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Squirreling Away for Winter

September 5th, 2017

It’s been a busy week and weekend. My evenings are filled with harvesting and preserving. The apples, tomatoes, beans, and peppers are coming in like mad. Green beans are blanched and frozen, peppers are chopped and frozen. Both things are frozen on cookie sheets and put into freezer bags to be scooped out in quantities needed.

The tomatoes are being put up in a few different ways. ‘Principe Borghese’ are dried in the sun dried tomato fashion. Some tomatoes are canned crushed for winter cooking, others are turned into conserve. Right now I’ve only finished up a batch of crushed tomatoes. Stay tuned for various posts this week about all the other things I’m making with all the garden bounty (including recipes for a few tried and true favorites). While this season seems a bit frantic, it will all be worth it in the dead of winter. When snow is deep on the garden, we can enjoy chili made with homegrown poblanos, tomatoes, and onions. There’s nothing better (and saves more money) than shopping in your freezer and pantry!

What are you preserving from your garden?

Harvesting Onions

August 9th, 2017

I finally got my internet back up and running, the technician said that pretty much every modem in our town was zapped by the big storm. After furiously catching up on work, I’m back to being able to post to the blog. The good thing about having minimal internet, is that it gave me time to get my onions harvested, which needed done…..last week. Storage onions should be given minimal water in the weeks leading up the harvest, this will help them store longer and better. I always try to harvest them early if a lot of rain is in the forecast. We had rain last weekend, a half an inch. So not tons given the dryness of the soil, but still more than I like for them to get. Ideally I prefer to harvest them after a long, hot dry week (which we had last week).

Even though the conditions weren’t ideal for harvest, they will store fine enough. Most likely they won’t last until next April, but they will last long enough to be used up. I should weigh my storage onions one of these years. It always seems like there are way too many of them to weigh. It would be nice to know how much I end up growing each year.

What are you harvesting in the garden this week?

Seasonal Goodness

May 17th, 2017

It’s rhubarb season here in Maine, my six rhubarb plants are finally mature enough that I can harvest as much rhubarb as I want. Three of my plants are old fashioned rhubarb and three are ‘Glaskins Perpetual’ rhubarb (which means it’s supposed to be harvested all summer long).


I make a variety of rhubarb products, two of our favorites are rhubarb syrup to mix with soda water and rhubarb BBQ sauce. A decent amount of rhubarb finds its way into the freezer to make strawberry rhubarb semifreddo in the middle of winter. Rhubarb is one of those things that people seem to love or hate. I especially love the tartness of it and the unique flavor it imparts.

Do you love or hate rhubarb?

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.
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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.
brussels-sprout-harvest-2
brussels-sprout-harvest-1
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?

Catching Up

August 8th, 2016

Last week I was in Vermont with a friend. We rented a little cottage on Lake Champlain and had a wonderful week relaxing and seeing a loads of interesting things (stay tuned this week for photos). I had plans to post photos of things we were seeing, but out internet connection was lacking.
Harvest
Now that I’m home, I’m madly catching up on all the work, both in the office and in the garden. This weekend was spent watering, harvesting, weeding, and enjoying all the new blooms.

Do you have any trips planned this summer?

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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 moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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