Holy cow, it seems like every day is busier than the last. We’ve even had some friends out to help with the harvest, but it seems like there just aren’t enough hours in a day. Right now, Will’s in the living room, shucking the previously bagged ears of the super-sweet, sweet corn, Damaun. Yesterday, I way over-did it and boy did my knees get awful sore. Aspirin did nothing and I ended up taking a pain pill. Ugh! Both legs were swollen, and ice didn’t even help. Today, I tied up one rope of Damaun corn to dry and crashed. I mean I went to bed! Me, who hardly ever takes a nap. But it ended up a good thing as my knees are still sore, but not so swollen. I think they were telling me something…

Our friend, Dara, came over a few days ago and we picked all of the Canada Crookneck squash, Olinka naked seeded pumpkin, and Lakota squash. It was all huge this year! Some went in the living room to store over winter and a lot went in the greenhouse to store in case of another freeze. Then, on Sunday, our friends from the Watering Can greenhouse in Cook came out to pick pumpkins. I ran the Kubota around, letting folks pile them in the bucket of the tractor while everyone else picked. We sure had fun, especially loading some of those 100-pound Big Max pumpkins! Our Atlantic Giant pumpkins are even bigger, down in the Main Garden. What a great squash/pumpkin year even though our peppers and beans were only so-so.

Our friend, Dara, was also amazed at the size of our Canada Crookneck squash this year.
These Atlantic Giants weigh well over 100 pounds. That’s a LOT of pumpkin!

I canned up two batches of sweet corn, one on Sunday, the next on Monday, plus harvesting and seeding out tomatoes. A lot of walking. Gee, I wonder why my knees gave out… One of our new tomatoes is Girl Girl’s Weird Thing. We wondered about the name. Until I turned one over to discover two “ahem” bumps on each tomato! Will and I couldn’t stop laughing. Maybe that’s where they got that name!

What do you think about these weird tomatoes?

— Jackie


  1. Volunteer trees – the bane of perennial gardens when you live on a wooded lot. Have a very small area left to “clear” (thankfully timely rain so I could get all but a couple fully out). Lesson learned is to make darn sure you dig them out when they first sprout (which is easier said than done when family issues take priority).
    One of the two perennial gardens wasn’t bad “tree wise” nor weed wise truth be told. I like to do a good weeding when fall comes. I have no control over what weeds come up next year but I can as heck do my best to prevent more weed seeds.
    More future firewood coming our way courtesy of neighbors – one is going to deliver to our house. Thankfully we have plenty of space to store it (needs to season has its own area). While I enjoy summer (sans mega heat that is), there is just something about fall. It used to be back to school but now it is final harvest/winter prep. IMHO, society would be a lot better off if we all just enjoyed the simple pleasures of life (which do involve some work which none of us should mind).

    • Yep, we get volunteer trees too. Especially poplar trees. Right now, we have several in our asparagus bed. Ugh! I’ll cut them off soon as I can’t dig them in there. I’ve found when I keep cutting them, they eventually give up the ghost. I like to do fall weeding too, but this year it’s not going to happen. Not enough “Jackie” to go around.
      Harvest time is one of my favorite times, although between that and other “get ready for winter” projects, it does get hectic.

  2. ouch! defiantly don’t want my old knees to quit. sounds from all the comments, yes surgery is better but recovery/life will not be the same. you all take care! am storing up all the helpful info(cause we all know knees give out even if you dont want them too) really got frosted !! we only down to 38 so far.

    • Yes, surgery is better but I’ll sure be glad when my knee heals up some more! Hey, 38 degrees isn’t so bad!!

  3. My mom is almost three years out from her knee surgeries. I think she’d say that both knees are finally stable/reliable, but neither has the mobility they once did and both of them hurt her plenty. She can do stairs in both up and down but avoids them when possible; she always uses a railing, someone’s arm, or a cane when stepping down. Getting old is DEFINITELY not for wimps! I want my 18-year-old body, 25-year-old brain, and 52-year-old insight. Is that really so much to ask?

  4. I know what you mean about pain issues. My back fusion from twelve years ago has left me with nerve pain issues that affect sleep and make me fairly slow moving. I’m lucky to dig two fifty foot rows of potatoes in a day if some one pulls the tops for me and get them sorted and bagged. The number of rainy days hasn’t helped, hopefully two rows today and two tomorrow and finished. Then trying to get some more wood in the shed. I usually have the shed full before gardening starts but last winter was so snowy that I couldn’t buy eight foot logs that I can process while waiting for it to dry out in the spring. Oh well I complain too much but the weather sure hasn’t cooperated this year. Good luck getting in your harvest you guys sure have lots more to do than us.

