A lot of folks have the very mistaken notion that Will and Jackie have these perfect gardens with no weeds. Ha ha ha! Especially this year, we sure have plenty of them. The pigweed and lamb’s quarter are having a field day. The number of rains and heat have brought them out in force. We work daily on this or that patch, tilling, pulling, and cursing the little buggers (not so little, either!). But, while we sleep, they grow. We’ll eventually get them under control.

Yup, we have weeds, too! Just look at this Navajo Robin’s Egg Blue corn.

Two of our duck hens have hatched out babies. One has five and the other, three. The oldest ones are a week old and are getting pretty adventurous, and the mama sure doesn’t like that! One day, I had to fish one out of our fishpond, a hundred feet from the duck yard, with a fish net. I was surprised at how, when he saw me, he dove way down deep and finally came up under a lily pad, with just his bill showing. But I finally caught him and returned him to the flock. All the while, mama duck was quacking out orders.

See Mama duck chewing out one of her “kids”? She is not happy when they go outside the fence!

I’m real happy that one of our new pole bean varieties is doing nicely and beginning to climb. They are beans from the Fremont Culture (Native Americans), from Colorado. During excavation, workers found a pot of sealed beans. Some of which, actually grew. (Sort of like our Folsom Indian Ruin beans.) They are a runner bean with multi-colored beans; some purple and black, some white, and some black. I can’t wait to see what they produce come fall! A wonderful customer sent these to us, which we really appreciate.

These are our Folsom Culture pole beans, just beginning to climb. We hope for a big harvest so we can share them.
Our peonies are super pretty this summer.

— Jackie


  1. Thanks Mary. I just don’t want folks to have the mistaken idea that we have perfect gardens. We do end up with pretty nice ones, by fall, but it does take a lot of work.

  2. While a few weeds amongst the taters, we dug a plant. Got two good sized, one slightly smaller, and a couple of small ones. And there were sooo good – tender and creamy tasting.
    Need to find an article from a reliable source that drives home the point that grass-is-not-good-in-an-asparagus-bed.

    • No, it isn’t. But some of the best wild asparagus I’ve ever harvested grew along a creek, in a horse pasture, in New Mexico. Go figure!

  3. Weeds are a never ending battle, lol. I have been picking green beans and pull weeds at the same time. Seems like no matter what I do I have weeds. I get to spend quality time with my hoe every couple of days 😉 I am so thankful I live in the country where I can have a garden. I have about an acre and just have a small garden, but it’s enough for me and I have extra for my girls. It’s amazing what you can grow in a small space. Have a blessed week. Happy gardening

    • It is truly amazing at how much food you can grow in a small spot! Yup, me’n my hoe spend a lot of time together. But Will isn’t jealous.

  4. Purslane is the bane of my existence plus all the others mentioned. I don’t care how much I read that it’s so good for our health it’s still a noxious weed and I cannot believe some companies sell purslane seed to unsuspecting gardeners! That being said, I’ve started to feed it to the pigs by the five gallon bucketfuls. I keep telling myself that I’m just foraging fresh food for them😵‍💫
    We did get rolls of straw this year to mulch the gardens with so at least the weeds come out a little easier. I made the mistake of leaving a partial roll in one of the gardens and one of our ducks made a nest in the edge of it. We have lots of space and hiding places around a pond but instead she decided to find a way under the garden fence to hatch some eggs. I guess she wanted to be close to the cherry tomatoes.
    Country life!

    • I think purslane either goes in cycles, one can eradicate with vigilance, or another weed takes over. I too don’t care if you can eat it, it is a weed.

    • Yep, purslane can be a problem. But it’s one of our favorite foods! Try battering the smaller clumps, after you trim off the roots, then frying it. My youngest son, David, absolutely loves to eat it, right in the garden, munching on the succulent leaves. But too much can, as you’ve found out, be too much of a good thing. When you start to eat it, sometimes it becomes a vegetable and isn’t so prevalent. Ha ha.

      • I’ve not tried it battered and fried but am now intrigued. I’ve had it fresh and also pickled which isn’t bad either. My pigs sure like it better than I do though.

