After being severely powdered, the blister beetles seem to have mostly died or flown elsewhere. We’re thankful as Will had even found and powdered those in some of our bush beans. That’s a first! They usually only target our potatoes first and some tomatoes growing next to them. Maybe they’re hungrier this year? Lots of folks have them, it seems.

Yesterday, I went in to the ortho clinic and got both of my knees injected with cortisone. It’s funny but the not-so-bad knee hurt like heck two hours after being injected, where the worst knee felt much better. I mean it hurt so bad I could barely walk! I finally took a high-powered pain pill, which had been prescribed after I fell on the ice this spring. I hate taking them, but I couldn’t stand the pain. And I’m pretty pain resistant. Anyway, this morning, it’s much better. I’m even thinking of trying to till some of the rows of beans in the Wolf Garden. We’ll see how that goes. I will take it easy. After my injections, my friend, Dara, met me at our local cafe for lunch. And she’d brought a beautiful photo, signed and dated, which we both said looked just like my old Morgan stallion, Bragg, who was the main character’s hero horse in my series of Western novels, starting with Summer of the Eagles. Even Will said, “There’s the Hawk!” I just love it and it made the knee pain worth it. Thanks Dara!

Isn’t this photo stunning?

Meanwhile, Will and Charis are baling and raking hay. She’s doing such a great job, learning to make hay. Few people ever bale after only a week’s worth of instruction. But now she even knows how to replace twine in the box and grease the equipment. What a wonderful help she is!

I’m simply stunned at the bloom on one of our two-year-old clematis vines. It’s just covered in purple blooms. I had intended on having it climb up the 2″x4″ inverted V that David had put over the gate opening to attach Christmas lights to. But this spring, Will took it down, for some reason neither of us can figure out. Now I’m going to put it back up so next year, that clematis can climb right up it. How pretty that will be!

Pretty great for a two-year old clematis vine, huh?

Oh, just a quick note: Sam Duffy just e-mailed me to say the load of Growing and Canning Your Own Food has finally arrived from the printer! Just in time for canning season. That’s if folks don’t can year-around, like I do. I just put the canned pork loin in barbecue sauce away in the pantry. I did open one jar just to taste it. Boy, was that a winner!

I’m so tickled that my barbecue pork loin turned out so good.

— Jackie


  1. Sorry to hear about your knees, I have been told nothing can be done for mine. That seems to be all I have heard about everything last year. I am still waiting for your next book, loved the first set. Hawk was a good horse.

  2. Hi Jackie, I sympathize with your knee pain. I was able to get shots in my back and was going to get them in my knees when the pain clinic abruptly closed. Tried two other places and got squirrel-bait people. One told me if I was more active I wouldn’t hurt as much. But said they didn’t do cortisone shots. The other wanted to get rid of all my medicines. Blood pressure, thyroid etc and insisted on drug test. I don’t mind the drug test but they were out of their minds about stopping all the meds. I threw in the towel and refuse to see them. Hoping doctors in Idaho have more sense. I push through the pain to get things done but it’s wearing, very wearing. I’m holding off on a garden, even plants in pots until I can map out sun and shade areas in the yard. I’ve enough food for about 6 months and will add more after the move. I had to get rid of my potting soil. Idaho doesn’t want funguses or soil born diseases imported. I gave it to a neighbor who gardens. When you move to a new state you need to know the restrictions on what you bring in.

  3. I had your canning book several years ago & lost it to a borrower. I would love to have another but the prices I see are over a $100.00. Can’t afford that!!

  4. I think what got my knees in the end was falling off the barn roof several years ago. Thinking back, I’m pretty sure I landed on my feet, then pitched off to the side. Oh well, we play the cards we’re delt.

  5. Glad your knee if feeling better! I am just plugging along down here. We put our pig in a new outside pen today, as well as our emus, and are moving our cows to their second summer pasture. It’s been a very busy few weeks, and I discovered I need to hill my potatoes finally! I got them in so late I was worried they wouldn’t come up, but they did and look great. My onions and carrots need to be weeded so I hope I can get to them this week. I’ve weeded the onions once already, and partially did the carrots as well.

    My tomatoes are throwing a bonanza of flowers up to the heavens, and already many have several small ones coming! I am just so happy they look good. Though, none of them are caged! I am gonna just have to make shift some old steel wire that I think was used as rebar in concrete. I have a big roll, and so I’ll just try and get them all held up. I also have welded wire that’s thinner I might try using too. Just to get some support before the tomatoes take over.

    Are North Georgia Candy Roaster leaves supposed to have a molted look? The leaves are not the same whole green like all the other varsities I have planted.

    A friend of mine found eastern nightshade in her garden. She thought it was a variety of tomato, but asked me first. I’m so glad she did because she had three little boys who love to be in the garden.

    • Several varieties of squash have variegated coloration in their leaves. Nothing to worry about. I’m glad your friend thought to ask you about the nightshade. Her kids would probably have at least sampled the berries. My sister did when she was, like, three. And had a trip to the hospital to have her stomach pumped out. Not fun!

    • Ms. Melissa:
      You will love the flavor of the Candy Roasters, especially after they have cured for a while. Very sweet and flavorful. They store very well. I just wipe mine down with a little Clorox/water on a paper towel, especially on the stem, before storing.
      Dwight at Lively Creek

      • Oh that’s interesting! Does the bleach slow the rot? I got some from a friend last year and we loved them, so I bought seeds from Jackie and Will!

