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Friday Favorite: Rue

September 23rd, 2016

I bought this rue a few years ago and love it. Earlier this summer, I thought I had lost it in the drought. After much watering it started sprouting new leaves and then bloomed beautifully.
meadow-rue
Last week I cut a sprig of flowers and it looked beautiful in a vase, it also lasted for a really long time. I’ll definitely be adding more of these to my garden in the future.

What flower are you loving right now?

Friday Favorite: Community Gardens

August 12th, 2016

Last week, when my friend and I were in Vermont, we stumbled across a lovely community garden in Shelburne Falls. There are a good number of plots, all of them unique, and each one beautiful. Together, they formed a beautiful garden quilt brimming with vegetables and flowers. There’s something wonderful about people coming together and making a garden in a public space. Growing food for their friends and families and cultivating community while they do. I could go on and on telling you about what we saw, but luckily I had my camera so you can see them for yourself (even if photos don’t quite do it justice).
Community Garden 2
Community Garden 3
Community Garden 4
Community Garden 1
Community Garden 5
Community Garden 7
Community Garden 8
Community Garden 6
Community Garden 9
Community Garden
Community Garden 10
Community Garden 11
Community Garden 12
Community Garden 13
Community Garden 14
We spent quite awhile walking around this garden admiring all the plots and getting ideas for our edible gardens. I love seeing real gardens, the ones people live in and use. Botanical gardens are nice in their own way, but often what we see is not attainable for us in our own spaces. Community gardens like this one are truly the most beautiful gardens of all!

Have you ever had a plot in a community garden? Are there any in your area?

Friday Favorite: Seasonal Eating

May 6th, 2016

When you start eating a little more seasonally, you start eating a wider variety of fruits & vegetables. It’s a wonderful thing because you enjoy most things at the height of their flavor and you eat them in quantity. Then, the season is over and you’re ready to wait another 6-8 months until you can enjoy that thing again. This variety of rhubarb is ‘Glaskins Perpetual’, it’s supposed to be a plant that can be harvested all summer long. A bit like everbearing strawberries as opposed to the June bearing varieties. This is the first year that I will be able to harvest from these plants, it should be nice to have a bit of rhubarb here and there throughout the summer instead of one giant flush in early summer. I also have a few different varieties of regular rhubarb, they’re getting close to harvest as well.
rhubarb
Currently, I’m eagerly anticipating the rhubarb harvest. I’ll be making rhubarb ketchup, rhubarb and strawberry ice cream, rhubarb crisp, rhubarb cordial, and loads of other lovely things. I may freeze a bit for enjoyment in the middle of winter, but generally there’s not enough left for that after everything I want to make during the season.

What fruit/vegetable are you most looking forward to in season?

Friday Favorite: Edible Gardening

February 26th, 2016

I was thinking about my edible gardening history last night, then I looked up my first edible garden. Sure, I always had pots of herbs on our apartment balconies, but my first ever real edible garden was started in 2008. It’s hard to believe that it’s only been that long, it seems like much longer.
raised beds 1
raised beds
I built four 4 foot x 10 foot raised beds behind our garage in Ohio. Two were filled with vegetable and two were filled with strawberries. I purchased most of the little seedlings from a local greenhouse.
raised beds 2
Here I am, 9 years later with a HUGE area devoted to edibles and growing ornamental gardens as well. When I look back at what I accomplished in my Ohio garden in a few years, I’m amazed. I don’t have quite as much energy now that I’m a little older, but I have a better sense of what I like and what mistakes to avoid. Gardening is a growth process, we continually narrow down what we truly love, we broaden our gardening our skills, and we begin to enjoy some of the finer aspects of it.

How long have you been growing edibles? 

Friday Favorite: Maple Tapping

February 19th, 2016

AH, I think every year at this time I talk about how much I LOVE sugaring the maple trees. Yesterday I went out to tap one tree, I do this each year to monitor sap flow. When the sap starts flowing from that tap, I tap the remaining trees. The sap started flowing right away, so I tapped 8 more trees. I’ll probably add a few more taps today.
maple sap 3
I really love sugaring because it gets me out in the garden during a time when I wouldn’t be out there. It makes me go outside and I get a ton of exercise, it really helps get me in shape for the upcoming gardening season. I also love that it’s such a simple process, really, you just gather sap and boil it down, it’s really that simple. When you drizzle homemade maple syrup on your pancakes in the morning there’s nothing quite like it, it somehow tastes sweeter.

Do you live in an area where they tap trees?

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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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