Although our gardens sure need it, we’ve had to reduce our watering as the hole below David’s cabin will only support ½ hour running of two sprinklers once a day now and our barn well will only water the horses and cows plus one hour’s watering in the Sand garden a day. (It starts to get silty colored, so we know it’s getting lower.) So far, our deep house well will water the Main and Pinky’s gardens several times a day. Please God, we really need water! A few good all-day rains sure would be a huge blessing. There’s a chance of rain forecast for the weekend but so far those rain clouds go either north or south of us. One good thing about the clay silt in David’s water hole is that it coats the plant leaves, and the grasshoppers and other pests seem to leave them alone! We know the wildlife is suffering from the drought as there are always lots of deer tracks and other critter sign on the muddy banks of that hole. The creek is about dry, and the beaver pond water is smelly and nasty; I sure wouldn’t want to drink that.

Unfortunately, David’s water hole is able to only be used for one ½ hour watering a day now.
We see lots of wildlife tracks around David’s water hole, like these deer tracks. They are desperate for water too.

But, in spite of the drought, the gardens continue to amaze us. I went out to water the Wolf garden today and saw both the watermelons and the Gete-Okosomin squash have grown a lot, in just a couple days — it’s amazing! And those Provider beans I planted for Bill and Kelly? They are simply LOADED. I have to pick them tomorrow and can them up. (I’d hoped they would can them, but those beans won’t wait till Sunday or Monday when they come to pick up their dog, Buddy, that we dog-sat while they were on vacation to South Dakota.)

There are several Gete-Okosomin squash that are as big as my lower leg … and then some!

The tomatoes are starting to get awesome too. Those vines are heavy with such a variety of pretty tomatoes. I can’t wait until our seminar next week is over so I can begin canning tomato-based foods. Up to now, we are saving seeds and just eating them. Such a “problem!” This year the Casady’s Folly paste tomatoes are stupendous. They look like Speckled Romas, red with bright yellow-orange stripes. But they’re more productive and seem to be less disease prone. Tasty too!

Aren’t these Casady’s Folly tomatoes gorgeous? They’re just as tasty and productive too.

I went to the Orthopedic surgeon today for a consult. My X-rays and MRI showed one tear in my meniscus in my left knee and two in my right. But the good news is there’s no bone-on-bone, just arthritis, of course. So next month I go in for meniscus repair to see if that helps my pain. If not, it’s on to knee replacement. — Jackie


  1. Even over here in WA State close to ocean things are dry. Water table very low. Good to see gardens still good. I had back issues that I couldn’t plant one this year but still have lots from couple years ago and last.

  2. I’ve never heard of miniscus repair. On mine in 2005, arthoscopicly they go in and trim up the tears and minimize any spurs. There is no repair. Recovery is up to you. Don’t bother with therapy(it was never offered anyway), but be sure and make your knee bend as close as possible. You don’t want to lose flexibility. Don’t baby it. You won’t need crutches. Thanks, always, for interesting posts and for answering all my questions I email you.

    • It’s just called a “repair”. I had one done about 4 years ago on my left knee. Yes, they trim up the tears and clean up the area. Hell, I never baby injuries from compressed vertebraes to broken hips. I don’t have time! No, I won’t do therapy; I work enough to offset that.

  3. So sorry for all your health problems with your knees. Been there, do that, and now I can walk. In fact, it is a joy to walk again. Take care.

  4. I remember one drought we had several years ago where we had to put out pans of water so the mice would not bore holes through our melons. Can you imagine watering mice! Of course, one melon would not be enough, they ruined as many as they could. This year we have had lots of rain and now have a very aggressive cat. He caught his first mouse before he was 3 months old! Love that cat!

    • Yep, Mittens sure catches a lot of them. Unfortunately two of our gardens are way out there and Mittens doesn’t go to them, thankfully. I’d hate for her to get nabbed by a coyote or bobcat. We are also putting out dishes of water for the birds and little critters. I never thought of watering mice. That would be a good idea in the melon patches. Thanks!

  5. Research Primary Water… See if it might be helpful in your situation

    This is an inexhaustible natural water source generated from deep within the earth.
    It is often expressed at the surface in natural springs.

    God Bless and feel better soon..

    -Patrick in WI

    • I will check it out. We do have several springs but even those are generating less water as our drought progresses. Luckily, our harvest season is starting so, hopefully, watering the gardens will soon stop.

  6. In N. Central TX we are 2+” above average for the month of August. This week, we got almost 5″ of rain (YIKES) and some areas locally got 7″!!!! (double yikes). And 70 degrees for a high? In Texas? This whole nation is getting very weird weather. Grow and stash what you can. I am concerned that store shelves could get skimpy this year.

