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Morning Dew

June 30th, 2008

I always enjoy walking around the gardens in the morning while the dew is still on the plants. Last week I snapped some photos of dew on a few flowers. This is Snow Crystals Sweet Alyssum, it’s less that 2 inches tall (it would be a bit taller, but I often find the Chiots laying on it).

Lady’s Mantle is one of my favorite plants, last year I ordered some seeds from Richters in Canada and set out to start my own. I only got 3 plants out of it, but I love them. It’s so much more satisfying when you can start your own plants from seeds. The plants are still small, but they’re doing beautifully this year.

I’m hoping next year they’ll start seeding down around the gardens. One of the great things about Lady’s Mantle is the soft fuzzy leaves and the way the leaves hold dew in the morning. Just beautiful. CAUTION, you may want your own Lady’s Mantle after you see these photos!

This is one of the small inner leaves that is just beginning to unfurl.

Rain, Rain Go Away

June 29th, 2008

We’ve been getting rain every evening here in Northeastern Ohio. Not just light rains, thunderstorms that dump several inches of rain with golf ball sized hail.

It makes working outside a little difficult. The poor chiots can’t get outside to run around, at least we have this door that she can look out of.

New Documentary

June 29th, 2008

Mr. Chiots and I LOVE documentaries, we are videographers by trade (2nd Mile Productions is our company). We really enjoyed King Cornand In the Shadow of the Moon.I just read on Path to Freedom’s blog today that there is going to be a documentary made about urban homesteading called Homegrown. Looks like one that Mr. Chiots and I are sure to love.


Watch the trailer.

HOMEGROWN follows the Dervaes family who run a small organic farm in the heart of urban Pasadena, California. While “living off the grid”, they harvest over 6,000 pounds of produce on less than a quarter of an acre, make their own bio diesel, power their computers with the help of solar panels, and maintain a website that gets 4,000 hits a day. The film is an intimate human portrait of what it’s like to live like “Little House on the Prairie” in the 21st Century.

Great Gardening Book: Four-Season Harvest

June 28th, 2008

I’ve been slowly reading through Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long. I’ve always wanted to put in a cold frame to grow some spinach & other greens through the winter, and this book helps explain the intricacies of winter gardening. Eliot goes into great detail about which winter crops to grow in the northern climates. He includes a lot of information about specific cultivars of plants and their favored growing conditions. I’m interested to see what I can grow this winter. I’m not going to install a greenhouse quite yet, but I am going to build a cold-frame. MMM, I can almost taste the sweet carrots & spinach already. If you’re interested in growing things throughout the winter give this book a read. Even if you don’t want to participate in winter gardening, it’s a great resource for types of heirloom plants and their best growing conditions.

Victory Gardens

June 27th, 2008

I always enjoy hearing about Victory Gardens from times gone by. It’s fascinating to think that our government and the governments of Canada and Great Britain encouraged people to grow their own food to help with the war effort during WWI. During that time, nearly 20 million Americans planted Victory Gardens. These gardens produced 40 percent of all the vegetable produce consumed nationally. I wonder if the citizens of today would rise to that challenge should it be put forth?

I’ve always enjoyed eating healthfully and thus started growing some of my own food because it’s so much healthier than what you buy at the grocery store. I guess that means I have my very own Victory or Freedom garden (as they’re also called). Freedom from what? I suppose pesticides and homogenized produce. It’s nice to know that I don’t have to buy a no name tomato at the grocery store, I can have Amish Paste, Black Krim, Brandywine, or whatever heirloom I want to grow. It’s also liberating to take responsibility and to be a better participant in society and world, I grow some of my own food because it’s better for me and for the world I live in.

I recently joined the Freedom Gardens of the World. I love the idea, while I don’t grow all of my own food, and probably never will, I do try to grow some of my own and buy as local as possible.

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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.

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