With those ripening crops, I’ve been busy taking out seed to save for our seed business. I always take seed from the earliest and some of the best ones. I also give them a taste, so I don’t save seeds from one that has a so-so flavor. I sure miss our old Labrador, Spencer, at times like this as he was our expert tomato taster. He would actually spit out flavorless tomatoes and give me a dirty look. Both he and I would eat tomatoes all afternoon! Missing him, I got on the four-wheeler and drove to his grave site that Will had dug with the crawler loader, then smoothed the area. I had planted a handful of old flower seeds, knowing they were still viable, and we’d have something beautiful to remember Spencer with. I was surprised to see the area in full bloom. How beautiful!

Spencer’s grave is ablaze with wildflowers I planted.

Our Seneca Sunrise sweet corn now has ripe ears on it, and I am so tempted to snag a few for dinner. But I am withholding temptation as our hybrid corn is nearing ripening. I plant hybrid sweet corn, so I won’t be tempted to save seed from it. For two days now, we’ve been eating wonderful bacon and tomato sandwiches for dinner. And I slice those tomatoes very thick so we can thoroughly enjoy them. Holy cow are they good! I don’t see how folks can stand store tomatoes, with no flavor at all.

Among the tomatoes now ripening in our garden is the pretty paste, Cassidy’s Folly.
Another stunner is Patio King. Perfect for containers or small gardens as it only gets two feet tall.

Javid continues to heal after his surgery. We are now waiting to find a nursing home that can take him, which entails having the ability to find a sand bed, which is necessary to help him heal, developing no new pressure sores. It seems the rental of the bed is very expensive, and many places can’t get one. Insurance reasons, you know.

You don’t have to go to Florida to see flamingos. Okay, so mine are plastic…

My front yard flower bed is pretty and causes many smiles as the pink flamingos “walk” among the petunias, gladiolus, and sunflowers. You don’t often see them in Northern Minnesota. — Jackie


  1. Due to our ongoing drought (this is year 6!), my tomatoes are very small. The big boy tomatoes are the size of a tennis ball or smaller. They do taste wonderful though. My peppers are so far behind that I’m doubtful that I’ll have any ripen. Green beans were so woody due to drought that I didn’t pick a second time instead let them to for seed. Potato crop was very small and so were the potatoes. Only things worthwhile are chard, summer squash, acorn squash and okra. Zucchini is so-so. Sweet potatoes remain a mystery for another month. I’m hoping that we do not have frost before October 1, but our usual first frost is before that.

    Since I can’t afford bacon, I’ve been having egg/tomato sandwiches and just plain tomato sandwiches. I can recall my mother making plain lettuce sandwiches when the first lettuce came in the spring and then doing the same with tomatoes. Fresh from the garden produce really can stand alone!

    I hope you are able to find a sand bed for your son. My f-i-l had one in his final days and said it was amazing.

  2. Looks great. Can you tell me where to find Ruskin tomato seeds? Fell in love with them in Florida, but can not find seeds. Thank you.

    • From what I’ve found is that Ruskin Tomatoes is a growing and packaging business in Florida, which sells tomatoes, not seeds. I can’t find the variety they grow, but it is likely a hybrid so seeds would not be an option unless you spent years reselecting perfect fruits to save seeds from.

  3. Jackie and Will Spencer’s resting place is beautiful! I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you for those beautiful flowers to all re-seed!. Sending loving thoughts abd prayers for Javier and for SOMEONE to have a sand bed available ! Much love and respect to your family.

  4. Spencer’s grave is beautiful! We had to put down our 12 yr. old beagle, Biskit this spring. I couldn’t believe how much we cried about that. Hubby and I would be working side by side on our Etsy Glass Water Prism store (RainbowWhimsyGlass)and just cry on and off for weeks! We also planted flowers and a maple tree for his grave. He’s probably running around in Heaven with Spencer! As for my “garden”, I got three cherry tomatoes so far 😂 We are praying that a place that has a sand bed for your son! We got two more beagles by the way.

    • I sure know what you mean. We’re pretty tough here, but sure went through a period of grief when we lost Spencer. I’m glad you have new furry family members! I’d sure love to get an English Mastiff but Will’s not a fan. He thinks the drooling would be too much.

  5. Back when we were commuting to the homestead weekends we went past a swampy pond near the Richard Highway in Alaska, that some one put pink flamingos on the far edge. We’ve been here permanently for years now and when we go by the brush has grown up to the point you can barely see the pond!

    • But I’ll bet you remember the flamingos when you drive by. I got the flamingo idea when someone put a flamingo in a pond next to the highway between here and town. I always laughed when I passed it and looked for it to pop up, come spring. So, I bought a “pair” for our flower bed!

