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MMMM, Good

July 20th, 2016

I buy artichokes at the store every once and again. Since they are so pricey, they’re a rarity in our diet. This year I decided to try growing them. I’d read about people doing it in Vermont, and Eliot Coleman grows them on his farm here in Maine. So I started them back in February so I could give them the long season and the jolt of cold weather they enjoy.
seeding artichokes 1
As you can see, there were two different varieties in the pack of seeds I planted. Both of them are producing chokes at roughly the same time. I noticed the first choke about two weeks ago. Artichokes are wonderful in the garden, not only because they are delicious, but because they are stunning plants.
artichokes 2
artichokes 1
We harvested two and had them for dinner on Monday night, one of each variety. We dipped them in a mix of homemade mayo and a bit of balsamic vinegar and they were delicious. I’ll definitely be growing these in the future, I’m thinking they will be lovely in the ornamental beds, I love the robust texture of the leaves.

Did you grow any new vegetables this year?

Slowly, But Surely

March 31st, 2016

All those seeds I purchased last fall and stratified for months in the fridge are finally starting to germinate. I have three tiny osage orange seedlings and one Dutchman’s Pipe that has germinated so far.
osage orange seedlings 1
osage orange seedlings 2
I’m still waiting on three more varieties to germinate, hopefully they will soon. Some of the varieties I started can take up to 3 months to germinate. One thing I love about gardening is this exact thing, someday, when these osage orange trees are big, I’ll remember the tiny seed emerging from feta cheese container that I kept in the fridge over the winter. It’s so fun to try germinating different types of seeds to see what happens.

Have you started any interesting trees/vines from seed in the past?

A Nice Window

February 4th, 2016

It’s been a little warm here the past few days, our blanket of snow has melted and the ground can be worked. It’s the perfect time to broadcast a few seeds for cold tolerant varieties like arugula, cilantro, mustard, and a few other things. Winter will return, in fact we’re supposed to get snow tomorrow and next week it will once again be in the single digits. These seeds don’t care, they will wait and spring forth when they’re ready.
winter seeding 2
They won’t germinate as quickly as they do when the soil is warmer, but they’ll germinate when the conditions are right and I’ll have a much earlier crop that I would have if I had waited.
winter seeding 1
I’m also going to be seeding a flat of lettuce, which is something I do every year. I find that having a flat of greens ready to go into the ground in spring gives me a jump on the season and has me harvesting greens for my table at least a month if not 6 weeks before direct seeded crops. I love having things ready to plant as soon as the ground is ready. This winter has been fairly mild, which means my overwintered spinach is thriving and should start growing as soon as conditions improve in a month or so.

What are you doing in the garden this weekend?

GRLT Garden Tour #4

July 22nd, 2015

We’re on to the next garden in the George River Land Trust garden tour series. This was a small garden, very typical of what most of us probably have and work in. It was well done, with lots of interesting details. There were lots of edible plants tucked in throughout, the owners enjoy providing vegetables for their own table.
GRLT Garden Tour 3 1
GRLT Garden Tour 3 2
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GRLT Garden Tour 3 9
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I particularly loved the typical shake siding with the light blue door, such a fantastic combo. The greenhouse on the back deck made from sliding glass doors was also fantastic. Mr Chiots and I paid particular attention to this since we have been collecting doors to build one for our garden.

What do you like about this garden?

Visiting Chanticleer

June 15th, 2015

Yesterday we visited Chanticleer garden, it was very nice. Not as grand as Longwood, but very nice, and still quite amazing. Here are a few photos from my phone, I don’t have enough storage on my laptop to download all the real images.
Chanticleer (1)
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We spent a few hours walking around the gardens and then grabbed our packed lunches from the car and sat in the cool shade of a giant oak tree for over an hour, relaxing and enjoying the garden just for what it was meant to be. If you’re ever in the Philly area, I highly recommend visiting. More photos to come after I get back to Maine and can look through the ones on my camera.

Do you have a place to sit the cool shade in your garden?

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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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