After a week of worrying and a trip to the ER on Sunday (of course!), Will’s finally pain free and working (a bit lightly, for him) on the farm. He repaired the drive shaft and U joint on the haybine and is now out with the big Farmall and disc, working up the acreage he’d intended on planting oats in. But spring didn’t cooperate, so he figured he’d still plant oats, along with hay seed and cut it later this summer, for hay instead of harvesting grain. One thing you learn early on a homestead, if one thing doesn’t work, do something else. It does no good to moan and groan about things you cannot change.

Will’s back to being Will. I’m sure grateful his pain is gone.

Our friends, Heather, Mike, and Dara came this week, helping us set tomato stakes, cage tomatoes, and mulch. Yesterday, Dara planted some of our extra hot peppers in the Sand Garden while I ran tomato cages down from the Main Garden to the Sand Garden with our trusty ATV, two at a time. We now have nearly all of the tomatoes set for summer. Hooray!

Most of our tomatoes are now mulched, staked, and caged — all 250 some of them!

It’s turned hot again. Today it was nearly 90 degrees F and that flattens me! I’ve been transplanting big pepper plants out into the last hoop house but could only do six at a time before coming in the house to (kind of) cool off and drink lots of water. Luckily, we have a good well. Will ran the middle buster furrower on the tractor to make single rows for the leftover peppers, one in the North Garden for hot peppers, and another in the Wolf Garden for the sweet peppers. (They do cross! Not so much in shape or color but taste. Last fall I was munching on a usually sweet Corbaci when I realized it was HOT!) Hopefully, this evening it will cool off some so I can keep on planting those peppers in the hoop house — if the mosquitoes don’t carry me off!

Although the heat has been exhausting, it still leaves the woods beautiful at sunset.

— Jackie


  1. Thanks be to God that Will is feeling better. I too am having garden problems from the heat and then storms. But replant, replant, I WILL have green beans to can somehow. Here is something I have learned and it does help a little with biting bugs.. I got some Vick’s salve and Hall’s menthol (no fruit flavors) cough drops. We have ‘deer flies’, those little black blood suckers. I put a blob of Vick’s on my artery points (bends of arms and knees and ankles and throat), then rub more on my exposed arms and legs. and suck on the cough drops while working out. And I do wear long pants and T-shirts, cotton if available. No sleeveless tops for me. The flies and mosquitoes do not like me as much with the menthol smell. Neither do humans but that’s another story.

  2. So very glad to hear that Will is doing better! Will continue in prayer that he gets back up to full speed, smiles!

    • Your prayers worked! He’s back, full tilt. (But I do keep an eye on him! Just to be sure.)

  3. Glad Will is in the green again. Having him be able to mend and fix and plants is such a blessing to you I’m sure. We got in oats, annual rye, field peas, and a little soybean before that big big rain yesterday. I actually got poured on while driving the tractor packing the field.

    We’ve been burning up to our ears in tons of projects and plans to get done. We are taking down our 120 year old barn this summer, as it is falling apart, and moved the milkhouse to the other side of the property to be used again as a milk house for our dairy cow, and 1/3 to house our two emus. The milkhouse was built in 1958, and my husband found an old floating milk thermometer that was made in Germany. I’m sure it has mercury in it, but I’m gonna wash it up and test it out. If it isn’t bad, I’ll use it! It’s a nice thing to have, even if just for decoration.

    I have a question. I made a big mistake planting my corn. I was in such a fever planting in the heat, I never thought twice about planting my popcorn next to my sweet corn. Should I tear out all my popcorn? Is it going to cause the Seneca Sunrise to be bitter? I would hate that.

    I also am now working on mulching. It’s a ton of back work, but good. I haven’t caged any tomatoes, but finally they are growing and have the beautiful lush green color!

    My knee has been okay, I think sitting every night to hand milk my cow has been helping it feel less stress as I actually have to sit still til she’s all milked out. I gotta tell you, my son, who is 1 1/2, yells “Jersey” for her, but his J’s sound more ys. Anyways, we went out to the pasture to call her, and he starts bellowing for her, and at first I was confused why he was yelling daddy (they sound similar) but then I realized it was Jersey. I just smiled and laughed, because as soon as he saw her he light up, and waved his arms like I do, signaling her to come on with us to the house. It was a tender sweet moment. Especially today, which was the third anniversary of my moms sudden death.

    Anyway, enjoy the cool off and rain, and hopefully those storms last night didn’t wreck havoc in the gardens!

    • Aww, that’s a sweet story about your son calling Jersey. Your popcorn and Seneca Sunrise won’t cross. Popcorn is a longer season corn and I doubt it will start to tassel before the Seneca Sunrise is all done pollinating. At worst, the flavor would be okay on the Seneca Sunrise, but there could be a few popcorn-like kernels on each cob. But they would also be soft and edible, just like the sweet corn, at this stage.
      Sounds like you have a busy summer in store!!!