  6. Your flowers and tomatoes look so good. I miss gardening this year due to health issues. But I have my favorite Amish market to go to!!

    I am so glad to hear that Javin is doing well. I hope you find a home for him soon. All the rules make it so hard to do what is right.

    • Thanks! Javid is still holding in there, in good spirits, although the IV antibiotics are making him sick to his stomach and he’s having a hard time eating. We’re so hoping they can find a nursing home with a sand bed, or able to get one, so he can move on to rehab.

  7. Your tomatoes look soooo good. I buy Holy Land tomatoes from the Amish. They have very few seeds and lots of red “meat”. Have you ever tried growing some of these? They make the best tomato sauce for the winter.
    Spencer’s grave is beautiful. I am sure he is frolicking in spirit with the angels. At least I like to think my past pets are.

    • Yes, I recently discovered Holy Land tomatoes and we’ll sure be growing them next spring. Yep, we’re already deciding on what to grow then!!
      I hope God has a big vegetable garden in Heaven so Spencer can eat veggies all day!

  8. Yay, Spencer….still making us smile! Lovely flowers.
    Good luck as you continue to grow your business and pass the best along to others.


    • Thanks Sandy. Each year we try to pass on only the very best varieties we trial and grow. (Who wants so-so food??? You can buy that at the store!)

  9. What a beautiful garden and a special place for you loved pet. Enjoy the beauty for as long as it lasts. Bette

  10. Ive only picked a handful of cherry tomatoes from the garden so far, and two slug eaten tomatoes. There are tons of green that I can’t wait to ripen. I’ve gotten three banana peppers, but that’s it. The plants are throwing lovely flowers and hopefully soon I’ll have plenty. My beans and peas are flowering as well, so that’s a huge plus!

    My replanted carrots are taking hold giving me hope for a semi decent harvest. As well as my onions and potatoes are looking good. I haven’t looked at my sweet corn in about a week, so I better do that. I noticed some of the popcorn tassels were starting to show, so that’s a good sign!

    I am totally in love with the size and shape of the Turkish paste tomatoes. I have 6-7 plants and they are just big and gorgeous! I have several varieties mislabeled I think, but I love the funny shaped ones. My kids do too, and we’ve had plenty of talks about not picking the green ones.

    So thankful Javid is healing, and hopefully soon you can find somewhere that has a sand bed. I am sure it’s just agony waiting it out.

    And I love the burial for Spencer. My old girl is 14, just turned in the beginning of august, and she’s been doing okay until today she was struggling with the humidity to breath. She has lost weight and just looks disheveled. I love her so much, but I don’t want her to suffer. Tough decisions for sure.

    We had a not so great surprise on Sunday, as our big 170 hp tractor blew it’s clutch, which isn’t even a year old. Come to
    Find out today the fly wheel is bad, causing a malfunction in the clutch and strange wear of the throwout bearing. Just disheartening. But we found a way to laugh it off and try to figure out a way to buy a used IH 806. It is only 105 hp, but it would get us by with our IH 856, and 180 Massy. It’s never uneventful around here, but we are making the best of it. The kids and I raked hay and baled for many hours today in the heat. It is a fun thing, and the kids love making hay for the moo cows.

    I’m glad you’re feeling in better spirits, and I hope things keep going up from here.

    • I love the Turkish Paste tomatoes too. Mine are just ripening and I can’t wait to turn a bunch into sauce and salsa. Last year, I made the BEST salsa with some!
      Ain’t farming fun??? Will says if you don’t break something, you aren’t working hard enough. It does seem that way, doesn’t it??
      I’m sorry your old girl is having trouble. It’s so very hard to watch them struggle as they get toward the end.

  11. We’ve gorged on bacon and tomato sandwiches too. As it always seems, we had a bunch ripen and are now waiting for the next bunch. I’m with you – store bought ones are tasteless.
    My paste tomatoes are ripening at a nice pace too. Zuke plants don’t look good but are still kicking out them out, thankfully a few at a time. Been a good year for sweet corn (which we don’t grow). Growers (aka local farms) did a good job spacing out planting so it is available later than usual this year. I won’t eat anything but local corn. Like store bought tomatoes, FL corn tastes awful. Better half telss me one grocery store sell sweet corn already shucked – really?
    And of course, already thinking about next years garden lol.

    • Yep, I just can’t figure out why people would want to buy shucked sweet corn. It sure loses sweetness and flavor, not to mention tenderness so fast that way.

Comments are closed.