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Lovely Alyssum

July 2nd, 2015

Ever since I was a wee little lass, I’ve loved alyssum. It’s always had a spot in my garden and it always will. There’s something about this little flower that I adore, it’s perfect in just about every way. Generally I buy my plants at a the local greenhouse since I’ve never had much luck starting it from seed. That never stops my from trying, each year I buy a pack of seed and give it another try.
This is ‘Gulf Winds’ alyssum from Renee’s Garden and I’m a huge fan of the color mix. Usually I buy plain white, but this mix is perfection. Last night I transplanted them around the garden, filling in holes where I harvested lettuce or where other plants died. I’ll definitely be trying this variety once again next year.

Have you had an annual that you’ve loved for your entire life? Do you still grow it in the garden? 

Must Get More Peonies

July 1st, 2015

I love peonies, simply love them. In my Ohio garden I have 15-20 different varieties of peonies and they produced quite a show in the early summer. Last year I purchased two new peonies for my garden here, but I’m definitely in need of a few more.
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I brought a couple of these beauties with me and I still need to get a start of my grandma’s heirloom peony from my mom. I’m slowly adding peonies to my garden once again, I can’t wait to have them dotting the flowerbeds. ‘Sarah Bernhardt’ is definitely one of my favorites, I got one for this garden last year.

Do you have any peonies in your garden?

Seasonal Eating

June 30th, 2015

One of the things I love about having an edible garden is the changes in our diet throughout the season. Spring dinner plates are filled with salads of leafy greens. When the weather turns hot and dry, the lettuce starts to bolt and get bitter. There’s never a lack of green on our plates, just as the lettuce is going by, the other summer vegetables are coming into full swing.
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There are just a few spears of asparagus left to pair with garlic scapes, sugar snap peas, broccoli, summer squash and other vegetables. Stir fries become our main meals, filled with whatever is ready to harvest and paired with some kind of meat from the freezer, or local seafood. Here’s my recipe for Ginger Beef Stir Fry if you’re interested.
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Having a vegetable garden, not matter how small, is a great way to get in touch with seasonal eating. You learn how good vegetables can be when harvested at the height of their maturity and eaten straight away. Vegetables at the grocery store don’t even compare to the ones you get from your own garden.
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As much as I love salad, I’m excited to move on to summer vegetables. Broccoli and sugar snap peas are probably my favorites.

What are you harvesting from your garden this week?

Growth Spurt

June 29th, 2015

Every year I know it’s going to happen and yet I am amazed as I see it unfold before my eyes. In April and May, the garden growth slowly, at what seems like a snail’s pace. Then, almost overnight, everything is big, lush, blooming, going to seed, and buzzing with life.
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The difference between the photos below is a month, only a month. When you think about how slowly things grow from March to April, then from April to May, there isn’t even as much growth during that time as there is in two weeks of June.
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The lovely thing about Maine is that we actually have shoulder season when things grow a little more slowly. It’s a nice time to enjoy gardening at a bit of a slower pace for a short time. In Ohio the garden burst forth almost overnight.
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If you miss a few days in the garden during June, July, and August, you miss so much. I went away for six days and came back to a completely different garden. That’s the beauty of the garden in summer, there’s always something new, always drastic change, look away and you’ll miss it. Tending a garden means almost daily care, but it’s not drudgery because there is so much happening on a daily basis.

When do you notice the most drastic changes in the garden during the growing season?

Friday Favorite: Broody Mamas

June 26th, 2015

I’ve posted on the Facebook page about the turkeys poults, but I haven’t posted about them here yet. We have turkey cutlets!!!!!!!
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Of course they all hatched while I was in Philadelphia, but Mr Chiots sent a long a few pictures for me. Miss Turkey has them out and about, teaching them the free range ropes. We sat on 15 eggs, 12 hatched, 1 poult got outside the pen one day and didn’t make it, and another disappeared on day while they were out and about. It’s amazing that ten have survived two weeks already.
Turkey hen with poults
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I can’t wait to see what they all look like when they’re bigger. There are light ones, dark ones, and caramel colored ones. Mom is a Wishard Bronze, dad is a Bourbon, so they’re a barnyard mix.

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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.