  4. We have a cool (tv says “cold”) front coming in Monday. We should be enjoying 88-91 degree temperatures. So nice after 101-105 for a number of days in a row (with NO a/c!). Sure, we don’t get as cold here (-4 is the lowest I have seen).

    Your garden is looking beautiful. Great that Will is feeling better.

    • Our cold front came in yesterday, with a high of 51. To us, it sure felt good after 90. We just can’t handle the heat.

  5. Hello Jackie: Its been hot here in lower, lower MI and unable to work outside until evening. I’m not an early riser so early am is out. People all over are having trouble with the heat. I’m also having trouble with something eating my brussel sprouts and broccoli. I have them covered now and hope to get a fence up asap. Everything is doing well otherwise. Glad to hear Will is doing well. Have you thought about getting high tunnels for some of your plants. A lot of people seem to be buying them and liking them. Jackie I have a question about growing chickens. How do you house them in the winter to keep them comfortable when it gets so cold.

    • We thought about getting high tunnels but discarded the idea as gardening outside is much easier for the two of us to handle. We can use the tractors, tillers, etc. so less manual labor, which is necessary in high tunnels. If you only had one or two, and that’s all, it’d be fine. We have better than 4 acres under cultivation!

      • Oops, Ruth Ann, I missed the chicken question. We have a simple, uninsulated coop. They’re fine all winter with just lots of wood shavings as bedding. They enjoy sun from the big windows too!

  6. Glad that all is well with you both! That heat would flatten me too as anything over 75 is no good:(
    We finally reached about 80 here in Eastern Washington but it is never humid so no bugs and light breezes most of the time. Rivers going nuts… super high with the wet spring and late snow pack melt off. Thing are bolting as there is only six hours of darkness these days. It all seems to happen so fast, these seasons here!

    • That’s for sure. There’s high water here too. Up north of us, they have bad flooding along the rivers and lakes. Glad we’re high up on our little hill.

  7. We finally got the second hoop house far enough along that I’m working on prepping the beds. We’re having a week plus of 80’s for highs and the hoop houses and the green house are hitting 100+ with the doors open! Any case it’s work early and late. The tomato’s are three feet tall in the green house and the early ones have set tomato’s! Potato’s are up and most of the outside planted. I put another comment on the late spring post about moose Problems.

  8. Hi Jackie.
    Been busy here and haven’t been on much.
    I’m so thankful Will is back in the saddle again!
    It’s been hot here and with humidity puts it over a 100 sometimes. I totally understand what you mean by the heat flattening you.
    Things are growing here well but always more to do and plenty of starts to get out.
    I mixed up more of my concoction for cabbage moths that have been flitting around. They don’t much care for the habaneros, onions and garlic in the spray I make. Thankfully the cabbage and other brassica are doing well and they haven’t got to them.
    The weather has been so odd this year. Lots of super hot weather here and early and intermittent rain. Can’t complain too much about the rain. But does mess up planting a bit.
    Had to make changes due to spring not cooperating here too. Like you said why moan about it just make changes to plans.
    Have a good Saturday and hope all planting and the peppers goes well. So far mosquitos haven’t been atrocious and not going to complain one bit. I hope they leave you alone some too.

    • Got most of the peppers planted but ended up getting stuck with the four-wheeler as the Wolf Garden’s soil was very wet! Both it and ME were covered by the time I got it out! We were glad for the rain, however, as Will had JUST gotten his oats and hay seed planted, working way after dark.

  9. Well thanks Jackie – the “I’m back in the saddle again” song is stuck in my head LOL.
    I really need to buy some new tomato cages (which also work well on zuke/cuke/summer squash transplants) – where did you buy yours?
    Cut garlic scapes this week – I’ve been composting them but will get with older daughter re: cajoling better half into using them. First time we grew garlic I did not cut the scapes – learned my lesson is all I can say.
    Have been quiet re: another small garden as better half is talking green house, well, and garden space on the almost 5 acres we bought. Like I’m gonna argue that.

    • Heck, us BUY tomato cages? Nope, Will makes them out of a roll of concrete re-enforcing wire. He cuts a length to make a cage about 18″ in diameter, then just folds the long wire ends over the upright wires of a square. Done deal! A steel T post ensures the whole thing stays upright, no matter what winds blow.
      Tell him you’ll never quit thanking him for building a greenhouse. It makes all the difference in the world!
      By the way, eat those garlic scapes! They’re really good fried or in casseroles.

  10. So happy that Will’s doing ok. I’m sure it’s frustrating for him. It’s good to have wonderful friends who help out. That last photo of the sunset is breathtaking!

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