  5. I’m becoming a reluctant student of weeds- horsetail, bindweed, pig weed ,lambs quarter and of course the occasional thistle. We’ve finally caught up in rain fall and the heat hammer has it. My corn looks like yours and my mantis tiller needs to be fixed (hand hoeing next). I pick a lot of blackcaps and we made jam I love. Garlic soon to be harvested. I believe my growing season has increased by 10 days with weather change the past 40plus years. Most people don’t know the work involved in producing food. Do you think your weather has changed? My knees give me trouble and I get 1/2 the work done in the same amount of time I used to get it all done. Some weeds I’ve learned to accept.

    • Our weather sure has changed. We not only get more severe weather, but a longer growing season. Also less cold and snow than we got 30 years ago. Yep, homesteading isn’t all lying in a hammock, enjoying nature. My knees have just been awful lately! February, when I’m scheduled for a knee replacement, seems a long way off!!

  6. I live in a fifth wheel on a graveled lot, that gravel is the best growing medium for weeds that I have EVER seen! My garden is in containers, which thankfully does limit (somewhat) weed growth. I did learn one thing of value this year. If you are composting with worms, de-seed the squash and melons you toss in there! My son helped me combine the compost with rotted shavings and potting soil. I had a bazillion little mystery squash popping up in every dang pot that mix was used in! Anyone know know to tell seedings apart?

    • As in melon vs. squash? Or kinds of squash? Or something else you’ve planted? I should be able to help with that.

      • I think there are cantaloupe, zucchini. Spaghetti squash. Pumpkin and a small yellow striped squash that I threw into the bin. I had masses of seeds sprout, some came from deeply within the pots. I have pulled out some that had stems at lest 8 inches long! There is one that I think is a the pumpkin, the starter leaves were huge compared to the others, with prominent veins and the secondary leaves are about 6 inch across. The others are much smaller. I wish I could send pictures on here lol.

  7. The weeds are killing me! I have taken to my little electric tiller to zap them. It works pretty well, and makes quickish work of them. I weeded my small
    Onion patch today. That was good. But I was sad to see some of the onion plants didn’t make it. Oh well I planted all the bulbs I had left from last season in another area so that will be good.

    Big work here, we are taking down our 120+ year old barn. It was a sad thing to watch it go, but the new shed will be much nicer. We are building a movable pen for our turkeys right now, as they are big and need some grass! They are biting little buggars!

    The kids amazing me all the time. Ardele loves to learn about all the plants and things we are doing in the garden. Waylon helps, but gets excited and pulls things or tramples them. My poor garlic are a little trodden on. But I’m sure they will be fine!

    • It’s amazing at how plants survive young children. I think garden angels help the plants recover. We’re keeping at the weeds and have one garden almost under control with mulch. Now we’re working on two more; Will on one and me on a smaller one, by hand.

  8. I have weeds every time it rains and it rained 2 days past week. I had eye surgery Wednesday and am not supposed to bend down or do hard work for 3 weeks. How big will they be than? Otherwise my garden is suffering from something eating my broccoli and cauliflower leaves and they don’t look like going to get any broccoli and a few small cauliflower. My cabbage are almost ready to pick. Apparently they (bugs?) don’t like their leaves or the cabbage.

    • Can you sit on a five gallon bucket to weed? They’re easier when they’re small. Right? But if you can’t safely, you just can’t. Anyone you can get to help you out? You could try dusting your broccoli and cauliflower leaves with pyrethrin dust. It’s non-toxic and should let you get some broccoli and cauliflower to eat.

  9. I love lambs quarters! I shake their seeds all over my garden in the fall and they pop right up as a ground cover in spring. Easy to pull up and when I plant, i leave them as mulch. We love eating them. More nutritious and delicious than spinach!

    • I can lamb’s quarters, in place of spinach. After all, spinach you must plant and tend. Lamb’s quarters just appears like magic.

  10. I’ve got lambs quarter on two of my small plots and chick weed on the big garden. I’ll take lambs quarter any day as it doesn’t reroot as easily as chick weed. I do pick up some of both for the chickens who like chick weed best. I pulled a couple five gallon buckets of chick weed packed out of each half of the one 12 x24 hoop house! It finally cooled off to the high 70’s last two days with possible rain in the next few. We really need rain!

    • We did too! And yesterday and today, we have a nice rain! I hate chick weed too. But the chickens do get lots of free food from our weeding buckets, so that’s something at least. I’m glad you’ve cooled off. I hate the heat!!

  11. yep you got weeds !:) same here. lambs quarters, morning glory-ugh! and a few unamed verities too boot. glad i m not alone.
    love your informative interesting blog. have your books!!

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