We’ve been busy, trying to get crates of corn and beans off the unheated, enclosed back porch and greenhouse, which is heated (expensively). While Will was carrying in some huge Jumbo (and they really are “jumbo”!) Pink Banana squash from the greenhouse, I got busy and shelled out ten pounds of Glass Gem popcorn. We were stunned with the vibrant colors this year. The kernels look like a cross between pearls and jellybeans; glossy and translucent. Holy cow! As it is a late maturing corn, I did start it two weeks early, in the house, transplanting it outdoors when it got about six inches tall. This works great for us, enabling us to grow corn varieties that we wouldn’t be sure of harvesting mature cobs otherwise.

Our Glass Gem popcorn was stunning this year — every color of the rainbow!

Will was impressed, as I was, with those Jumbo Pink Banana squash. Some weighed more than 30 pounds. One squash will give me enough for more than a dozen pies! Holy mackerel, what a canning squash this is. Buffy, our rescue kitten, gobbled down the strings while I sorted off the seeds. See, even the cat loves it!

We got a wonderful crop of Jumbo Pink Banana squash this year, despite the drought.

This morning, I drove over to my friend, Ramona’s place to visit with her and her lovely goats. (She is the woman who sold me the two Nubian/Alpine doelings this spring.) I really love her setup! She has a beautiful, separate milking parlor that’s clean enough to eat off of the floor, a spacious pen off of it and a nice, wooded pasture out the door. No wonder her goats are so friendly and sweet. I’m hoping one day I can have a goat spot in the new barn for a similar setup — it’s in the plans. You know, milk room, goat pen, and hay right overhead. That will sure be nice!

Ramona and one of her sweet goats in her beautiful milking parlor.

I wish every one of you a very Happy Thanksgiving! Our family is coming on Saturday for Thanksgiving, instead of tomorrow, for it’s more convenient for them then. It really doesn’t matter to me; we’re very thankful every single day! — Jackie


  1. Wow! How do you all find the energy!

    I am younger than you all (by a small bit of years haha) but could never imagine doing what you all do


  2. Thanks to your inspiration from your book Starting Over, and your other books I bought me a small acreage with an older home in a rural area and will be moving the end of this year. That corn sure is beautiful. Happy Thanksgiving!

    • Wow, Susan, off to a new adventure! How exciting. Remember, baby steps as there’s always so much to do on a new place. I hope you had a great Thanksgiving.

  3. Beautiful corn and squash! I am so envious of anyone who can grow great winter squash. Between vine borers and funk issues it’s too hard to grow it in my garden and believe me, I’ve tried about every hint and trick out there.

    Question: what sort of containers do you start your corn seedlings in? Cell packs? And if so, how deep are they? This might be of great help in staggering planting of different varieties with varying dates to maturity.

    Happy Thanksgiving and have a great time with your family tomorrow!

    • You might try Gueramon Martinique squash; several customers have said they’re the only squash they can grow due to vine borers.
      We start our corn in cell packs that are 2 1/2 inches deep and they do very well. We can’t stagger maturity dates as we have such a short season so that works for us instead. Corn transplants very well.
      We had a great Thanksgiving and enjoyed being with our family a whole lot.

  4. A blessed Thanksgiving to you and your lovely family Jackie! Thanksgiving is a much bigger thing for you in the USA than it is in Canada. Christmas is our big holiday much more in keeping with British traditions here. I do love Thanksgiving though, particularly to give thanks for the garden harvest! Have a wonderful feast with all your bounty!

    • For we homesteaders, Thanksgiving is truly about giving thanks for all of our blessings, especially those of a bountiful harvest (after such a droughty, trying season). And it’s another excuse to get together with friends and family.

  5. Between me as a hospital nurse and my husband working at the airport, we rarely had the holiday’s off or were even on the same shift-so yes the celebration is when you can do it and it worked out fine. The corn is beautiful and the squash-your garden was very productive this year-something you and Will can be proud of and that is the prettiest goat barn I ever saw.
    Blessing to you all.

    • That’s what we thought; our family couldn’t get together on Thursday so we had our Thanksgiving on Saturday and we were still very thankful for all our blessings and a feast together. We were stunned at out productive our garden was this year, despite the very difficult growing season.
      And, yes, that IS the prettiest goat barn in the world. I’m hoping to have a nice one some day, in the new garden. It probably won’t have curtains on the windows though. Ha ha.

  6. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. Being a nurse all my working life, we learned early on the holidays were celebrated on whatever was the day off closest to the holiday. Christmas celebrations on New Years are just as good!

    • Amen Katherine! And thank you for having been there for many folks on the holidays as well as during regular days.

  7. It’s wonderful you are able to gather family and give thanks for a bountiful harvest! Happy Thanksgiving to you & yours.

    • We thought so too! I just wish ALL of my family could have been there but my kids are scattered all over the country so we made do with those who could come and felt blessed.

    • I thought they were absolutely stunning, especially after a season of drought. Thank you Tammy. God has truly blessed us!

  8. WOW! That corn is amazing….especially since you experienced drought for much of the growing season. Good grief…those squash would feed an army. That is a lovely goat-set-up, too. Looking forward to seeing your plans come to fruition.
    Have a great Thanksgiving! Blessings from Nixa, MO.

    • I could sit and look at various ears of Glass Gem all afternoon; it’s a shame to shell off those beautiful kernels! And I don’t think there’s a family out there that could eat a whole Jumbo Pink Banana squash all at one setting! There’s plenty to can up too!
      I hope you had a great Thanksgiving with your family.

  9. Happy Thanksgiving to you, Will and the entire family! It doesn’t matter the day, just the family being together.

  10. When my sister and I married my mom suggested that we do every other year on Thanksgiving with the alternate year celebrating the Saturday after Thanksgiving. She also suggested Christmas Eve with them and Christmas Day with in-laws. It saved a LOT of grief with in-laws although my m-i-l was never happy that EVERY holiday was not with them but eventually got over it. After f-i-l passed she often came to my parents or s-i-l’s parents for the holidays. No grinches allowed!!

    • Yep, we alternate holidays with our in-laws too and it works out fine with everyone. Fortunately we have no grinches. Whew!

  11. A hearty, healthy, happy Thanksgiving to you!
    Outside my window is green grass, with a flurry or two and 18 degree wake-up temp. Gusty winds add to the preference of staying indoors. But soon it will be in the 50’s again here in mid-Iowa.
    We also are doing a turkey day Saturday; so nice and relaxing!
    Enjoy today, and the family soon.

    • I hope you had a great Thanksgiving, Erin. We’ve got plenty of snow and temps in the twenties…on good days. I did some cooking the day before so I could be more relaxed when the family was coming. A little rushing around but not bad so we had energy for fun.

  12. Calendar date is not important – date family together is. You’ll have a few extra hands that day. Hmm.. while the food is cooking, they can pass the time by shelling, seeding, sorting, and/or stamping (except for Delilah – her job is to just look cute). Be interesting to see how Buffy handles the company (and how often Mittens “rolls” her eyes at Buffy lol).
    Enjoy family time (I’m sure you’ll share a few pictures). While I won’t go into details, we’re ensuring senior members of our family are not alone on T-Day. All I can say is our collective conscience are clear.

    • I’m so glad you made time for senior family members. I miss Mom and Dad at the holidays but am sure they’re up there enjoying all of us together. Gee, I never thought of all of those “helpful” hands! I’ll have to file that for future reference!!

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