From lows of -5 degrees F just a few nights ago, today’s high is supposed to be in the low 60s! Holy cow, that’s warming even our nights to the high 40s. Yep, the three feet of snow is melting like mad. Luckily, Will had taken the bulldozer out onto our driveway and scraped most of the deep snowpack off of the ground. When deep snowpack melts, it turns to driving on wet cookie dough! Now, even with the extreme melting, it’s still drivable.

I hope you all had a very nice Easter. David sent us some photos of Delilah coloring Easter eggs. Boy, I wish we could have been there to see that. It looked like lots of fun. We do get to have our family get-together next Sunday though. I’m looking forward to that.

It looks like David and Delilah had fun coloring Easter eggs!

Saturday, we drove to Aurora where we gave a long seed and gardening class at the North Hope Church. It was wonderful to see so many folks gung ho to learn and start gardening! And, today, at 6 PM, I do another local class at the Bear River School on seed starting. I do have to watch the long sitting though, as it makes my new knee really ache and swell. It’s much better but I still have to be careful not to over-do it.

Our tomatoes have all sprouted and are moved in the little greenhouses, with our pepper seedlings and are now basking in the warm sunshine of the south-facing windows. Every day I turn the flats around, so the plants don’t get to leaning too far one way. They sure love the sun! I can’t wait until all the snow goes and I can actually WALK in the garden again. Then, there’s the greenhouse to get cleaned up and ready. It won’t be too long before I start to transplant seedlings. Then, they go out into the big greenhouse, where they can get lots of sun on all sides and from above. Less work for me that way.

The tomato seedlings are up and looking good.

I got 15 quarts of chili canned up, along with 7 pints of beans, left over from the chili-making. Just have to get those jars’ rings off and washed up to put in the pantry. Then, I can get to canning up lots of burger so we have room for the new meat.

The beans turned out great, too. Such a shortcut to future meals.

Unfortunately, on Saturday, my computer crashed. Ugh. Today, I took it in to Tech Bytes computer repair to (hopefully) get it fixed. Luckily, Will was able to get my old desktop down and hooked up. So I’m able to use a computer once again. Yea! Happy Spring, everyone! — Jackie


  1. My indoor/indoor thermometer says 83 degrees in lower MI at 5:30 pm. Its been sunny all day for 3 days.
    Checked out my garden this pm and I could plant but our last snow date is middle of May. I’m about 1 hour from Lake Michigan and 1 hour from the Indiana border. I didn’t start any seeds this year so will direct seed what I have.
    I hope you get totally healed so you can do your gardening this summer. I have found out as we get older it takes longer to heal. We had a great Easter and I hope you all did too.

    Ruth Ann

  2. Hello Jackie! I am so impressed with all you are getting done. It’s amazing. I received the seeds I ordered and your pressure canning book. It’s a gift for a friend and she’ll get a kick out of the fact that you autographed it. So thoughtful. She is a beginning canner and I wanted her to have an easy to follow book and yours in the best possible one. Thanks for all the work you put into it! Pyro

    • I’m so happy you’re encouraging another person to begin canning! It’s such a valuable skill that’s really easy to learn. I hope the book gets her enthused!

  3. We are having unusually warm weather here in northeast Missouri. Next week is forecast to be much cooler. The yo yo syndrome. Its great to hear your knee is healing and you are able to get out and do more things. I would love to attend one of your classes. Maybe sometime you could consider doing a webinar for those of us who cannot travel to you. Your seedlings are looking great! I have several bags of beans I need to can up. Maybe next week when it is cooler that will be a good project. Prayers for a blessed week.

    • Thank you for your prayers. Today, it’s 70 degrees F! Wow, I’m shocked. The snow’s going fast and I went out and sat on the four wheeler, just to absorb vitamin D and enjoy the warm sunshine after such a long winter. This weekend, it’s going to be cold again. But that’s spring in northern Minnesota.

  4. 80+ degrees here! Tomorrow high of 52. Mother Nature is either going through the change or she’s bipolar!

    • Our friend, Alisha, says Mom Nature is bipolar! I’m guessing she’s right. Our weather’s been nuts all winter.

  5. All I can say is it feels sooo good to get out and work in the garden. Nothing beats dirt under your fingernails and a healthy dose of fresh air and physical exercise. Got the strawberry patch cleaned up and ready to fertilize. I know I’ll have to buy some plants this year – some aged out and re-doing the protective cage didn’t help (short term that is – better half and I are NOT getting any younger).
    I’ve started to watch my “early” morel areas. Will take a hike to look at my ramps BUT since I had to pluck a tick off my cat in very, very, very early March, I’ll be sure to dress accordingly. And do a tick check once I come inside.
    But patience time as no more planting for at least a month. But there is always something to do while waiting to plant.

    • It’s in the 70’s today and the snow’s going fast. But I can’t even walk to the garden yet; too much snow. This weekend, the temp’s going back down and it may snow again. Oh well, it won’t last long this time of the year. Thank God! We are keeping a watch for ticks. The warmth seems to bring them on.

  6. Oh yes! The melt is amazing. And the sunshine is such a blessing. What is your favorite bean for making your chili? I am a newbie to all things beans.

    • I absolutely love Iroquois (which we’re sold out of). But this time, I’ve used some old kidney beans, just to use them up in a good way.

  7. Happy spring! Enjoy that warm weather. We had over 70 degrees here in Michigan today!

    • Yep, we’re joining you. We had 70’s today too. So weird! Snow’s melting like crazy!!

  8. Dear Jackie,
    So glad you out and about but yes, don’t overdo. It does not pay off in the long run.
    My husband bought a knee brace off the Internet that helps him a whole lot. It was not expensive, and you can buy them at the drug store. That may help during the healing process.
    Love your baby plants! Got to go get my canner out. Strawberries and green pea time.

    • I’ve got three knee braces. Two I got at WalMart and are great. I use them on the bad, non-surgical (so far) knee. The other, I bought online and it really trashed my knee. Oh well, you win some and you lose some. I lost $75!

  9. How generous of you to share your precious time with those who want to learn to grow their own food. We’ve never met, but I can hear your dedication to helping those people in your words and actions. If they listen and learn, you will have taught them to be self sufficient and that is a life long skill. I always admire the way you and Will work so hard, even when it hurts, to do all the things needed to sustain yourselves. Happy Spring and try to take care of yourself in the process.

    • I’m so happy to help folks progress along their own self-reliance path! I believe it’s really vital for everyone to experience more freedom in their lives, not depending on stores or the government to take care of their needs.

  10. It is so wonderful and a relief to hear people are so hungry to get back to the basics and learn how to raise their own food. I accidently left my small greenhouse door open yesterday, this morning found a bird had eaten my little starts of pepper plants. At least didn’t want all my tomato starts! Can’t believe I did that. Back to germinating new pepper plants. So good to hear all yours are wonderfully coming along. So nice to hear about your canning. Yesterday I canned up 18 pints (small portions for the 2 of us) of ground venison, thanks to your cookbook! Regards from far north California

    • Holy cow! A bird! I’ve left my garden gate by the house open while I went in to go to the bathroom and returned to find 2 deer in the garden. Wildlife is so smart!!

  11. It was great to meet you and Will at the Gardening Seminar in Aurora! Thanks for making the trek. Fingers crossed, I can grow carrots better this year thanks to your tips! I hope I can make it up to your place this summer – with a call first of course :).

    I’m enjoying your book Starting Over: Chronicles of a Self Reliant Woman.

    Happy growing and best wishes for fast healing with that new knee!

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