For a couple of days, the weather forecasts were for a very heavy snow and sub-zero temperatures, along with high wind. (Hey, we heard in Hawaii, they got 100 mph winds and a foot of snow in high elevations.) So, of course we rushed around, getting more ready. We put out two more round bales for the horses and cows, picked up assorted stuff lying around that would get buried and we wouldn’t see until spring if we didn’t. Then Will set about emptying the greenhouse. Yes, it does have a heater, but it definitely wouldn’t keep it above freezing in sub-zero temperatures, especially with a high wind. I woke up yesterday morning, feeling very tired. But on a homestead, that doesn’t cut grass. Will hauled in squash after squash, bucket full after bucket full, until our entire entryway and living room was covered with pumpkins and squash!

Then, to get more room, we started in cutting them open and saving seeds. We worked all day at that. Seriously. But finally, we had all of my cookie sheets and cake pans full of seeds to dry and we did have a narrow walkway to the front door.

Last night, we had a nice walkway through the pumpkins and squash that had been seeded and will be fed to the livestock and poultry.
We are amazed that a squash can have this thick a meat! It’s a Theron’s Winter squash.

Before the storm hit, Will went out and got a heaping wheelbarrow full of firewood after filling the wood box heaping full. I gave Whinny and the goats extra hay, and the goats also got a huge pumpkin rind. They dived in and started gobbling it up like it was candy. Then it got dark. We were as set as we could be. We woke up to a heavy snow falling densely. We did minimal chores quickly, then came inside to seed out more squash and pumpkins while the storm continued all day. No sense in plowing snow while it’s still falling heavily!

This morning, the storm was over, and the sun came out. We ended up with about 11 inches of snow and it was -9 this morning early. Not that bad, considering. While I packed seed orders to go, Will went out and swept the snow off the plow truck and the car and started them to warm up. Then he started out the driveway with me following in the car. I headed for the post office to mail seeds and that left him free to clean out our parking space in the yard without having to jockey vehicles around. Our snowplow is stubborn. When it’s cold the plow refuses to go up and down or side to side. But he managed to plow pretty well, even then. Finally, it started going up, but still not side to side. But he did have the drive well plowed when I returned home.

This morning, Will and Hondo plowed our mile and half driveway ahead of me in the car. Pretty!

Then it was shovel a path to the goat barn/chicken coop, feed them, then shovel a trail down to Whinny and carry hay down to her. Whew! Time for a break and warm-up. At least evening chores will be easier! — Jackie


  1. I got my catalog last week thinking I’d quickly get an order mailed. However, there are so many tomatoes that I’ve been overwhelmed with choices and am still studying, deciding and then changing my mind. Such a good problem to have!! I’ll get there eventually.

    • Isn’t it fun, though?? I always love trying something new and discovering a new “favorite” although I now have dozens!!

  2. You are two little worker bees! Do you get any down time to rest in the winter before it all starts up again? It’s a nice feeling to be warm and snug will a full pantry and plenty of wood.

    Love all your stories and pictures!

    • We really don’t have any down time. But, remember, we are doing what we love so it’s sort of doing a hundred hobbies! We are so blessed to live the life we do!

      • Wondering how your arm is doing; the one that had a spot taken off. I sure like seeing pictures of your area; so beautiful!!! Really enjoy your blogging.

  3. Dumb question, have you sent out the new seed catalogue yet? Two weeks ago we had -35 and we were much more worried about the possibility of a thaw yesterday. We ended up with 31. The roads were frost covered this morning.

    • No dumb question at all. Our 2022 catalog is at the printer right now and yours will be sent directly to you from them, as will all customers’ catalogs. Isn’t the weather weird lately???

      • Thanks for the update about the catalog. I asked for one, then see comments about others looking at theirs and wondered where mine was. I’ve never had one of yours, and am really looking forward!

  4. Wow, what a lot of work! But, doesn’t it feel so good when it’s storming out to know you are stocked up and able to “weather the storm” just fine. I always feel safer when my pantry is full when it storms. Hopefully you can get a little rest now. Take care

    • If we weren’t doing that, we’d be doing something else. Maybe not so productive. We are so very happy to have a fat pantry and plenty of firewood. It doesn’t cost much to live well this way!

