Around here, hard freezes usually come way before this. And we’re so grateful that this year we had a very long fall so we could get more and more of our crops harvested before it came. I’m sorry I didn’t blog on Wednesday last week but the big freeze was due Wednesday night, so we were going crazy. In such a freeze, covering plants does nothing so we were picking, hauling, and stacking squash, pumpkins, melons, beans, tomatoes, peppers, and more everywhere. We are fortunate to have such good friends who rallied to help us pick. Heather came again and Dirk came twice during the rush, picking beans and popcorn. As our peppers were so late in the field, I went out and cut the plants which had tons of unripe peppers on, hoping that when they ripened in the greenhouse, on top of pumpkins and squash, the seeds would be mature. I’ll have to do a germination test to make sure they are as only the seeds from mature, ripe peppers are viable.

Will and Dirk, hard at work, harvesting some of our last bush beans. We really appreciate friends like Dirk helping us out.
We stuffed our harvest into the house until it overflowed, then went to the greenhouse where we can provide heat. Boy, am I glad to have the greenhouse!

After night came and all was in, we were totally pooped out. So we took a drive to town to grab a bite of fast food and decompress. We got to the corner of our road and Will slammed on the brakes. I thought it was a deer. No, it was a small kitten, cowering in the long, wet grass on the roadside. He hopped out and picked it up, then handed it in through my window to me. I have never seen so thin a kitten! I’m talking about bones with skin over them! She cuddled down on my chest and started purring. Someone had thrown away this poor, frightened baby! Talk about cruel. A fox, bobcat, coyote, eagle, or other predator would make short work of this starveling not to mention getting run over by a car. Yep, we took her with us, stopping at McDonalds to get her a burger, which she ate with gusto, pickle and all. Now she’s home and settling in. Our “big” cat, Mittens, is not a fan, but has done nothing but swear at her in kitty language with a puffed-up tail. We named her Buffy because she has buff ears and nose on a white body, indicating some Siamese genes back there somewhere. And she’s brave enough to slay vampires like Buffy the Vampire Slayer from the old TV show we did not watch. Now it’s shots and spaying when she gets old enough and I’m working at potty training her.

Here’s Buffy the night we found her. Little scared kitten!

Yesterday, I put up a big batch of salsa and strained out a roasting pan full of tomato puree, which I put in the oven to cook down gently. This morning I finished it off, adding seasonings, then canned that up as tomato sauce. The kitchen is full of pretty, colorful jars.

After a light frost, we were astounded at these Red Rocket tomatoes! We’ve never seen such nice, round, blemish-free tomatoes in such profusion.

And, as I have two 5-gallon pails full of sweet peppers and three big crates of ripe tomatoes and two of green big ones, I’ve got my work cut out for the next few days. But as there is a projected food shortage coming up, I’m real glad to have it all, including the beets, carrots, rutabagas and turnips, in the Wolf garden, hanging in there until we can harvest them too. — Jackie


  1. I don’t have pets for various reasons, but I would never ever dump an animal. That is so mean spirited and totally unnecessary. Better to put it down than to dump it. Best to find it a good home or take it to a shelter.

    My garden did better than I expected but was still not nearly as good as usual. Till I have potatoes and sweet potatoes that will last for months and canned tomatoes as juice, stewed and diced.

    Due to my age I had decided to seed half my garden to grass this fall, however, due to the dire warnings about food shortages I decided against doing that. Keeping that fertile garden area might turn out to be the difference between eating or not next year.

  2. I agree; folks who mistreat animals and dump them deserve a very hot hell!
    Mittens is still not a fan but no blood has been shed nor has any hair flown. Buffy has decided to be my cat. Maybe that’s because Mittens is usually sitting on Will’s leg and they aren’t exactly friends. Yet…..

  3. I have a shop cat named, Miss Kitty. My neighbors found her on the side of the road as a kitten much like yours. They asked my wife if she would take it because, ‘If you don’t we’ll have to shoot it.’ They wouldn’t have done that, and they knew Joyce couldn’t stand the thought either. So we adopted Miss Kitty. No she will not leave my shop building. She’s about 9 years old now, and to this day wants nothing to do with the great outdoors. Free food and water, free warm place to sleep, safety everywhere (maybe except when my dog, Annie, decides to herd her around), and a warm woodstove in the winter. Miss Kitty hit the jackpot. It looks to me like Buffy did, too. Good for you1

    • She thinks she’s got a good deal; a warm lap to cuddle in (mine) and lots of free-choice kitty food. Her “brother” Spencer, keeps her cleaned up too. We weren’t looking for a kitten but are happy to have found her. Sounds like Miss Kitty got a good deal too!

  4. I only had to cover the plants once this year. Everything has now been harvested, processed and stored for the winter. The yard birds are picking through the now plucked garden, chuckling, rooting and scratching for the bugs that no longer have my produce to chew on. Just about every pet that I have had was someone’s throw away. My dog I found in the middle of the road coming home from work. He was huddled on the yellow line, barely four weeks old with his puppy blue eyes and puppy breath. His teeth so small that he could barely chew canned dog food. He’s nine years old now and the best livestock guardian dog I’ve ever had.

    • Awww, how horrible for someone to have thrown away a baby puppy on the road. He sure didn’t walk far at four weeks! I sure get depressed at the mean people out there doing horrible things! I’m sure glad you found him before he got squashed on the road!!

