Cultivate Simple Podcast in iTunes Chiot's Run on Facebook Chiot's Run on Twitter Chiot's Run on Pinterest Chiot's Run on Flickr RSS Feed StumbleUpon


October 19th, 2014

Last night I was down eating dinner at the neighbor’s house and a thunderstorm moved through. All of a sudden lighting struck and a spark came out of the outlet in the kitchen. Then there was no internet. After looking around the next morning they seem to think it hit a big tree and the little one room schoolhouse a little ways down the road. But that means there is no internet, so no blog posts, no photos. I’m down at the local elementary school with our neighbor BJ getting a little work done. Not sure when it will come back on, stay tuned, I’ll be back to blogging like normal when it does. At least we still have electricity!

In Print

October 18th, 2014

I sell photos to print magazines all the time along with writing a lot of articles for digital sources. While I was in Seattle I received my copies of Northern Gardener Magazine which contained an article I wrote and provided photos for.
magazine article 1
It’s rather nice to receive a paper copy of a magazine with your name it in, even though I sell articles for online sources it’s just not quite the same as seeing your name in print.
magazine article 2
This article about something I’m very passionate about: Micronutrients! If you’re interested in a great magazine about cold climate gardening check out Northern Gardener Magazine (it’s published by the Minnesota State Horticultural Society).
northern gardener magazine cover
If you subscribe you’ll notice my photos in it every so often, one of my photos even graced the cover once.

Do you have a favorite gardening magazine?

Friday Favorite: Fall Color

October 17th, 2014

Every fall I am reminded of this quote:

“Mostly what’s on my mind right now are the falls colors. I go around gaping, as if I have never seen anything like it before. Perhaps I haven’t, I’m never quite sure. I could see this display every year and not grow tired of it, like seeing the flight of geese, or hearing the bird songs in spring. I remember, and that might reduce the amazement. But I don’t remember the edge–the vividness of the spectacle.”

Bernd Heinrich (A Year In The Maine Woods)

fall leaves
fall 1
walden pond 2
I never tire of the beauty this time of year, the leaf change is one of the most remarkable things during the year. It happens at the perfect time, otherwise autumn would be a very depressing time. It won’t be long until everything is brown, but until them I’ll be soaking in all the beautiful colors as much as I can. There are lots of things to love about fall, cooler temperatures, root vegetables, winter squash, etc. What I love most is the exuberance of the leaf change, I know it’s coming every year and it still takes me by surprise, like the grand finale of a fireworks show!

What’s your favorite things about fall?

Hacking Away

October 16th, 2014

Yesterday I had some serious sinus issues going on from chopping leaves, mold will do that to you sometimes. I suppose I should really wear a mask, but then I probably wouldn’t do it, so… Anyways, since my throat was burning I didn’t want to add insult to injury and make leaf mulch again, so I tackled another much needed garden chore – hacking away the GINORMOUS burning bush that covers up the window in the kitchen.
shrub 1
This shrub is a menace – literally. Burning bushes are invasive and should be removed. If you think it isn’t a problem because you don’t see any seedling in your yard don’t be fooled, birds carry the berries far and wide. Here’s a great article about the invasiveness of this thug. This beast by the house grew like crazy because the chickens love to hang out under it, thus giving it huge doses of nitrogen. It grew about four feet this summer – craziness.
shrub (1)
I spent about fifteen minutes hacking it and hauling off the branches. We’ll get out the tractor and pull the stump. Now there’s a ton of sunlight streaming in my window in the kitchen, so much better than an invasive bush. Sure, burning bushes are pretty in the fall, but not pretty enough. A blueberry bush can be just as pretty if pruned properly and you can provide berries for yourself and the birds.
shrub 2
Back in Ohio we dealt with a lot of invasive plants on our property, we worked on getting rid of one plant the entire 10 years we lived there. Here in Maine we’re lucky that this shrub is the only one. It’s always nice to get rid of invasive plants, there’s no point in risking reducing natural habitat for beauty, especially when you can find better options.

Do you have any invasives growing on your property?

Calming Chores

October 15th, 2014

‘Tis the season for mulch making once again. When the beautiful fall leaves flutter down from their places up high I get out my trusty push mower and start making mulch. It’s a calming chore, something that goes on and one but the mindless of it allows me the time to think. I mow and empty, mow and empty, mow and empty, then I push my wheelbarrow to the place in the garden I’m covering with mulch.
It’s a chore I absolutely love this time of year, it’s time consuming, but it’s rewarding. Not only do you get to see the results of your efforts this fall with beautifully mulched garden areas, but come spring there will be virtually no weeds anywhere. That allows me to spend my spring starting seeds and planting seedlings. It’s also nice to spend as many days in the garden as possible before the snow flies. I also use chopped leaves in my various coops, the chickens/ducks LOVE them and it saves me purchasing litter at the feed store.

Do you use fall leaves as mulch in the garden? 

Also Find Me At
Reading & Watching

Shop through these links and I get a few cents each time. It's not much, but it allows me to buy a new cookbook or new gardening book every couple months. I appreciate your support!

Tropical Traditions

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.