    • The weather has definitely been difficult this year. We, too, had record snowfall, then heat and drought. Gee whiz! I don’t think I could do two 50′ rows of potatoes in a day; more like 25′ at a time. But even slow gets her done. Hopefully!!

  5. I had my knee replaced 3 yrs ago. It still gets sore and stiff once in awhile but I’ll trade that for the pain I was in before the surgery. Kneeling and squatting for sure take a long time to get to, I’m fortunate that I can do it fairly well now. Everyone is different in how they recover. Just take it one day at a time, you’ll get there!

    • Thanks for the information. I have to laugh. My surgeon told me to exercise it more. Ha ha ha!! He should follow me around every day. Miles!! Gee, I wonder why it hurts??? I’m sure it will improve. I’m just impatient.

  6. I was able to can the little potatoes i grew this year. I’m waiting for the next batch to cure and I will do the rest. Some were pretty good size! This is the first time I’ve grown potatoes.
    I’m 2 years out on my knee replacement and it still gets painful. I can do just about everything including kneeling but I had to work on that a little at a time.

    • Thanks for letting me know about your experience. That really helps my mental outlook! I get so impatient to be “normal” again.

  7. Have you thought about checking out curcumin for helping with the pain and inflammation?
    Or Relief Factor? They have a three week trial packet for about $20.
    Their website lists the contents of their supplements, in case you want to make sure it’s right for you.
    I am not affiliated with them at all, but hate to see you in pain.
    God bless and heal you!

    • Yep, I’m taking that and glucosamine/chondroitin with MSM too. Plus the turmeric I take for my diverticulitis. I’ll check out Relief Factor. Thanks!!

  8. I’m 23 mos out on my 1st replacement & 18 mos on the 2nd. Steps are tough, no squatting, & the pain is nonstop. Some days are better than others but I can get through my regular day without issues but with lots of rests. Gardening has been taken over completely by my husband – knees & back just can’t do it. I am still doing all of the preserving & household work. Toughest thing I’ve been through in my whole life. Getting older is not for woosies!!!

    • That’s for sure Rebecca! I’m encouraged to hear your experience as I thought I might just be a big baby, even though my knees swell down to the feet to show me it’s NOT all in my head.

  9. OH NO’s Jackie – Girl Girl’s Weird Thing are WOKE tomatoes LOL LOL.. Good thing you are in MN not some other states – the seeds might be banned!
    Better half has had numerous surgeries and rehabbed/recovered well. But the knee replacement rehab/recovery is different story and is why the wait (plus hoping a different “fix” is discovered). Any posters who’ve had knee replacement, please share your experience when it comes to squatting.
    Looks like we won’t be planting garlic for at least another week. Got three inches of rain the past few days. Too bad it wasn’t sooner and I hope the rain doesn’t muck up the harvest/force farmers to dry corn. Upside is we got the annual garden broke down and first tilling. I’ll weed the perennials soon – neither patch is too bad but not having to water to weed is a good thing.
    When you get past harvest season, we need some pics of Buffy, Mittens, and the canines (I am a cat person but animal lover).
    Glad your “circle” is there to help. If I lived closer, I’d stop by to give you a hand. Sad to say too many skills and too much knowledge is at risk to be lost. Glad to say our kiddos and their partners are pretty self-sufficient.

    • That’s always a good thing, isn’t it? I’m thinking squating or kneeling is way, way far out from the way this is going. Of course, maybe if I didn’t push it so much, it wouldn’t hurt so much, huh?
      I’ll get you some cat/dog pictures soon. Don’t want you to go into withdrawal.

  10. Hi Jackie, Have you tried maybe soaking in a tub of warm water with Epson Salt? Works wonders with the aches and pains for me.

  11. It’s good to hear from you Janice. I was thinking I was such a baby about the pain in my knee. Now I feel much better, knowing I’m not alone. I can go up stairs, one at a time, pretty well, but not so well, down. I’m still using the two-steps for each step down I take.

  12. Hi Jackie. You’re only a few weeks ahead of me with your knee replacement. I don’t know how you do everything you do, I know I couldn’t. This knee replacement surgery has been the most difficult thing I’ve ever had to deal with. Pain beyond belief. It is getting better but man 71/2 months in and I still can’t go down stairs without a lot of pain!!. Everyone says it takes a year, well roll on February. Hope you can get more rest and more help.

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