old Trusty through the woods from the Wolf forty to the cow lot. Now he can just shove huge piles of rotted manure up, making it nice and loose, so it’s easier to spread evenly with the manure spreader. Mo’ poo poo is our motto here!

Will spreading manure in our Main garden.

For Mother’s Day, our family again gathered at Byrns Greenhouse in Zim to load up on wonderful flowers. It’s such fun to experience all those plants and being together, although masked up. Bill and his family came, along with David and his family. So you can bet we all went home with plenty of “loot.” Granddaughter, Delilah, rode in her baby pack happily. She is such a good baby! (Not to mention, cute!)

David and Elizabeth, getting Delilah situated in her carrier.

Bill also brought the Simplicity garden tractor with him that he’d fixed up for me to use to cultivate the large gardens. Last year, it had quit on me and we couldn’t get it going again. So, for Christmas, he took it home and really fixed it up wonderfully for me — new tires in front, a new muffler, new belts, and even a set of new gears. Holy cow, I was floored. (Oh, and he even pressure washed it!) After our greenhouse extravaganza, we came home to eat the Kentucky Fried Chicken we picked up as all the restaurants were packed. We’ve been vaccinated against COVID but didn’t want to experience crowds.

Here’s the gang at Byrns Greenhouse, ready to buy them out. (Well, we’d like to!)
Bill and Will are following David out with all of our “loot.”

After eating lunch, Ava and Mason fed the baby goats their lunch bottles, then Ava wanted to visit our friendly Friesian, Ladyhawk. That mare sure loves her and comes right to the fence when she spots Ava heading down the hill toward the pasture. We’re looking for a nice large pony or smaller horse for her but there seems to be very few out there and those that are for sale are very expensive. She would be a very responsible horse owner as she takes care of the chickens at home very well. We keep looking and hoping just the right horse will come along. Bill started riding in diapers and showed horses all through school so he can get her started right.

Ava and her friend, Ladyhawk.

I hope all of you had a nice Mother’s Day. Happy spring! — Jackie


  1. Living the farm life vicariously here through you Jackie. Especially the animals you raise! I looked into the type of horse you have and learned a lot. I was horse crazy as a kid but my parents said that they had five kids that all ate like horses so I never got to have one of my own. All my best friends and cousins had horses so I enjoyed theirs anyway. And at least I get to garden with all those seeds you sent and have been very successful so far. You get to touch many lives in many ways. Thank you!!

  2. Your family is so beautiful. We’re done with masks here in far north, rural California, and practice no distancing. The stores wanted freedom and just aren’t doing so much of the riggamarole anymore. I’m glad to get back to normal. I’d much rather see your family’s beautiful faces. Masks aren’t pretty no matter what you put on them, and out-of-fashion these days.

    • Our numbers are going down, re-COVID, but we still wear them in public places. I, for one, sure don’t want to give COVID to someone else, inadvertently, even though I’ve been vaccinated fully. I know everyone wants things to be “like they were before”, me included. But hopefully soon we can safely return to “before”!! We sure don’t wear them for fashion. Lol

  3. Hi. Spring IS here, too, in Indiana. I am curious why you didn’t use wood on the bottom 3 feet of your greenhouse. Wouldn’t that have ensured less chance of animals getting through the plastic? I am planning a permanent greenhouse this summer, too. I thought even adding a 2×4″ steel 6 foot tall fence attached around the outside edge of the greenhouse might help keep the plastic safer.
    What do you think?

    • The bottom 3 feet of our new greenhouse is 6′ tall patio glass door windows, except for the ends where we have plywood below the sliding windows. We’ve only had deer run into the sides of our two hoop houses, in the winter, when they crawled under our back deck to get into the garden and eat the Jerusalem artichokes. We fixed that and haven’t had anything get in yet.

  4. Boy, that tractor is a gift that will keep on giving. You’ll smile every time to use it. Thanks for sharing your lovely day….and family with us. Blessings.

  5. What a beautiful Mother’s Day you had. I am so blessed also and Praise God for blessing me with 4 awesome kids and 5 going to be 6 grandchildren, so far. I was just blessed as i had a calf just born. It’s name is Testimony, because her mother almost died last year and God healed her. The vet even told me she probably wouldn’t make it, but a month to the day she got up. We had just had her bred and figured the calf wouldn’t make it. God had other plans and all the glory to Him. Well back to work!

    • We also are so very blessed in so many ways; family, our homestead, our seed business to help folks feed their families, each busy day. Wonderful story about your cow!! I love it.

    • Those woods are smack in the Superior National Forest and one of the reasons we chose this piece of isolated land. Our neighbors are bears, wolves, coyotes, Canada geese, sandhill cranes, song birds and other assorted wildlife. We enjoy them all.

  6. That must have been a lot of fun going to the greenhouse together!! What memories! Your carts of plants look great too!! Can’t wait to see your garden!

    • It was hugely fun!! I’m dying to begin planting outside but don’t dare yet; too much frost danger. But SOON!

    • We sure missed doing that last year, due to COVID. This year, we’re vaccinated and REALLY enjoyed getting out together, even though we were masked and stayed away from other shoppers.

  7. Am so impressed with the energy you and Will have! If l could roll back about 20 years and know what l know today…….

  8. I’ve missed something. When did David get married? I’m also assuming he got his home finished. Glad he has a nice family of his own now.

    • No, David hasn’t gotten married yet, although I kinda wish he and Elizabeth would. I’m old fashioned! And he hasn’t gotten his cabin finished yet but is still working on it. COVID and having a baby slowed that down a bit. But he just bought a load of insulation and a very good buy on a bathroom vanity. He hopes to resume work very soon.

  9. When the Simplicity tractor heard about Trusty being on the farm.she thought a make over might be in order. Love those grand babies.

    • Ha ha! Or maybe she thought she’d better buckle down to work or Old Trusty would dig a big hole and shove her into it???

  10. Well here is a novice gardener with additional questions! Lol!
    Should the Muskmelons (Oka, Kajari, Prescott Fond Blanc and Sweet Granite) be planted in separate areas or can these varieties be planted together or with winter squash? Wondering about cross pollination when it comes to saving seeds. Any recommendations?
    Thanks so much!

    • All muskmelons will cross if planted in the same area. They won’t cross with squash or cucumbers. What we do is when we plant new-to-us seeds is plant all together in one area then decide which we absolutely love. Then, the next year, we plant our favorite separately so we can save seed. Perhaps the second best favorite is planted the next year so we can also save pure seed from that one. By alternate planting, we can save pure seed yet grow different varieties.

  11. Special family time! Beautiful flowers!
    Planning my winter squash section of the garden with the seeds that were purchased from Seed Treasures. Here are some questions:
    1. For these 2 varieties which ones spread the most and about how much room do they need?: Hopi Pale Grey or Borchart’s Wonder.
    2. Now for these 2 varieties which ones spread the most: Canada Crookneck or Geraumon Martinique? About how much room do they need?
    3. Can one plant a C. maxima and a C. moschata together or will they cross pollinate?
    Thanks so very much for sharing your knowledge to this novice gardener.

    • Both Hopi Pale Grey and Borchart’s Wonder have rampant, long vines, sometimes 25 feet long, although you can gently turn them back as they grow so they don’t run all over the place.
      Canada Crookneck tend to vine more than do Geraumon Martinique. A 10′ x 10′ area will do for Canada Crookneck if you turn back the vines. Geraumon Martinique half of that if you turn them back.
      Yes, you can plant different species of squash together or near each other without them crossing.

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