Just in time, Will got our square bales of hay in the barn, with the help of friends, Mike and Jason, who came for a visit. We have a teenage girl, Charis, daughter of our friend, Heather, who comes to help in the gardens, learning to make hay. She had never driven a stick shift nor a tractor before. So, first, Will showed her how to run our Ford 660, way out in the open, in the cow pasture. Then he showed her how to use the rake, the same way, including maintenance. A few days later, the hay was ready to rake, and they raked the small field of nice hay. Will showed Charis all around our square baler, explaining how it worked. Then, after making a couple of rounds in the field, he turned the baler over to her, while watching closely. She did a perfect job of baling, not missing a bale! She’s a fast learner!

Will had to stop hauling rotted manure to the garden, while it rained. But we were happy to have the rain.

We’ve been weeding, mulching, and hauling manure to the Main Garden. Our new Kabota is a slick wonder, hauling bucket loads of rotted manure through the narrow open strips in the garden, where Will could dump it. Now, he’s placing the manure around our squash, melon, and corn rows to give them extra zip in growing. But, today, another rain came through, halting the procedure. Now, Will’s out in the cow yard with Old Trusty, the BIG bulldozer, shoving piles of rotted compost up into bigger piles, fluffing it up so it’s easier for the Kabota to pick up.

We are astounded at how quickly the “extra” veggies in the Wolf Garden are springing to life.

I went out to the Wolf Garden, to check on the newly planted crops. We had extra room, so I planted more beans, beets, carrots, and even sweet corn. (What the heck, right?) It’s amazing how quickly they’re popping up! The corn was up strongly in just four days. That’s got to be kind of a record or something. Yep, the weeds are too! Yesterday, there wasn’t a weed to be seen in that area. Today, there are plenty of tiny seedlings. Phooey!

Hondo is telling me to get to hilling those potatoes!

— Jackie


  1. I didn’t plant my flour corn variety this year. I meant to, but just ran short on time and space. But I can grind the popcorn right?

    The weeds are overthrowing my life. But that’s okay. My carrots are finally large enough I can weed around them. I am gonna plant another few rows of them, in a different area, because many didn’t come up. Same with my lettuce. Bummed about that. But just gonna make due! I took all the old single pane windows out of our barn before the last step of year Dow on Monday. They are beautiful and I’m excited to have them, though my husband doubts I’ll ever have a use for them. Either way, I refused to let them be crushed!

    I bought and planted the pantry party bag of seeds, and I thought there were snap beans in there, but after looking in the catelogue I see I was incorrect, can any of them be used that way? I had about 1/2 oz of the provider beans from last season that I planted, but that’s not much. I also planted a pole bean that isn’t on the sight anymore. Marvelous something I think? I think that one is a snap bean. Hopefully they all come up!

    I also had pioneer squash plants take over my front planters again this year. Several years ago I had a few spaghetti squash take over, and got about 50 squash! I was extremely impressed. I am thinking that’s this variety of squash again, but perhaps I’ll be wrong. I wished it was watermelon, but it isn’t sadly.

    This rain has been very good for the garden and hay. I am just thankful it has come!

    • Yes, you can grind popcorn for cornmeal. I used to buy 50 pound sacks at Sam’s Club and used that to grind.
      I’m glad you saved those barn windows. I love old glass!
      Many dry bean varieties can be used as snap beans, when harvested early enough. That’s usually before the seeds in the pods get too big.
      Squash are always more rampant than are watermelons. Darn!

  2. Your gardens are looking so good. Everything that I planted as seeds did not come up! My tomatoes, peppers and zucchini are doing great but radishes, beets, carrots, basil and sage haven’t make an appearance at all. Someone dropped off a pregnant cat and we cant get the kittens rounded up to take to the shelter and they have ruined my raised beds. I’m about to throw in the towel for this year. I wish we would get a little more rain, we’ve barely gotten any this summer so far. I enjoy seeing the care that you and Will take to teach others about what you do. It’s going to be more important than ever very soon. I’ve been teaching a few ladies in my area how to put up different foods and they are so amazed at how easy it is once you learn the basics. You’all have a great week.