        • Ms. Melissa:
          The farmer I get my squash from said after he lets them sit for a few days after picking them he always wipes them down with a Clorox Wipe to clean them. I have never tried storing them without doing this so I can’t say that they are protected any better. I do know that mine will store for at least four months laying on a piece of cardboard under our bed. I peel them, cut them into cubes, drizzle with olive oil and roast them. Very similar to sweet potato flavor.

          • Oh I love this ide! Thank you! I’ll give it a try and test some with the wipes and some without!

  6. Jackie, the more I hear from you, seeing what all you and Will have to do for subsistence living, I see how unprepared our nation is for self-reliance. We’re so spoiled. I talk about being off-grid, and gardening, but am extremely far from self-reliance. I’m tied to the grocery store and the gas station, and government medicare. Such a sad situation. My kitchen garden isn’t even close to be able to feed us, especially year-round. With difficult, threatening times staring us in the face, it’s said only 3% homesteaders will even make it; that homesteading is really just a fad, not reality. I think the “fad” part is so true. At this point, it’s too late; it’s too late for the true lifestyle. You’ve set a fine example, how to homestead with your many gardens, livestock, preserving, and especially, close community. Truly Blessed!

    • I’m not so sure that homesteading is a fad. True, a lot of people put in some effort toward being more self-reliant, then realize you do have to put in actual work to accomplish it. But there are also a lot of folks who are effectively striving toward that goal. Each of us just has to do what they can; nobody ever really gets there. It’s the striving where we can shine. Doing nothing accomplishes nothing. We are truly blessed in being able to do what we love.

  7. Ice is also helpful after injections, Jackie. Your “better” knee has better nerves at this point than your damaged knee-hence the pain. I am so glad to know your book is becoming available. I share mine with everyone at Church after we show advantages of canning and I never get it back anymore!! This is great news!!

  8. I had bugs in my cabbage and wood chuck and/or bunny eating my green bean tops & lettuce so it hasn’t been the best harvest this year. But my tomatoes are producing like blockbusters. I have from 20 to 30 young tomatoes growing on each plant (30 plants). None are red yet but i don’t think it will be long. I used calcium ? when I planted them and they have taken off. Its supposed to prevent blossom end rot. I haven’t seen any on any of the tomatoes yet.
    So glad your knee pain is under control now. Its hard to take care of a garden when in pain. You are so fortunate to have Charis helping you and learning from you to.

    • I have put lime (calcium) in the trenches where I plant my tomatoes, for the last 3 gardens. I read that the calcium can’t be uptaken by the plant roots unless bound to boron (Borax powdered laundry soap will do). I don’t recall in what amounts or combination, but I’ve been applying the two together anyway, in the tomato trench, then turning the soil over, and later planting tomato plants. Every year it seems to do more good, as fewer tomatoes have the blossom end rot. Evidently many amendments must be in the soil for several months and longer to be usable by plant roots, not just calcium.

    • Where adding calcium to the soil will help tomato plants avoid blossom end rot, it is important to also make sure they are watered steadily. For with spotty watering, the plants cannot take up the calcium. We don’t add calcium below our tomatoes but do make sure they have steady watering available, and we don’t have any troubles with blossom end rot.

  9. Growing and canning your own good. Looks like another book I need to get. When will it be available?

    • The book is available now through Backwoods Home Magazine. Or it will be as soon as Sam Duffy unpacks them from the freight company.

  10. Glad you got help with knees. Out in wa. We have not had hardly any heat .my gardens not doing a hole lot first year garden.rick is busy building our house.

    • Have you moved to Washington, then? Few first-year gardens do much, unfortunately.

  11. Glad u are getting help with your knees! Here in Iowa we are in drought. Been so hot my lettuce and spinach went bitter right quick. The zuks are about done for but trust me-I gave enough to everyone and their brothers so no one is squash deprived here! Lol! I love your canning book and the salsa receipe is a standard of mine! Have followed you since 2006(I think) in Backwoods Home and always amazed at what you get up to!!!

    • We sure keep busy, for sure. I’m so sorry to hear you’re in drought; much of the nation seems to be. Hopefully, it will break soon.

  12. I too had the bug infestation! We need rain badly here. Splitting wood and nearly ready for winter.
    Haying for first crop done for me. Waiting for our tomatoes to ripen-can’t wait! I have and enjoy your books. Hail predicted which I pray misses us.

    • Oh! NO HAIL!!! That’s one of our biggest fears. You can have some of our rain. We really need a dry spell so Will can get after the hay. He’s getting impatient!

  13. Better half has been doing well, knock on wood, with the lubricant injections. He’s *always* been cognizant of the toll physical labor takes/took on his body (starting during his late 20s). And stayed in shape during the off-season (construction) thru now (he’s in his late 60s).
    Dug garlic today and dang if a couple of plants didn’t start a second scape that e-scaped me. Overall can’t complain about the harvest. Zukes and yellow squash providing a steady supply. Tried a new variety of tomato (non-hybrid) – tasty but the fruit are small. While we don’t want humongous slicers, this one is a bit too small (but tasty). The other variety should start turning soon.
    Got a bit of rain tonight, might get some more. Tomorrow is going to be a miserable hot-n-muggy Midwest summer day (it is almost August however). Corn is loving it (tis sweet corn season and field corn is tasseled big time). My area is having normal weather albeit we could use a bit more rain.
    Established cat just can’t bring herself to interact with 2nd rescue but it is getting close – had a “kissy face” yesterday. Rescue 2 will be kitten sized all her life and is even smaller than established cat. Rescue 1 hasn’t realized that Rescue 2 has been in one of his “spots” lol.

Comments are closed.