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

Homegrown

February 4th, 2014

On Saturday I was making venison stew.  As I pulled potatoes out of the bag from the root cellar I found this:
heart shaped potato
This isn’t the first time I have harvested a heart shaped vegetable from my garden. Many years ago I got a heart shaped tomato as well.
heart_shaped_tomato
I love all the different colors, shapes and sizes of homegrown vegetables.

Have you ever harvested vegetables that were funny shapes?

Hello Squash

October 24th, 2013

I’ve never had much space in the garden for growing winter squash.  Their vines sprawl far and wide, much farther than I ever had the space to give them in my tiny space.  Now that I have a large garden, squash finally made the cut.
squash harvest 3
Frost was predicted for the night before last, so I decided it was time to harvest all the winter squash. This year I grew ‘Sweet Meat’ and ‘Waltham Butternut” from Baker Creek,  along with ‘Burgess Buttercup Squash’ and ‘Delicata’ from High Mowing Seeds.
squash harvest 5
squash harvest 4
There were loads of beautiful delicata squash in the garden as well, but the voles and porcupines have been going crazy eating them. I managed to harvest four for us to eat. You can see here they were starting in on the pumpkins as well. At least they almost always came back to this pumpkin instead of gnawing on every single one.
squash harvest 2
Now all the squash are sitting in an upstairs window where they’ll stay warm. Squash don’t like cool storage like other vegetables, it’s best to keep them in the same conditions you like to live in. I’ll probably pile them in a corner of the living room after a few weeks.
squash harvest 1
In mid summer I planted a second crop of zucchini, mostly for feeding the chickens, ducks and pigs. They’re still going very strong. In fact I harvested about twice this many zucchini. They’ll be slowly eaten by the animals and us over the nest few weeks. The smaller ones are dried into zucchini noodles for us to eat on this winter.
zucchini harvest
Next year I’m planting about half of my big main garden in squash. I plan on growing a good amount for animal feed in a well mulched area of the garden since I won’t have time to grow crops that need more attention. I’m thinking however that an electric fence around the garden is going to be a good idea.

Do you grow winter squash in your garden?

Sets or Pearls

August 29th, 2013

Very early this spring, I direct sowed some onion seed in the low tunnel. I added a label that said “bunching onions”. Since I had seed for red bunching onions, I wasn’t surprised when they came up with red stems. Then, they started to bulb a little, not exactly what I thought was going to happen.
red pearl onions 1
Evidently, these were bulbing onions and not bunching onions. I don’t know if I planted the wrong packet of seed, or if the seed packet was mislabeled. It doesn’t really matter, I can use these onions as pearl onions or I could save them and use them as sets for next year. I don’t usually grow onions from sets because they have a tendency to flower and I don’t find that they store as well.
red pearl onions 2
Of course pearl onions would be nice as well, I was thinking I might pickle them if I chose to use them in that way. Peeling all those onions will be a chore though, not something I’m looking forward to.

Would you save these and plant them or enjoy them as pearl onions?

Best Harvest Ever!

August 17th, 2013

I’m a lover of onions and can never seem to grow enough of them. Over the past couple years, I’ve been augmenting my bulb onions with other alliums (read my post about alternative alliums here). Even so, I always run out of onions and other alliums and end up buying a few at the farmers market.  This year might be the first year I don’t have to.
Onion Harvest 1
Onion Harvest 3
Onion Harvest 2
The main crop of storage onions was harvested last week, here’s a look at what I have to squirrel away in the larder.  They’re drying in the upstairs of our garage where it’s nice & warm. It’s quite impressive I must say, I’ve never had enough space to grow this many onions.  If you can believe it, this is only 3/4 of my crop, there are some still growing in the garden to be harvested in a few weeks.
Onion Harvest 5
The main varieties I grew were: Copra, Australian Brown, Sedona, Cortland, and Redwing.  I had seeds for Ailsa Craig, but somehow they didn’t get started, I guess the seed packet got lost in the shuffle.  I also started seed for a red torpedo onion, which never germinated.
Onion Harvest 6
Onion Harvest 4
I already have a long row of leeks in the garden for next spring and three different kinds of bunching onions as well.  The perennial leek bulbs will be planted soon, along with the potato onions and shallots as well.  Little by little, I’m achieving allium independence – which is a beautiful thing if you consume as many alliums as we do.  This large crop of onions will save me a good deal on groceries, looks like I can buy more of my favorite chocolate (which happens to be Taza).

Do you grow alliums in your garden? How many different kinds do you grow?

It’s Tart!

June 18th, 2013

Yesterday, Mr Chiots and I picked sour cherries at my mom’s house. She planted new trees a few years ago after her old one in the back blew over in a storm.
picking sour cherries 2
We picked most of them, totaling about a pound. I whipped up a batch of my grandma’s famous pie crust and made a slab pie.
picking sour cherries 1
Mr Chiots happily enjoyed a slice with ice cream last night for a snack. Sour cherries are one of my most favorite fruit, hopefully next year we’ll be adding a few trees to our garden.

What’s your favorite fruit?

Also Find Me At
Reading & Watching
Resources

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!

Tropical Traditions
Mountain Rose Herbs. A herbs, health and harmony c
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 just recently moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine.

Blogroll
Admin