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Quote of the Day: Henry Beston

March 6th, 2016

“Higher, higher climbs the radiant noonday sun, the shadows grow shorter beneath the trees, snow slides from the roof, and the shingles steam. March is a beautiful month in th enorth for now the battle is won, and we of the country world can take new storms and returning snows with an easier heart; they will soon be gone.”

from Northern Farm by Henry Beston who lived not far from here.

March in Maine

Quote of the Day: Bunny Williams

February 14th, 2016

“All gardens need time, and part of the great pleasure of gardening, it seems to me, is watching them mature. I’ve waited five years for my Hydrangea petiolaris to decide whether or not to climb. This year it has, with reckless abandon. And because I had to wait for it, the reward has been especially sweet.”

Bunny Williams in Bunny Williams On Garden Style

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I’ve been thinking about this quote as I start tiny cherry trees from seed, take starts of plants in other garden, and start perennials from seed. Sure, I could have an instant garden if I purchase large trees, shrubs, and perennials at a greenhouse (and I do purchase a few here and there), but there’s so much satisfaction in the process of gardening. Nurturing tiny trees, knowing your climbing hydrangea is the offspring of a plant that is growing in a friend’s garden. Sometimes I have to remind myself that gardening is a process. When I dream about what my garden will be, I have to remember that it’s the journey of getting there that is gardening, not the end product. Anyone can make a garden, not everyone is a gardener.

What’s your favorite part of being a gardener?

Color Therapy

February 11th, 2016

In addition to sewing and crocheting, I’m a big fan of coloring as a creative outlet. I don’t have good light anywhere in the house, so I only color on bright winter day when I have a nice amount of natural light. Lately, I’ve been working on Enchanted Forest. I’ve been trying to work through my perfectionist tendencies, choosing colors quickly, coloring a little less perfectly, and in general just trying to enjoy myself. That’s why I call it color therapy, working on some of those tendencies that can get in the way of completing tasks or not enjoying yourself.
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I even colored this picture out of order *gasp* ever since I was a little girl I have felt the need to color books straight through in order.
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I’ve also been working on blending markers together for a more interesting effect. This is usually something I shy away from because I get too worried about things not blending seamlessly.

What types of creative outlets do you do when you’re not gardening?

Year-Round Indoor Salad Gardening

January 28th, 2016

When I was contacted about reviewing and doing a giveaway of ‘Year-Round Indoor Salad Gardening’ by Peter Burke I knew it was something that I would enjoy and definitely something you would enjoy hearing about. This is not a book about growing sprouts, this is a book about growing greens in small containers of soil. No multiple rinsing daily, not as much risk of mold, not as much maintenance. It is also not about growing micro greens, which can take much longer than the 10 days it takes to grow the kind of sprouts Peter is talking about in this book. This book is essential an in depth how-to guide to grow “nutrient-dense, soil-sprouted greens in 10 days or less”.
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As I’ve been reading through the book I’ve been trying to figure how to incorporate some of the methods into my schedule in order to grow a few greens during the cold, winter months here in Maine. The truth is that I LOVE salad all year long and I buy a decent amount of it during the winter months. If I could grow it myself, I could not only save a little cash, but I could have healthier salads since the greens would be harvested right before eating. While you don’t need any additional lighting for his growing methods, he does recommend some window light. My windows are packed out with overwintered plants: bananas, citrus, herbs, etc. I also have the issue of having loads of cats running around the house eating greens they find delectable, which I’m thinking they’d probably find these tasty little greens.
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The technique is simple enough, though I think getting the workflow that works best for your current situation would take some trial & error. Essentially, you need 10 containers. Each day, you plant one or more trays with seeds and follow the protocol (putting in a warm, dark closet for 4 days then uncovering and waiting 6-10 more days until it’s ready to harvest). At it’s core, this is a super simple method. Finding the right workflow for your house/time/needs is going to be the most difficult things to achieve. This method would work very well for someone who loves schedule and order. I could go on and on explaining Peter’s process, but in reality, you’re better off reading the book. It answers just about every question you will have and have loads of photos and wonderful explanations. One of you will be lucky, because we’re doing a giveaway of this book. Comment below for your chance to win, in a week I’ll randomly choose a lucky commenter to win a copy of this book.

What’s your favorite type of salad dressing? 

And our winner is:
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Quote of the Day: Firewood

January 10th, 2016

“The truth of it was that he liked chopping wood. Quite different from the damp, backbreaking, foot-freezing job of cutting peats, but with that same feeling of soul-deep satisfaction at seeing a good stock of fuel laid by, which only those who have spent winters shivering in this clothes can know. The woodpile reached nearly to the eaves of the house by now, dry split chunks of pine and oak, hickory and maple, and the sight of them warming his heart as much as the wood itself would warm his flesh.”

Diana Gabaldon in Drums of Autumn (Outlander)

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It is the season for getting wood cut, split, and stacked for next winter. Usually we try to be a little ahead, last winter was so long and so cold we used some of our reserve. We’ve been out every weekend for a day or two getting ready for winters to come. We have almost finished the task for the year, then we will move on to filling up the sauna woodpile. It really does warm the heart to see a warm winter ahead.

What chores get you out in the winter?

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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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