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Why Not?

October 31st, 2013

I was out working in the garden yesterday and noticed my Johnny Jump Ups are still blooming like mad, their last hurrah before the snow starts to fly. While harvesting greens for our salad, I decided to pick some lovely blooms as well. Why not? Salads should be beautiful and tasty.
Johnny jump up salad 1
Johnny jump up salad 2
Johnny jump up salad 3
I also think that the flowers are healthy and add their own vitamins and minerals. I know violet are high in vitamin C. I love adding flowers to my salad, I think the splash of color really adds a lot.

Do you ever add edible flowers to salads? Which is your favorite?

A Sunny Afternoon

October 30th, 2013

Yesterday afternoon was a lovely time in the garden. The night before it was cold, down in the mid 20’s – BRRRR. The chicken water was frozen and I needed a hat and boots to stay warm during my morning chores. That afternoon it was very pleasant, around 50 degrees and sunny, the perfect day for planting garlic.
Planting Garlic 3
Planting Garlic 5
The Sweets though so too, she was out helping me plant garlic all afternoon. She rubbed on my legs, stole cloves of garlic to bat around and searched for moles and voles.
Planting Garlic 2
I soaked the garlic overnight in liquid kelp, drained it and let it sit overnight again. It was raining on Monday when I planned on planting it. When I started placing the closed in the ground I was amazed to see that they were all developing roots, exactly why soaking in kelp is a good idea. It gets them off to a strong start right away, these guys will have a strong set of roots to get them through winter.
Planting Garlic 4
Loads of garlic went in the ground. I planted 8 different varieties and ended up with three 55 foot long rows of garlic.
Planting Garlic 1
This year I also saved all the small cloves and planted them close together, next spring/early summer I’ll harvest them as garlic scallions. I’m not sure where I heard about this, but I thought it was a great idea.

Are you planting garlic this year?

Hunkered Down

October 29th, 2013

On Sunday morning, we had a few hawk attempts on our chicken flocks. Unfortunately we lost one of our barred hens, but the rest managed to hunker down enough. We had one hawk go after our small flock of layers from our meat chicken flock. They were living under the apple tree in the front yard waiting to be integrated into the main flock. We lost this poor little chicken to what I think was a Cooper’s Hawk.
chickens in apple tree 3
That same morning I scared another hawk off of the top of the chicken coop thanks to the guineas letting me know that something wasn’t right. The chickens were in the coop, but the guineas were still out and about. That same hawk was back on 5 minutes later trying to nab a guinea in the woods. Luckily, guineas are fast on their feet and they were in a fairly brushy are of the woods. After that, everyone went inside the chicken run and coop and spent the day hunkered down behind chicken wire and hardware cloth.
hunkered down 1
hunkered down 2
The rest of that day they stayed inside. Yesterday we also had a hawk flying over, thankfully, the guineas once again let us know. The chickens are all on high alert, spending most of their day in the thick underbrush by their coop. We frequently have eagles flying over, but this is our first time spotting hawks.

What birds of prey do you have flying over your garden? Do you have issues with them eyeing any of your pets or livestock?

Cultivate Simple 51: Get a Job

October 28th, 2013

In this episode we discuss jobs, the jobs we had as kids, the jobs we did in college, the jobs we have done in our adult lives.

One of our favorite recipes is Ginger Beef Stir Fry, you can use any vegetables you have on hand and make it seasonal.
Curling 14

Quote of the Day: Laura Ingals Wilder

October 27th, 2013

In the mornings they ran through the dewy chill grass that wet their feet and dabbled the hems of their dresses. They liked to watch the sun rise over the edge of the world.

First everything was gray and still. The sky was gray, the grass was gray with dew, the light was gray and the wind held its breath.

Then sharp streaks of green came into the eastern sky. If there was a little cloud, it turned pink. Laura and Mary sat on the damp, cold rock hugging their chilly legs. They rest their chins on their knees and watched, and in the grass below Jack sat, watching too. But they never could see when the sky first began to be pink.

They sky was very faintly pink, then it was pinker. The color went higher up the sky. It grew brighter and deeper. It blazed like fire, and suddenly the little cloud was glittering gold. In the center of the blazing color, on the flat edge of the earth, a tiny sliver of sun appeared. It was a short streak of white fire, Suddenly the whole sun bounded up, round and huge, far bigger than the ordinary sun and throbbing with so much light that it’s roundness almost burst.

-Laura Ingals Wilder (On the Banks of Plum Creek (Little House))

This time of the year I start to notice the sunrises more and more. Perhaps it’s because they’re a littler later and I see them more often. Maybe it’s the fact that the leaves are falling off the trees and I can actually see them.  This is the view from my upstairs window.
sunrise (1)
Regardless, I’m loving the sunrises these days. There’s no better way to start the day than by watching the sun rise!

Do you get to enjoy the sunrise from your house?

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About

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 moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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