  5. I heard you had a lot of snow coming and you sure did get a lot.
    In the part of Iowa I’m in it’s just bitter cold but so far no snow has fallen.
    Your entry way looks like my small kitchen area where I’m seeding the pumpkins, squash to dry and cooking/canning and freezing the meat in them. The rest goes in the compost pile. I finished with all the tomatoes awhile back before it got cold.
    I look forward to ordering seeds from you. Your plants look so good I can’t wait to order before you run out.
    Stay warm and cozy

    • We planted lots of extras (which explains the huge pile of pumpkins on top of all the squash) so I don’t think we’ll run out. We just add another log on the fire and we’re good to go.

  6. We got some snow too and we were out of town. We were in Billings, MT. And the roads were crap til we got about 20 miles out. Rest of trip home was pretty good. At least it was just an inch or two and not a foot!

      • I’m glad for ya’ll who are getting your precipitation this winter. Seems like from the mid west to the east coast and in the south, most are getting it, but here in California and the whole pacific coast states we’re still in drought. Some days we switch back to summer temps! Signs of the times, I believe, right outta the Bible.

  7. Wow-I would be exhausted, too. Here in Ill. no snow as yet-some leaves are still clinging on our maples, and I have a couple snapdragons that started themselves from seed, still green-may try to pot them and bring inside-see if they survive till spring-Heard cranes and saw a large flock overhead a week ago-probably the last. I was going to ask on the seed catalog also
    and how long does it take those seeds to dry-must have trays everywhere-this is probably your new cat’s first winter-what does she think of it all.?

    • Just email your address to and I’ll send you a catalog. We DO have drying seeds everywhere. Keeping them away from Buffy’s flying paws is a challenge though. It takes from four days to two weeds, depending on how thick the variety’s weeds are, for them to be completely dry.
      We don’t let Buffy go outside yet but she sure spends lots of time watching out the window.

  8. I sure love beautiful silence of a good snow storm! Great days to bunker in with a toasty fire and work on in the house projects that never get done in the summer. Time for a big crock of chili ! Stay warm over there!

  9. We’re having Indian Summer here in Zone 9. Low 80s during the day. Feels weird for December, even here. But I’m sure my beans and nightshades will love it. Been picking regularly for well over a month, now. Had to can up some frozen tomatoes to make room for veggies. Guess I’ll have to start drying more veggies as I don’t have a pressure canner.

    • Consider buying one. I just bought a Presto that cans 7 quarts or pints. I don’t need a bigger one. It was around $100.

    • I think a freeze-dryer would sure be handy, instead of canning. But, many things I would never stop canning!

  10. Have you sent out your seed catalog already? I haven’t got mine yet!! Also 2 more questions? First- which varities of winter squash/pumpkins do you give highest points to in terms of both flavor and keeping ability that can ripen in time in a zone 3 climate? I know you’ll say Hopi Pale Grey, what others are also good? And, just for fun…how many squash and pumpkins do you estimate you guys harvested this year??!

    • No, the only seed catalogs we have are the 2021 catalogs but our new catalog is at the printer right now. For customers who have ordered in the last 2 years, their catalogs will be sent directly from the printer. The website is updated, though so you can check that out at to see all we’ve added.
      Yep, Hopi Pale Grey is our favorite. Arnie’s Golden Buttercup is right up there. The others are all good but don’t store quite as long. All ripen easily in Zone 3. Golly, we probably harvested at least a ton of pumpkins and squash, combined….probably several thousand.

      • OMG!!!! What on earth do you do with that much! I know you sell pumpkins to a local place but what about the squashaldo is there a truck to growing the Hopi? It’s hot here in California and I just can’t get them to grow!! Love you Jackie

        • Add more rotted manure to your squash area; squash LOVE manure and that compost will also help hold in moisture that will grow plenty of them.

          • When it’s really hot, squash drop off their blossoms instead of making fruit so try to time your planting so the plants flower and set fruit before the heat of the summer comes on.

          • Jackie, I can’t thank you enough! You’re a wealth of garden wisdom and experience! I take notes, you know!

        • Well, we save billions of seeds for the little seed business that helps support the homestead. The “left-overs” get canned, dehydrated, used and then those that are still left are fed to the livestock and poultry beside the ones we store up to use fresh later on in the winter.

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