  5. I sooo look forward to your blog. I love the pictures of your squash, pumpkins, tomatoes, etc. Reminds me of my days on Grandparents, Parents farms. It makes a dreary day much nicer to read your tales and see all the pics. I live near the Amish and they have fields of pumpkins and it is almost heaven for me to drive and just look. Thanks for saving kitty. We just now had to find a good home for a 1 1/2 year old tom that was left by his deceased “Mama”. I was told she fretted in the hospital about leaving her cat more than dying. But that is how animal people are. Good folks.

  6. I’m so glad your got everything in and I’m sure you were exhausted.
    Buffy was a nice reward and treasure added to your day.
    Everything looks fantastic.
    It hasn’t froze just yet here but I have most everything in now and cooking/canning up everything as well as drying seeds.
    With the coming food shortage I agree it’s good to not miss out on any of this good food to keep you.

    • I feel like a chipmunk on steroids this time of year, especially with the projected food shortage headed our way. Food we can might help out friends or relatives. Who knows???

  7. I’m so glad you rescued Buffy. As you know, Mittens will get over it after a while. LOL! All the cats that have even been here have just shown up. They’re the best.

    You guys have been working your tails off and thankfully you got it all done. Yes! Yay for a long fall! Now begins that next phase of seed collection. At least you don’t have to do that bent over. :)

    • That’s for sure Chris! But our house looks like a farmer’s market! I mean piles and piles of corn, crates of beans, buckets of peppers, crates of tomatoes and seeds all over the floor. Oh well, I’m not expecting the health department!! But it sure feels good to be surrounded by all this bounty!

  8. So much work but so worth it. Those tomatoes look fantastic. Sounds like the worj isn’t done yet. Happy canning. I love looking at my canning cupboard. It makes me smile.

  9. Bless you and your family
    Rescue kittens are Special
    Harvest is hard work, but
    Wonderful that you’re able
    To have Such abundance after
    Difficult Drought year.
    Always look forward to your
    Blog. Still sharing your Seed
    Treasures name and information
    With everyone to help get the
    Word out that this resource is
    Available for Going Forward in
    The times we are challenged with

    • Thank you Joann. We are truly blessed to have had this huge harvest and we are very grateful. We sure want to help folks who want to garden to help out their families get good seeds of good, productive varieties to plant.

  10. I love the look of those Red Rocket tomatoes. How do they compare with the Cannonball – which is one of our favorites? So nice for sweet Buffy that you found her. My Maevis was dropped at a park & picked up by a friend in my vet’s office. I hate that someone dropped her but she’s such a wonderful loving cat that I’m almost glad they did. She’s one of the best cats I’ve ever had. Still no frost here in the Finger Lakes of NY but lots of rain. I’m having trouble getting the potatoes dug.

    • Cannonball is earlier but Red Rocket seems more productive. We cringe to think what might have happened to Buffy if Will hadn’t spotted her in the long grass!
      We’ve still got to dig our potatoes but there are two warm, sunny days in the forecast. I’m hoping your rain will let up too.

  11. My gosh, your blogs are so interesting! Your life seems so interesting, and so Blessed by God! The friends and community you have are what I desire in my future. I’m hoping to live further out than it seems you do, and we wouldn’t be able because of distance to eat out at all as we do now a lot. Life is better than that, and you prove it!!! Please let us hear a lot more about your animals, what you do with them.

    • We are blessed with good friends. We’d love to live more than 14 miles from town and have neighbors more than a mile and a half away but we bought this land, knowing we’d probably be taking care of my elderly parents and remote wouldn’t work.
      We don’t go out to eat often so we are happy living quite a piece from town.

  12. Happy to hear about all of your harvesting and canning, and thanks for saving that little baby!

  13. Back in July I rescued a kitten from middle of a very busy road (lots of truck traffic). What a joy these rescues are. Enjoy that kitty. Great that you got your harvest in.

    • What are people thinking of, dumping animals like that??? I bet they also beat their children and wives! I’m so glad you found it.

  14. Buffy couldn’t have picked a better home to live in!!! You two are so kindhearted. You were right to get all the food in you can. Very smart

    • Buffy is very happy and her poor little tummy is now round and full. We’re so worried about a coming food shortage as it seems few people are taking it seriously. Ostriches have their butt out there in the real world…..

  15. The produce looks wonderful. Will be lots of good food at your house this winter. I’m so glad Buffy found you. Blessed little kitten. Mittens will gradually accept her and they will be best of buddies. Thank you for the blog. I look forward to it every week.

    • Thank you, Deborah. So far, Mittens and Buffy are at a stand off but no serous fighting; only kitty swearing. We love looking at all the vegetables around us but it makes me crazy, thinking of canning a whole lot of it sometimes!

  16. Looks like Buffy has made herself at home ❀️ I love the look of your porch with all the produce. Magazine worthy.

    • She sure has. When I sit in my chair, she’s right up in my lap, purring like mad. (It’s hard to read with a kitty in your face!) Mittens never has been a snuggling cat. She sits on Will’s leg but doesn’t like to be picked up or held long.
      We like to look at all the veggies stacked up too! I think it’s pretty!

  17. I’d take Buffy in a New York minute. There is a special hell waiting for those who mistreat animals (could be on this side of the earth). Of course my cat would have her nose out of joint too – her response would likely be to go and pout however. Despite the fact she too was dumped (in the dead of a very cold winter) and rescued (may it *not* cost you $500 when all said and done). She is now, however, in a forever loving home, living the life of Reilly. She’s looking like a few square meals have done her well. And Will has a new (another?) supervisor lol..

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