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

Setting Intentions

January 23rd, 2017

As I’m looking through seed and plant catalogs, I’m thinking about what my intentions are for the garden this coming year. What do I want to accomplish? What can I improve? Where do changes need to be made? What are my goals with and in the garden?
mulching with pulled plants
One thing keeps coming up when I think through things: implementation. As I’ve lived here over the past four summers, I’ve been coming up with ideas and plans in my mind. The edible gardens have been expanded to their full size.  Now it’s time to implement plans for hedges, perennial beds, gravel patios, rock walls, asparagus beds, blueberry hedges, raspberry beds, etc.
The good thing is that these things will all be easier for me to postpone for a year if the need arises (read this post if you’re not sure what I’m talking about). My vegetable growing efforts will be a bit more conservative and my implementation of hardscape and permanent plantings will be my focus. It should go nicely with my shifting schedule. I’m hoping I can get a lot of things checked off my list. One of the benefits of my intentions this year is that it should give my garden better structure and an underlying foundation to build on in the future.

What are your intentions for your garden this year?

Winter Gardening

January 9th, 2017

I’ve been seeing microgreens at the grocery store for quite a few years now, they’re not sprouts, but little seedlings grown in soil. Johnny’s Seeds sells the seed mixes for them along with individual varieties. I purchased a packet last year with hopes of growing them last winter. That didn’t happen, but I did manage to get two flats sowed yesterday.
I have one flat on a heat mat, both are on my light stand ready for the light to go on when the seedlings emerge. I’ve read that these can be ready to harvest in 2-4 weeks, which seems like the perfect length of time. I’ll keep you posted on my efforts to add a homegrown microgreens to my plate during the long, cold winter months here in Maine.

Are you doing any indoor gardening for your plate?

Friday Favorite: The Old Apple Tree

December 23rd, 2016

I strung lights in the old apple tree the first year we moved in, they stay up all year long. In the summer they brighten up the front of the house, in the winter they create a warm glow outside the window on the long, dark winter nights.
While these lights look great all year long, they are especially lovely after a fresh dusting of snow. They perfectly highlight this very old apple tree, it was planted by with the original homestead back in the 1890’s. So it’s most likely around 125 years old.
These are C7 lights, incandescent of course. There are 2-3 strands of old lights, I’m thinking of eventually replacing them with one long strand, since you can order these in strands of varying lengths. I also need to purchase a box of replacement bulbs, I’ve used up all of mine replacing all the burnt out lights this fall. Considering these strands of lights have been gracing my porch and this tree for going on 12 years I think the bulbs lasted pretty well.

Do you have any garden lighting?

Christmas Crafting

December 22nd, 2016

In the winter, I make things, I sew, I embroider, I create. This year I’m making myself an embroidered advent pillow for the living room. It won’t be finished until after the holidays, but it’s a great project to work on during the season. I’ve been carrying this project with me as I travel back and forth to Ohio. It’s the perfect thing to work on while chatting with friends, or while enjoying a lazy Saturday morning.
It’s been fun choosing which details to embellish. After taking this photos I got some metallic thread to add just a touch of sparkle here and there.

Are you making any holiday crafts for your home?

Friday Favorite: Brussels Sprouts

December 9th, 2016

I’ve been trying to grow brussels sprouts for year, they always seem to get eaten by something. This year, I planted them in the front corner of the main edible garden by Tara (our Anatolian Shepherd garden and livestock protector). That seems to have done the trick and my sprouts finally reached maturity.
Brussels sprouts are a favorite vegetable in the winter months and we are happy to have a very large harvest of them to enjoy for the next month or two.
This year I grew two different varieties of sprouts, ‘Diablo’ from Johnny’s Seeds and ‘Long Island Improved’ from Baker Creek. Both varieties did well, the ‘Diablo’ produced taller stalks with larger sprouts, but the sprouts weren’t as tight at the others. I will continue to grow a few varieties, next year I’d like to add a purple for a little variety. Stay tuned, next week I’ll share a favorite recipe for sprouts.

Do you like Brussels Sprouts?

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!


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.