After a pretty fall day, although windy as heck, this morning seemed dismal. But it’s a good day to stay inside and can up more tomato sauce and get a start on the crate of carrots. We still have to pull in the root crops but will wait for a nice, dry, sunny day to do that as there isn’t any drastic cold coming soon. Yesterday, our friend and prior apprentice, Alisha, came over for a visit and immediately grabbed a bucket of dry beans and began shelling them while we visited. She’s got nearly all of her dry, seasoned firewood cut, split, and stacked in her woodshed and the garden is cleaned up nicely. I wish ours was! Heck, we’ve still got our tomato cages and stakes up as well as the bean trellises and posts. Oh well, we’ll get it sooner or later…

We were happy this year to get some nice Geraumon Martinique winter squash as last year, we lost our main crop. Now they’re sitting on a bench, with lots of other squash and pumpkins, in the greenhouse. (I never thought, when I ask Will to build it, that it would be so handy, not only in the spring for growing plants, but in the fall for keeping them safe from cold! Yesterday, Will began digging a ditch from our 250-gallon propane tank to the greenhouse so we can heat it with a larger tank of LP. It can get tricky when a small tank runs out, mid-cold snap.

These are our new crop of Geraumon Martinique squash. I think they’re so pretty!

One of the stars of our Sand garden tomatoes this year was Mexico Midgets. This little cherry/currant red tomato is awesome. The plant grew 7 feet tall and 8 feet wide, just like a lilac bush! It grew out of the cage and sprawled happily everywhere. And boy there were billions of the best tasting tiny tomatoes everywhere! This is one tomato that is definitely not for a container or small raised bed.

These are just some of the remaining Mexico Midget tomatoes, which have fallen off the vine after cold hit.

It’s funny but when the rain came and cool weather arrived, our cole crops took off big guns. The broccoli set big heads and the cabbage followed to suit. I didn’t think I’d get any cabbage this year but am surprised to see dozens of nice, big heads!

Isn’t this Savoy Perfection cabbage gorgeous? And I had an Early Flat Dutch cabbage head that weighed nearly 10 pounds!

— Jackie


  1. Wow that cabbage is beautiful! How do you store the ones you don’t can? As always, you are an inspiration.

  2. Jackie, just catching up on your posts. Thanks to you and Will for rescuing that little kitten. I just do not understand the cruelty of some people towards other living beings. What a contract to the contrast of loving, caring people like yourself and Will.

    I think God knew what that person was going to do and caused that person to dump the kitten at your driveway and when you and Will were going to be driving along. Thank God to Will for seeing the kitten and to you both for your kindness in rescuing it. Enjoy the love and snuggles of your new family member.

    • We do enjoy her. Now we have a “his and her” cat. Mittens always loved Will best and sits on his leg in the evenings. Now I have a kitty warmer too! And mine purrs so loud where Mittens barely purrs even when she’s very happy. She wags her tail instead. But she was raised by our black Lab, Spencer so maybe that explains it?

  3. Been just reading through and studying your book, Growing and Canning Your own Food, and am thrilled the experience behind it; such solid advice based on tried and true experience, wisdom. In any books like this to come, be sure and write your stories!!! You already have quite the legacy! I praise God for you and pray for all your family.

    • She has fit right in and has already gained weight. Now I’ve got to call our vet and schedule her vaccinations so she stays healthy.

  4. What a beautiful cabbage! Last year I tried Perfection for the first time growing Savoy (seed from another vendor) and two out of three bore no resemblance to a Savoy. This fall only two out of four look like one. My guess is the vendor’s source wasn’t too good at varietal isolation. I’m gong to order some from you for this coming spring.

    Those squash are so pretty! I really love winter squash but Unfortunately they do poorly here due to borers and funk from the humidity.

    Will you have those Mexican Midgets available this coming year?

    Still awaiting the first frost here, possibly next week.

    • The good news is that apparently Gueramon Martinique is resistant to bore beetle damage. We’ve been told that by several customers. Fortunately, we don’t have those pests (yet) so I can’t speak from personal experience. Yes, we will definitely have Mexico Midgets seeds available. They may be tiny but boy, what flavor!!!

  5. I’m looking forward to getting the 2022 seed catalog from Seed Treasures! And, guess what? I also ordered one of your novels!! It’s for me, not for a grandchild, unless I loan it out after I read it! The reviews were excellent! Got any more novels in the making, Jackie?

    • Yes, I do. But might I suggest first reading the other three Westerns? A whole lot of folks swear by them. We’re working on the new catalog now as there’s a mess up with printing companies being able to get paper.

  6. That cabbage looks so healthy! I finally tried growing some this year and ended up with several and the cole slaw from them was nothing like store bought. So good. You just can’t beat home grown! How’s the knee doing?

    • Yep, everything home grown tastes SO much better than store bought. We can taste the chemicals on those store veggies. Yuck!
      The knee’s doing very nicely. I dug potatoes yesterday but didn’t use the bum knee to dig with, just in case.

  7. Well here in Kenny Lake Alaska it hasn’t been above freezing four days. A few weeks ago we had six plus inches of snow the hoop house allowed us to dry and sort the potatoes we dug in the snow. The green house kept the tomatoes safe till we got them in trays in the house to ripen. The moose showed up and cleaned up the cole crop remaining leaves! I’ll bet your friend doesn’t have the average planted that you do and is much younger!

    • Yep, you’re right, she only has a “normal” garden. We’re basking in above normal temperatures; last year at this time we had 18″ of snow on the ground that didn’t melt until spring. I’m glad you got your potatoes dried and sorted. I’ve got two crates of green tomatoes in the greenhouse now to ripen so tomorrow I hope to finish digging potatoes and beets as we’re due for twenties and snow next week.

  8. You are soooo blessed! I’m glad you were able to get an apprentice and I know Ashley loves coming to see you!!!can we order seeds now? I’d like to get those tomatoes and cabbage 🥬 they look beautiful

    • We ARE blessed! And we’ve managed to grow and harvest 10 times as much seed as last year so (hopefully) we don’t run out. You can order seeds all year, any time. Right now we’re a bit slow as we’re still harvesting madly but we’re getting orders out.

  9. Wow, what a cabbage! How do I get on your seed list? Do you have a catalogue that you can mail out or I can download? Would love to have a few of yours.

  10. We have had a lot of much needed here. I do show here in Iowa chance of snow about Wed for us. Take care and enjoy the heat of canning! Lol

    • We’re due for snow this week and much colder temperatures. So we’re rushing around, trying to get everything tied up before it hits.

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