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March 13th, 2014

Since we try to eat seasonally we’ve been enjoying a lot of root vegetables with our dinners. Carrots, celeriac, parsnips, beets, potatoes and a few others. Not only are a delicious break from summer vegetables, they are very warming from the inside. Root vegetables help our bodies produce energy to stay warm!
root vegetables 2
root vegetables 1
Last night we enjoyed a mix of purple carrots and golden beets, they were beautiful and delicious. They are so colorful, just like jewels!
root vegetables
Potatoes also grace our plates quite often, I grow loads of them in the garden. Every year I more and more winter storage crops to my must grow list. They are well worth the effort and time.

What’s your favorite root vegetable?

Friday Favorite: The Winter Olympics

February 7th, 2014

Mr Chiots and I are big fans of the Winter Olympics, so much so that we get cable TV just for the month they are on.  This year was no different.  We’re even having an opening ceremonies party this evening, complete with foods from around the world.
Olympic party 1
Olympic party 2
I made this great flag bunting for our living room, it’s a free download from Mr Printables.  Colored lights added to the ambiance as did paper chains and other fun things.
Olympic party 3
Olympic party 4
I made a few different kinds of soup and naan for the main meal, everyone else is bringing appetizers and beverages.  We also have opening ceremonies bingo to add to the fun.  Mr Chiots is pretty excited about curling and I can’t wait for the biathlon.

What’s your favorite winter sport? 


November 2nd, 2013

This spring I planted chicory in the garden, mostly for eating, but also for the bees. I like chicory because it blooms for a LONG season and the pollinators love it. Since it’s rather cold tolerant, it will keep blooming late into the fall after many things are long gone.
This lovely chicory has been blooming for about 2 months now and there’s no sign of it stopping. Not only are the local pollinators happy as clams that somethings still around for them, I’ll be able to save seed for next year’s garden. I call that a win/win!

Do you have anything still providing food for the pollinators in the garden?

Fresh Herbs

September 8th, 2013

We may not be prepared to keep bees, but we like to see them working on flowers that they like and that we will grow, in part, with the bees in mind. The culinary herbs from our own patch taste better for being freshly gathered or frozen green, rather than dry from a jar.

-Christoper Lloyd & Richard Bird (The Cottage Garden

This year I’m definitely missing some of my perennial herbs from my Ohio garden. I had a few big, beautiful sage plants that I harvested many leaves from, mostly for frying in butter. I started seeds this spring for sage, but I’m letting the plants get established before harvesting too many leaves.
fried sage leaves
I didn’t get any chamomile planted this year, luckily I have a big jar full from last year to get me through the winter.
herbs 1
herbs 2
I do have chives and five or six varieties of thyme, along with mints, hyssop, tarragon, horehound, oregano, marjoram and parsley.  That’s enough to get me through, I certainly can’t wait until my garden is once again teaming with as many herbs as I can grow!

How many different herbs do you have in your garden?

Quote of the Day: Farmer Boy

March 10th, 2013

“A farmer depends on himself, and the land and the weather. If you’re a farmer, you raise what you eat, you raise what you wear, and you keep warm with wood out of your own timber. You work hard, but you work as you please, and no man can tell you to go or come. You’ll be free and independent, son, on a farm.”

Father to Almanzo (Farmer Boy by Laura Ingalls Wilder)

Mr Chiots and I aren’t farmers, but we can certainly appreciate this quote and what it means.  Even gardening on a small scale can bring a sense of freedom and independence.  Here in Maine, we also heat with wood, which is a wonderful thing. There’s no paying the propane, natural gas, or heating oil bill.  The electric bill is smaller and the house is cozier.
splitting wood 4
When you heat with wood, there’s a lot of work involved. Our splitter just arrived this week, so we’re now madly splitting wood in preparation for next winter.

splitting wood 6
splitting wood 8
Yesterday was spent splitting a big pile of wood, today we’ll do the same.  We both work on splitting, loading and unloading the truck. These are the kinds of chores that are better when shared.  We started around noon and were able to split three truckloads.  Hopefully tomorrow we can do even more.
splitting wood 2
splitting wood 5
splitting wood 1
It’s good to know that we’ll be warm and toasty all winter regardless of how full our propane tank is.  We really love heating with wood, there’s nothing quite like standing next to a warm wood burner on a cold winter morning. Not to mention, Dexter wouldn’t know what to do without a warm wood burner to sleep in front of!

What method of heat do you use in your house? 

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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.