Will and I have been busy picking, shucking, and roping up our various varieties of corn to beat the darned birds to it. I’m so glad to have him helping me as between my sore foot (don’t know why it’s sore!) and knee, all that walking the fields and picking corn is kind of hard. I pop a couple of Tylenol, wait an hour then hit it again. So when he can help between haying, it’s really appreciated. We’ve finally got in most of our Seneca Sunrise sweet corn, which turned out very nice, despite everything.

I’m so grateful Will can help harvest and shuck some of our corn.

Now we’re working on our Simonet sweet corn from Canada. I’m really impressed with that too, as it was planted in the North garden where we could not water a bit and the plants still kicked out two cobs on most plants and pretty nice, long cobs, over-all. And it’s sweet and corn flavored too. Can’t beat that! I’ve still got a lot to harvest, but am pecking away on it every day

This Simonet sweet corn was from one 5-gallon bucket from the field. Despite the drought!

Between corn harvesting, I’ve been bringing in six to nine varieties of tomatoes every day to save seed from. The Sand garden’s tomatoes are impressive! I’m amazed every time I go out there. We’ve really got some nice paste tomatoes this year, ranging from old favorites like Ruth Collier Paste to the new Russian Oxheart, which wowed me this morning. I have to laugh — our old Labrador, Spencer, is our tomato tester. He gobbles down any tomatoes I give him after I extract the seeds. But his very favorite is Black Beauty. Even on a full stomach, he was whining and begging for them! (Yes, he does know the difference. I once gave him a piece of store tomato and he promptly spit it out with vigor. Blah! Phewie! What the heck was that?”

These Russian Oxheart tomatoes really wowed us this morning!

Our pumpkins are coming on like crazy. We raise a whole lot for the local nursery, The Watering Can. We’ve got a few Big Max pumpkins that weigh well over 100 pounds and some Howdens that are nearing 60 pounds. They liked all the manure Will spread next to the rows. Mo’ poo poo! — Jackie


  1. I have to say, the ear in the upper left with all the uneven rows is really really pleasant to look at. Somehow the color looks richer than the others (not darker, just richer in tone). If it were in a market, I would buy it, even tho I’m a tad sensitive to them.

    My garden failed this year mostly due to having to quarantine after virus exposure and then the smoke from the fires so I couldn’t water it, even tho the lettuce did come up, and of course I spent more money on plants than previous years. :P Paid $40 to buy and ship a clematis which suffered and suffered and died. :( The comfrey that cost less but also had to be shipped also suffered, but perked back up now there’s rain. No flowers that I seeded came up. Upside is there were no slugs or snails, tho hopefully the gopher found enough sustenance. She and I have an agreement: I agree she can live in my bed and eat the slugs. :D She doesn’t bother the plants much while making tunnels and burrows, and it keeps her mostly safe from the other gardeners, who don’t always obey the local city ‘don’t kill wildlife especially those on the federal and state endangered species lists’ laws.

    • You must have a well trained gopher; mine only eat garden produce and plenty of that, not my slugs. Sorry about your garden. Some years it’s just plain tough.

  2. If you don’t keep that fence clean at the bottom of weeds and grass, electric wire won’t do you much good. It shorts it out. Bears may or may not be deterred by an electric fence. Deer can jump unbelievably high. Squirrels can jump in from overhanging trees. Gardening ain’t for sissies!

    • You might do better with a low impedance fence charger. Moose can step over a four foot board fence. We put a hot wire about 18 inches over the boards and it usually works. This year it was so dry when the peas were first coming on that the moose’s feet were not well enough grounded to get zapped and we lost all of our peas in one afternoon! Our neighbor has an eight foot hightensil woven wire fence it beats the moose.

  3. I really enjoy reading about the differences in your country, Australia is just a diverse, but certainly different. We have foxes to face, originally imported from the UK. They come night and day to attack our hens (chooks) so we have electric fencing to keep them at bay. Raptors, eagles and hawks from above as well. Jackie, sorry you have knee and foot problems, a gift for being so active I’m afraid but it’s better than rusting away. I’m preparing my garden beds for tomatoes and corn and only hope to do half as well as you. Thanks so much for your blog the highlight of my week.

    • Rusting away would sure be boring! Today we got 3″ of rain and after our drought, it sure was nice. Luckily, my foot is much better and the knee is behaving. Whew!

