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September 13th, 2016

If you follow me on Instagram, you know that we spent last week in Sweden. We spent the week eating delicious food, visiting lovely gardens, soaking up Swedish history, and enjoying a bit of time away from our jobs. It will take me forever to get through all these photos, but I guarantee you’ll love seeing all the lovely gardens I was able to see while there. Here are a few highlights of the lovely things we saw last week.
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Check back this week and next to see posts dedicated to all the wonderful things we saw during our week in Sweden.

Do you have any trips planned in the near future?

Quote of the Day: Harvest Time

September 11th, 2016

The rush of harvest time came. The oats were ripe, standing thick and tall and yellow. the wheat wasgolden, darke than thte oats. The beans were ripe, and the pumpkings and carrots and turnips and potatoes were ready to gather.

There was not rest and no play for anyone now. They all worked from candlelight to candlelight. Mother and the girls were making cucumber pickles, green-tomato pickles, and watermelon-rind pickles; they were drying corn and apples, and making preserves. Everything must be saved, nothing wasted of all the summer’s bounty. Even the apple cores were saved for making vinegar, and a bundle of oat straw was soaking on the back porch. Whenever mother had one minute to spare, she braided an inch or two of oat-straw braid for making next summer’s hats.

Laura Ingalls Wilder in Farmer Boy

When I was in Vermont with a friend at the beginning of August, we decided to take the short trip up to New York to visit Almanzo Wilder’s homestead. The Little House series was one of my favorites as a child, and I admit that I’ve read them four or five times as an adult as well. It was quite amazing to see the original house, it’s been restored to what it would have looked like when the Wilders lived there.
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We peeked down into the cellar and toured the barns as well, unfortunately no photos were allowed inside the house or the barns, so I only have images of the grounds.
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There was one enormous sugar maple tree in the front yard that would have been standing when Almanzo lived there. A few of the apple trees looked old enough as well, but those haven’t been dated to see for sure if they were.
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The gardens were smaller than they would have been at the time, but they did have a small one they maintained. The large lilac behind the house that would have been by the outhouse was still standing, it has grown and almost has taken over the back yard.
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On our way home we listened to the audiobook and were delighted to be able to put real images with the things we’d only imaged as little girls. If you’re a Little House fan and happen to be in Northern New York, I recommend taking the trip to the homestead. It’s nothing fancy or overdone, but it’s amazing to walk the grounds, tour the house, and place all the things in the book.

Did you enjoy the Little House series as a child?

Quote of the Day: The Golden Hour

September 4th, 2016

“He sat on his favorite rock, near the cave’s entrance, watching the evening stars come out. Even in the worst of the year after Culloden, he had always been able to find a moment of peace t this time of the day. As the daylight faded, it was as though objects become faintly lit from within, so that they stood outlined against the sky or the ground, perfect and short pin every detail.”

Diana Gabaldon in Voyager

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My favorite time to work in the garden is as evening falls. The sunsets are amazing, the moon rising is beautiful, everything is bathed in a colorful glow before darkness settles. It seems still and peaceful in the garden, the perfect time to weed or just to sit and enjoy the garden.

What’s your favorite time to work in the garden?

Quote of the Day: Henry Beston

August 28th, 2016

“Nature must never be anything else but an alliance. Alas, I know well enough that nature has her hostile moods, and I am equally aware that we must often face and fight as we can her waywardness, her divine profusion, and her divine irrationality. Even then, I will have it, the alliance holds. When we begin to consider nature as something to be robbed greedily like an unguarded treasure, or used as an enemy, we put ourselves in thought outside of nature of which we are inescapably a part. Be it storm and flood, hail and fire, or the yielding furrow and the fruitful plain, an alliance it is, and that alliance is the cornerstone of our humanity.”

Henry Beston in Northern Farm

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Lovely Lavender

August 11th, 2016

At the beginning of July I stopped at Glendarragh Lavender Farm in the next town over. I needed to get both fresh and dried lavender to make infusions with jojoba for a blog post on The Jojoba Company’s website. The air was thick with the smell of lavender, it was quite amazing. It’s a wonder I didn’t sleep on the way home with all that lavender in my car. As far as herbs, lavender isn’t my favorite for scent, but it has been growing on me, especially the fresh lavender I got from the farm. I find some types of dried lavender to be a little overpowering.
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Currently, I don’t have any lavender plants in my garden, they were all left in Ohio. This past winter I winter sowed a packet of seeds and have a few tiny lavender seedlings that need transplanting to the nursery beds. In a few years I’ll be able to harvest my own lavender for infusions. Head on over to The Jojoba Company’s blog to see more photos of this lovely farm and for directions to make a lavender infusion.

What’s your favorite herbal scent?

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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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