    • I’m so sorry that this is just “one of those years” for you. You might try a live trap to catch those kittens. It often works for ones that are kind of wild.
      So nice you’re teaching folks to put up foods. It IS so easy, and fun, too!

  3. We expanded our garden into our yard. We have about 1/2 the yard we did have. I have about 10 cabbage ready to make sauerkraut. The rest are too small so will wait on them.
    Something is eating my beans, cauliflower and broccoli. I think it’s a woodchuck or a bunny. And some bugs are helping out to. Never had these problems before except for a little bunny that ate my lettuce last year. We trapped 2 woodchucks already so they must have been prolific this year. My brother farms and said they love the soybeans and he& his 2 neighbors are trapping them & etc. and in the last 3 years have gotten about 1,000. I couldn’t believe this but my neighbor said one ate through the wood on his garage and they had to replace the wood. They are very destructive as they burrowed
    under out garage foundation. It took a couple years to get rid of them as we tried everything
    I put rocks along our wood fence to keep them from burrowing under. Why did God make woodchucks is my question. But my tomatoes are doing very well – tomatoes on almost every one of my 30 plants. Blessings to all.

    • I think God made woodchucks as survival food. I remember hearing of an elderly woman, during the Depression, who shot woodchucks in her garden all summer. She canned up the meat and fed her little terrier all winter. In a pinch, we could sure eat them too!
      Wow, a thousand woodchucks! Now that’s prolific!!! Whew.

    • “Chuck” really does love soybeans. We used to see a lot of them when the farmer planted soybeans. Then “Chuck” would eat dropped apples – so many I literally watched him grow before my eyes. They can’t see but their hearing is phenomenal.

  4. We got some much needed rain and some cooler temps. It was such a blessing! I am getting ready to plant a second crop of beans and lettuce. I would like to plant turnips and beets but am out of space in my garden. I attended a gardening class last evening and the focus was on container gardening so I may give that a try. Nothing ventured, nothing gained, lol. Have a blessed week.

    • I’m also getting ready to plant a second crop of some bush beans. Those in our damp Central Garden germinated irregularly so I want to plant more. And pray we get a long enough summer for them to mature, as they’re dry beans. I know one thing; if you don’t plant, you won’t harvest!

  5. Hope your rain was of the gentle/steady variety. Not a torrential downpour that (with or without) wind beats down vegetation.
    Being able to switch gears is a must, even if it is just doing “prep work” such as piling and fluffing.
    Definitely going to start planting “seeds” re: the other garden area. We planted double the potatoes this year and I’m thinking still not enough. We had a few into the fall last year but I pick my battles. Plus new taters are so good.
    Jackie you hit the nail on the head – WILD asparagus and tall grass, not a bed where someone plants crowns each spring. And doesn’t note where no asparagus came up the prior year O:(

    • We had a downpour two days in a row but neither time lasted long or damaged anything. We needed the rain. Now, back to work!!

  6. Weeds! I’ve saved cardboard boxes from all the home deliveries over the last few years. Placed them between my rows to lessen weeding. It’s not attractive but it works. I’ve stopped trying to eradicate the purslane that threatens to overtake everything. I’m letting some patches alone and harvest it to include in my salads. It tastes pretty good. Now if I could only eradicate the Japanese beetle infestation…:-) your gardens look absolutely massive. I don’t envy your weeding chores.

    • We love purslane. To eat, not to weed. Not so with Japanese beetles. Luckily, we don’t have them here. Yet! Thank God.

  7. I’m so glad you have good friends and neighbors to help around the place! Charis sounds like a keeper for sure!
    Those gardens look amazing. And Hondo! He’s a slave driver :) But a cute one ?
    I bet everything is going go crazy growing with that rain!

    • We are extremely fortunate to have such good friends. Not only to help in the gardens but just to have around us. Yep, Hondo keeps us working. Especially when he finds a ground squirrel in something he needs us to get it out so he can catch it. Boy does he bark, then!!

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