  4. Was thinking today that you (Jackie) are starting to probably count the days before your average first frost (our average first frost date here in N. Central TX is still about 2 months away). We hit the low 90’s today here and lows are only dipping into the mid 60’s (heaven for us here in the sweltering south). I bet you are harvesting like crazy. I barely have time to get out and water my garden some weeks. You and Will are AMAZING. Your blog really helps to drive home the vast differences in climate in the various areas of the U.S.A. Bless you. I do miss having some Ask Jackie questions at the bottom of your blog like there used to be…….. But so be it. :)

    • The Ask Jackie bar is up at the top, in red. So if you want to ask a question, have at it!! We just got a light, spotty frost but it did no damage. Crossing our fingers more holds off.

  5. Your corn looks great!! Looking like I may have to try some next year!! Can’t believe how well it did in a drought!!

    So sorry to hear about your knee and foot. Just do what you can do. You are doing great and thanks for sharing with us!

    • Jackie, When do the beavers do their winter report?? Just curious as what they say. You know the Farmers almanac said cold and snow for us!

    • We were really amazed. No water on it, whatsoever! The foot is better, thank God! I don’t know what was with it but I’m sure glad it’s better.

  6. Hey Jackie, here’s an idea on how to get harvest helpers. If you know any local canners you might offer them harvest goodies for helping bring in and process your corn and veggies. I bet you would get some takers, I know I darn sure would even if I had to drive a bit to get there lol.

    • We do that, in moderation. Folks who come help always go home with lots of produce. But I can’t advertise as I can’t spare the time to “babysit” folks who don’t understand the seed harvesting thing. Tried before but ended up with trouble like varieties getting crossed, etc.

  7. The tomato prize winners this year are the Tanana and the Cannon balls I have never seen such meaty tomatoes with so few seeds and.very small seed pockets

  8. Laughed so hard about Spencer spitting out store bought tomatoes, smart dog!! Sounds like I should order some Black Beauty seeds! Are the Russian oxheart a paste tomato? My dog Scout has developed a love for watermelon this summer. Every time I cut one she comes and waits for hers, too funny. I sure do enjoy all of your wit and wisdom, thanks for all you share and teach us. I had a very big surprise and am currently going through cancer treatment. Due to my platelets and immunity being so low I was told not to garden this year, so I’ve sure enjoyed seeing pictures and hearing about yours and others. Praying and looking forward to better times and health next season.

    • I had a Rottie that LOVED water melon. We would give him the rinds (some red left) and he would take it down to just the thinnest of green outer shell. Oh, he made a mess, but that sure was fun. I miss him (the dog).

    • Black Beauty are Spencer’s favorite so far and we also love it. Sorry to hear you’re going through cancer treatment. As they say, “been there; done that” and it was 16 years ago and I’m still cancer free. So I’m praying you have the same result,.

    • We were simply amazed! Even the North garden, with no watering at all, did exceptionally well, considering the drought.

    • We’re fixing to move from far north California where it’s so dry we have almost no pests like bugs, or pests like animals because we have no water and we fence. We’ll be going to a state full of pine forests, much more rain, some less sunshine. We presently get more sunny days than even Florida. Fencing is an absolute necessity here. I think electric wire comes first on the outside of the chain-link fence. The electric wire should start at six inches high for rodents and squirrels, and then 2 more strings leading up to six feet, but the chain-link needs to be a minimum 8 ft. high, and some add 2 lines of barbed wire above that. Two fences of chain-link is desirable, a few feet apart. Yes, all this costs a lot. Deer are intimidated to jump that (when there’s no electric wire first). When there’s water and food available they will come. We never had water, and that deterred them a lot not to bother to come up a steep mountain. A shotgun did a great job on squirrels. It’s going to be an entirely different battle where we’re going. When we had a dog, that was the very best deterrent to animals. You have to invest a lot of money, but it’s worth it if you’re seriously growing for sustenance. Bears are hard to deter, but surely electric wire will do the job. Where we’re going they have re-introduced wolves, and we plan to live off-grid and back in the woods, so it’s going to be interesting!

      • Golly, we only have a 6′ fence made of welded 2″x4″ wire on steel posts and have never had a deer jump it. Nor a bear go through it. We have lots of all of them and have had no trouble, once the gardens and orchards have been fenced. A friend keeps the bears out of her bee hives with several strands of electric wire and a battery-operated fence charger.

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