Despite being busy with the typical it’s-really-spring outside tasks like cleaning out flower beds, getting the six gardens ready to till and manure, mowing the lawn for the first time and getting Ava’s pony moved to her summer pasture and the goats to the goat pasture (where Whinny spent the winter), I’m planting various varieties of squash and pumpkin seeds in Styrofoam cups. I do direct seed these, as well, right into the garden. But starting some plants indoors gives me a jump start to ensure we have plenty of mature seeds, come fall. I have to laugh though. While I’m planting these seeds, I can look over in the living room and see the two big pumpkins that were too pretty to cut up. They are a Big Max and Howden and both still nice and solid. These are storing pumpkins if I’ve ever seen them. Most do well to last until Christmas or soon after!

Who would have thought these two pumpkins would have lasted this long?

The tomatoes and peppers in the greenhouse are looking very nice. They really love all the sunshine and heat. No more leaning plants! Every year I plan on cutting back on varieties, then find some new ones to trial. So, the greenhouse is full and as I’m planting squash, pumpkin, melon, cauliflower, and broccoli seeds now, the little greenhouses indoors will be full too. Hummmm, I knew we should be making a bigger greenhouse!

I’m real happy with the plants in the greenhouse this year.

The fruit trees, especially the apricot and plums are just thinking about blooming. But I hope they hold up as we have snow forecast for the weekend. How lovely! I really need a nice, productive fruit year after last year’s late freeze and then drought. We’ll see if we get it.

We have buds on our honeyberries, plums, and apricots.

— Jackie


  1. Jackie once again I used your biscuit recipe and made biscuits for my classmates for our 50th anniversary of our graduation……. It took almost ten lbs of flour! We ate a lot of biscuits. I’m sure I will be the biscuit lady. They were a hit with everyone and I have you thank. Love reading about all your adventures! Ruthie

    • Wow! Ten pounds of flour. That’s a lot of biscuits. I’m so glad everyone liked them! I even use them to make strawberry shortcake, serving them split in half and hot, with plenty of strawberries and whipped cream.

  2. Hello Miss Jackie…I put in a cattle panel hoop house 2 years ago. Part way into building it I realized it was already too small! I think you can never have enough space. I love it though and I do manage to cram a lot in there. Good luck with the fruit trees. By the way, do you remember where you bought your apricot. I’d love to have one for zone 3. Merci.

    • Isn’t that the truth? It seems no matter how big we build something, it’s never big enough. Right now, our greenhouse is full to the gills. I think I got the apricot, an Adirondack Gold, from Fedco Trees, but I haven’t seen it offered anywhere lately. It’s a later-blooming Manchurian apricot. It does have small apricots but hey, we can’t be fussy!!!

      • Thinking again, it was from St. Lawrence Nurseries and they don’t carry it yet after Bill MacKently retired.

  3. I love reading of your trials, accomplishments, and life on your homestead. As a 71 year old with my husband of 38 years, urban gardening is all I can do. He is a computer engineer and does not want the work of homesteading! We live in San Jose, Ca (zone 9) and have harvested 10# of Globe Zucchini, the first cucumber, and some sugar peas. I’m so grateful to a friend who built two raised beds this year that I can garden using my walker. I’m already on panning next years garden! I think I’ll be able to add two more raised beds on my front patio! I’ll have room for some of your seeds, Jackie!

  4. My tomato stems are not as thick as yours, do you think that’s something I should be concerned about?

    I started all my cauliflower and broccoli and such last week, and it’s coming up already. This week I’m working on squash varieties and some herbs and flowers from my grandma.

    It’s busy here too, getting ready for spring and summer. We’ve had the unfortunate reality check that diesel prices are going to really take us over making hay. We make 1200 acres, and never quite got around to putting up our big tank last fall. We are really wishing we had. Hopefully we can find a little light at the end of the tunnel!

    • Isn’t that the truth? Luckily, we filled our tanks when gas and diesel prices started to climb but I’m sure we’ll need more. That light? Sometimes I think it’s the freight train coming!
      My tomato stems didn’t used to get that thick and didn’t until we built the greenhouse to house them in. So don’t worry. If the plants get a bit leggy, just plant the long, thinner stem, lying horizontally, in the ground, bending the top gently upward, so just the leafy top is out of the soil. The stem will make roots all along that stem, underground.

      • Well and I think you’re right. A freight train is coming.

        And okay. Mine are in my green house and get full sun all day, so I’m not sure what’s going on. It cools off at night to around 50 or so. Not sure what going on. Gonna just keep watching!

  5. So happy for you that your plants are doing well. Just hope you and Will are doing as well as your plants. Maybe you two need to spend some time in the greenhouse!!

    • Hey, I’d probably just get thicker!! Like the stems of our plants. We do love working in there though. It feels like a moist summer day!

  6. I’m planting transplants in a light rain. One has to get the work done in spite of the weather. Your plants look great. The pumpkins are a wow this many months later. What variety?

  7. we’ve heard the “snow” word, too for western MN. I may be lucky we’ve had illness here and have not planted anything!
    katherine jordahl

    • Yep, it’s way too early to plant things outside here! But we sure do think of it.

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