    • Me too. That’s a whole lot of rain you’ve gotten Tami! It makes us drool. Last night we got rain; a whole .01″ of it. But that’s better than a kick in the teeth.

  7. We are getting enough rain now for the potatoes and outdoor raised beds. The moose ate all the peas so we just have to water the green house and two hoop houses. Just hope it doesn’t get any colder than the 32 the forecast calls for Saturday night. Potatoes could use more time!

    • Ain’t that the truth!! We had 37 a few nights ago and that was a shock. Luckily, it warmed up to the high 80’s and 90’s. (I’m NOT a fan of heat!) Bad moose!!!

  8. Because of the heat and drouth pheasants and other birds were going into the garden and eating the tender ends of that which was growing and in several places had actually scratched up potatoes and we’re pecking them for the moisture
    We had several long water troughs made from the tanks in hot water heaters that we kept filled with water and on all sides of the garden. It seemed to help

    • Wow, we’re lucky to not have that problem. We are setting out water for the birds and critters, plus there’s still water in the beaver ponds.

  9. Continued drought for me. We are fortunate to have 3 springs which are still flowing. My gardens are very dry. Hopi greys are smaller but coming along. Praying for rain

    • Our springs are slowing down but are still going. Thank God! We keep watering when we can, but for the North garden, that we can’t water half-way easily. Our squash are large but there are fewer than normal. We’re praying too!

  10. The East Coast seems to have the opposite issue. We have rain/showers, high humidity (towels won’t dry) and off and on sun. We need sun, especially this time of the year, to ripen our veggies. Oh well. Gardening is a feast or a famine! Thanks for your blogs. They are very interesting!

    • Thanks Karla. I hope you don’t have hurricane issues too. Eek! There’s always something, isn’t there???

  11. Sorry to see how dry you are. Yes its hard on the wildlife. So what do the beavers do when their water is nasty?

    I love the looks of that speckled paste tomato. Have to try that one!!!

    Hang in there . It has to rain or snow sooner or later! right?

    • The beavers just drink the nasty water. They don’t seem to mind. The birds bathe and drink it too. I know I wouldn’t!
      Yep, sooner or later.

  12. Hi Jackie,

    We are very dry here in the Pacific Northwest as well, as I’m sure you know. We are very blessed to have a good, deep well and certainly not as much to water as you all. But, I wanted to share a link with you to a young man on YouTube who does very thorough weather forcasts. He looks many weeks out. He says your area is going to get LOTS of rain in the coming weeks. If you don’t want to watch the whole thing, he talks about that at around the 4:14 mark. Watch the whole thing if you want to know why such a change in the weather is coming. So appreciate that you take the time to share with all of us. I’ve learned a lot from you!

    • Wow, that’s interesting. I will check it out. Lots of rain sounds so good! I’d like to see the creeks and rivers flowing abundantly again and the forest trees regain strength before winter.

  13. I hope you’ll get some of that rain this weekend. Wishing you the best with the meniscus repair. My husband also has one torn, and if not better by December, will have repair. I always love to see what you’re growing.

    • We got just under a quarter of an inch. Not nearly enough but it did perk everything up a bit. I’m with your husband; if the meniscus surgery doesn’t help much, it’s on to a winter knee replacement.

  14. I’m saving seeds from the Long Tom tomatoes. My question would be, do I keep the tomatoes in a brown paper bag until fully ripe before harvesting seeds? They are showing a little of the yellow-not-quite-ripe color.
    Do the pole bean seeds need to be completely dry and brown on the vine before harvest, or can I pull the beans at the green, fat-snake stage? We are tilling up the garden next week.
    Also, my late Dutch flat cabbage has brown leaf on top of head, I’m guessing its the tip burn although it has been shaded. Will this be ok to over-winter and put out next year for seeds?
    Sure am sorry to see how dry it is for you; and the knees will require time to heal.
    Have a wonderful seminar; those lucky folks will enjoy the memories as much as the rest of us who have been there!

    • Just set those tomatoes on the counter until they’re fully ripe, then remove the seeds. Bean seeds should be as dry as they can get before you pull them as sometimes the seeds are not fully mature in greener pods and even if they pods are laid out to dry, the seeds shrivel up and aren’t viable.
      Your cabbage should be okay to pot up and hold in a cool location, watering occasionally, to set out next spring for seed making.
      We’re looking forward to meeting lots of new folks and showing them around.

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