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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?

Quote of the Day: Henry Beston

January 24th, 2016

“Surely the most beautiful of all colors of winter is the blue of winter shadows on the snow! It is a blue which varies with the day and the light, but whatever its tone, is both tender and delicate, and to se it is to be reminded of the purity of certain blues in flowers.”

Henry Beston in Northern Farm

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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?

Quote of the Day: Henry Beston

January 3rd, 2016

“As I settle down in this familiar house, with the lamplight glowing from its windows and the great planets crossing the sky above its chimney tops, I find I am shaking off the strange oppression which came over me when I lived by an urban sense and understanding of time. In a world so convenient and artificial that there is scarcely day or night, and one is bulwarked against the seasons and the year, time, so to speak, having no natural landmarks, tends to stand still. The consequence is that life and time and history become unnaturally a part of some endless and unnatural present, and violence becomes for some the only remedy. Here in the country, it all moves ahead again. Spring is not only a landmark, but it looks ahead to autumn, and winter forever looks forward to spring.”

Hendry Beston in Northern Farm

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The seasons, something I love about living in the northeast. Winter is here and I’m enjoying what it brings to my life, rest and peace.

What are you enjoying about this season?

Friday Favorite: The Wood Stove

December 11th, 2015

“Snow was falling and winter had come; the season of fire. Candles and hearth fire, that lovely, leaping paradox, that destruction contained but never tamed, held at a safe distance to warm and enchant, but always still, with that small sense of danger.”

Diana Gabaldon in A Breath of Snow and Ashes (Outlander)

As I read this passage I was sitting in front of the wood burner surrounded by cats. It was very early in the morning, the house was cold when I first woke up. After starting a fire and doing a few other things, I sat myself down with my back to the stove and started reading.
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We just got a new wood stove. The old one wasn’t quite big enough to heat the entire house when it’s in the single digits outside. We have a wood fired furnace we use when it’s super cold, but we prefer using the wood stove instead. The stove was also old and starting to fall apart. More about this particular stove later, until then, I’ll be warming my toes in front of it.

Have you ever lived with wood heat?

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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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