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Swedish Community Garden day 1

October 24th, 2016

While Mr Chiots and I were driving to the Lacko Slott Castle , we passed a wonderful community garden and remembered to stop and stroll through on our way back to the highway. It was quite an amazing space, they were some plots that were simply gardens and some had beautiful little cottages on them. There were so many wonderful spaces, too many for one blog post, so I’ll break it into a few.
Check back tomorrow for more of this lovely community garden in Sweden.

Swedish Views

October 21st, 2016

While Mr Chiots and I were in Sweden last month, we did a decent amount of driving (we put 600 miles on our new Volvo). We really enjoyed driving through the countryside, seeing the fields of potatoes, the stands of willow, and the farms dotting the landscape. We noticed the houses are all one of three or four colors and they all had beautiful tile roofs.
We noticed most people were flying Swedish flags and almost everyone had at least one apple tree in their yard. It was quite lovely to see the gardens and hedges and how simple and beautiful they were.

It’s a Race

October 20th, 2016

This time of year it’s always a race to get all the chores finished up that still need warm weather. We have been working on replacing our screen door and painting our little entryway. Since the new storm door was a special order, it set our project back by a few weeks. Then came all my traveling and we were behind another few weeks. Now it’s a race to get things painted, caulked, and trimmed out before the weather turns cold. Overall it’s coming right along, most of the painting was completed weeks ago. This is what it looked like before:
I didn’t want to paint around all the nails in the ceiling, so I simply added corrugated metal roofing cut to size to cover it all up.
We painted the walls white and the floor, trim, and doors black. Two new doors were installed, a full glass storm door and a full glass entry door (which was being painted when I took these photos. I purchased a new mat that says “Welcome” and overall it’s HUGE improvement over what was there. Now the entry is clean, bright, and welcoming. Since we go through this space many times each day we decided it was worth the time and money to give it a bit of a facelift.
There are lots of garden chores that need finished up as well, but they can be done after the weather turns cold. Having doors off the house isn’t really a great idea when the days are only in the 40’s. So I can now check this off my list and move on to things like painting the kitchen ceiling, which is the last warm weather needed chore to finish this year.

What are you trying to get finished up before the cold weather hits?

Composting in Situ

October 18th, 2016

Earlier this summer I talked about my experiments with composting in place in the garden. Since they were such a great success, I decided to continue using this method since it saves tons of time. As I’ve been cleaning out the main garden I have been building giant compost piles at the lower end of the garden. This area is much lower than the rest of the garden and the soil needs to be built up about a foot or 18 inches to help level the garden a bit. Eventually, there will be large rocks put in place here to hold back the soil and improve water runoff issues in the garden.
Instead of hauling in topsoil, I decided it was easiest to take the patient way and simply start building up this lower end of the garden with compost. I now have a rather large compost pile that is growing larger and longer by the day. At the moment it’s about four feet wide, three feet tall, and fifteen feet long. Eventually it will span the entire length of the garden at seventy feet. Next year I will plant pumpkins and squashes on these pile to help compost them down even more, then they will be raked out a bit and more will be built here if the soil level needs to be increased. I love this method because I don’t have to turn and maintain compost piles and I don’t have to bring in soil from elsewhere to increase the level. Overall, it’s a win/win because it saves me tons of time and labor.

What time/labor saving methods have you discovered recently?

More Tomato Soup

October 17th, 2016

I spent some time this past weekend canning more tomato soup, it’s one of our favorite things to have for quick meal. It’s about the only thing I can nowadays (everything else goes into the freezer). Last year, I labeled my tomato “Tomato Soup 15” which I noticed looked like it said “Tomato Soup IS”. That become the joke and we all started calling it that. (here’s my blog post with the recipe)
When I made soup this year I couldn’t bring myself to change the name, so I decided each year it would be something, this year it’s a heart. Tomato soup is LOVE in 2016, next year it will be something else.
This year I managed to tuck 50 pints of tomato soup in the panty, that’s almost once a week that we can enjoy this delicious treat. It’s such a nice feeling knowing that I have a few instant meals in the pantry and they are healthy and homegrown, you can’t beat that!

What’s your favorite quick meal when you’re busy?

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but just recently moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine.