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Do You See What I See?

June 30th, 2009

Tomato_turning_red
Need I say anything today?

Worms in the Garden = Good Soil Health

June 29th, 2009

When we bought our house and first started gardening we didn’t see any worms. That was our first clue that the previous owners had used too many chemical pesticides and fertilizers. We weren’t really in to gardening the first 3-4 years but we always added good mulch and manure to the garden beds, because we knew it was good for the soil. Seven years later we’re starting to finally reap the rewards of our efforts.
worm_in_hand
I’ve been working in the front flowerbeds and every time I dig I find worms, which means my soil is much healthier (at least in the parts of the garden I’ve been working on for 7 years). Worms are so important to the health and vitality of your soil. They help increase the amounts of air and water in the soil, they help with the decomposition of organic matter and they leave behind fertilizer in the form of castings. They’re kind of like little tillers in your garden. I’m super happy to be seeing them in such quantity.

What about you, are you happy to have worms in the garden? Or do you have lots of work to do to get them to move in?

Baby Cucumbers on the Vine

June 28th, 2009

This is my first year for growing cucumbers, mostly because I don’t particularly like eating cucumbers. I do however like pickles, so I decided to grow cucumbers to make pickles. I chose Boston Pickling Cucumbers from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds. They’re described as: an old heirloom dating back to 1880, vigorous vines give large yields of smooth green fruit. It is excellent for pickles, very crisp and good quality. A very popular variety at the turn of the century.
baby_cucumber
I love the tiny little cukes that are at the base of the female flowers, of course these won’t become cucumbers unless they’re pollinated. I’m looking forward to a good harvest to make pickles. I don’t have a favorite pickle recipe since I’ve never really made them (only zucchini cucumbers), so I’m looking for one of those. I have dill growing in the front garden for the pickles, and I’ll be using some of my homegrown garlic as well.

Anyone have a great pickle recipes?

Scrubbing Up

June 27th, 2009

Now that Mr Chiots and I are in our busy season for our business (if you don’t know what we do check out 2nd Mile Productions). Since we’re going to weddings most weekends I have to look professional and presentable, that means no dirty gardening fingers.
Soap_by_sink
So, on Friday evenings I take some time to scrub up my hands to get all that dirt out from under my fingernails. I don’t have one of those nail brushes, I just use an old toothbrush and a bar of all-natural non-toxic gardener’s soap I got at the farmer’s market. I also use some baking soda to get rid of the dry patches on my hands from so much hand-washing during the week and I finish with some good non-toxic lotion (and occasionally a few drops of olive oil).

Do you have any trip & tricks for cleaning up your hands from all those gardening chores?

A New Favorite: Lamb’s Ears

June 26th, 2009

I have a new favorite plant – Lamb’s Ears. I bought this plant last year and put it in the front flowerbed. I love the color it adds and the texture as well. It’s so intriguing the way it grows so tall to bloom.
Lamb's Ears
The gray color really brightens up the front of the garden bed it’s in. It also helps tie in the gray color from the cabbage that’s in another part of the flowerbed. I liked it so much I bought 3 more plants this spring.

What plants do you like to color & texture to the garden?

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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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