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Friday Favorite: Repurposing

April 29th, 2016

I’m a big fan of reusing and repurposing items. I like being able to invest a little bit of time while making something new from something that would be discarded or recycled. Mr Chiots and I have been roasting our own coffee for many years (see here for more about that), it comes in 20lb in cloth bags. When we use up a bag I turn it into a coffee sack towel for the kitchen.
coffee sack towels 1
I love that we produce much less waste by purchasing coffee this way. We go through about 3 pounds of coffee a week, so we get a 20 lb bag every 8 months or so.
coffee sack towels 2
Our green coffee beans come from Sweet Maria’s, which is a fantastic resource if you’re wanting to get into coffee roasting. Just think, you too could be on your way to having coffee sack towels in your kitchen. They make great kitchen towels too!

What are you repurposing in your home or in the garden?

Friday Favorite: Houseplant Gifts

April 22nd, 2016

I’ve always wanted a Christmas Cactus, but I’ve never gotten around to getting one. There’s not a lot of extra room for houseplants around here, so I don’t typically go out of my way to get more. On Easter, my neighbor gave me a ‘Spring Cactus’, which is just like the Christmas one, but it flowers in the spring. I’ve also seen them called ‘Easter Cactus’ since they flower around Easter.
spring cactus 2
spring cactus 1
After a week or two on the coffee table it burst forth in bloom and what a stunner it it!

Do you get gifts of houseplants? Do you have a Christmas cactus?

Surprise

April 14th, 2016

I’ve been dealing with a massive headache this week, probably due to the huge weather system that moved through. After being down for the count on Monday & Tuesday, I’m finally back in business. I have a few pumpkins that were starting to get softs spots, so I decided to feed them to the chickens. When I cut one open the seeds in side were already starting to germinate.
pumpkin seed sprouting in pumpkin
What a fantastic thing to see. I love how plants are always trying to reproduce against all odds, it’s quite an amazing thing we get to experience over and over again as gardeners.

Have you noticed anything amazing recently?

Friday Favorite: Spring Rolls

April 1st, 2016

Spring rolls are a favorite around here. I love that you can stuff them with a wide variety of herbs and vegetables and you end up with a healthy and delicious meal. Last week, I found a watermelon radish at the farmers market, with the lettuce & carrots in the fridge, nori sheets, herbs in the windowsill, and carrots in the avocado in the pantry, we ended up with a wonderful dinner. I also love to add Maine shrimp or smoked salmon if I have it.
spring rolls 2
Since we love these so much, I got Vietnamese cilantro and Thai basil from Renee’s Garden to plant this year. I’m thinking of having a corner of the potager dedicated to spring roll ingredients. In the summer I love using zucchini noodles in them.
spring rolls 1
Of course what makes the spring rolls is the sauce, I love to mix up ginger, garlic, hot pepper, cashew butter, tamari, fish sauce, and toasted sesame oil.

Are you a fan of spring rolls?

Finishing up a Few Projects

March 9th, 2016

Since it won’t be long until gardening season is in full swing, I’ve been trying to get all of my sewing projects finished up. This past weekend I worked on an apron that I purchased fabric for this past summer.
sewing
I’ve been needing a new apron for quite a while. This one was made using my old one as a pattern since I love it so much. Hopefully this one will give me years and years of service. The linen should get better and better as it’s worn and washed. I even have enough leftover fabric to make some pot holders as well, which I’m also in desperate need of.

Are you trying to finish off any hobby projects before gardening season comes?

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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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