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Friday Favorite: A Canvas Hat

May 12th, 2017

I’ve been wearing canvas hats for years. My first ones were purchased at Target 17 or so years ago. These have all worn out or gotten lost of the years, thus new hats were in order. I took the plunge and gave the Scala Wide Brimmed Hat a try. As soon as I put it on I knew it was going to be a winner!!!! The brim can be folded up partway, halfway, fully, or flipped all the way down for lots of coverage on a really sunny day. It shades my neck and part of my shoulders as well. I got these hats on Tuesday and wore them all day Wednesday and Thursday while working in the garden. They get 10 thumbs up from me! I didn’t have time to get Mr Chiots to snap a few pics, so you’ll have to do with a quick selfie.

These hats are perfect because they can be packed and don’t take up much space. In fact, I always have one in each car during the summer months, that way I’m never without a hat should I end up out in the sun. My skin does not tolerate sunscreen, so a hat is a necessity for me. When I find a hat I can wear comfortably all day, I’m super happy. Here in Maine, being able to hold up a head net during black fly season is also a necessity, this hat is perfect for that as well. I’m definitely buying a few more of these beauties and I’ll be buying some for gifts as well, now I just need to decide while color I want!

Do you wear a hat while working outside?

Transplanting Brassicas

May 10th, 2017

This year I’m trying to keep better track of how long things need under the grow lights. Brassicas are one of those things that germinates and grows very quickly, that means they are very efficient when it comes to grow light usage. Since they can take cold temperatures, they can be put outside very early on, sometimes they never need grow light space. These brassicas (cauliflower, broccoli, and brussels sprouts), were ready in four weeks.

In fact, I could have transplanted them a week or two ago but I didn’t have the fence up around the garden (and those wild turkeys LOVE brassica seedlings). I’m hoping to build myself a cold frame this summer, which will allow me to not have to put any brassicas under the grow lights. I’m always looking to maximize the light real estate I have, any plants that can take the cold are moved to make way for tomatoes and flowers, which aren’t able to take any amount of frost.

What are you transplanting this week?

My Favorite Season

May 9th, 2017

Salads are one of my favorite meals, I can eat them every single day and never tire of them. I love that you can top lettuce with a wide variety of protein, fruit, and vegetables to have a different meal every day. In the spring, I plant enough seedlings so that I can harvest a leaf or two from each plant and have enough for at least a side salad for each of us at dinner.

That makes for a lot of lettuce plants, but they grow when nothing else needs garden space. As soon as the plants are growing more quickly and producing more leaves, some of the lettuce plants are removed to make way for other crops.

What’s your favorite vegetable to grow yourself?

Uncommon Pests

May 8th, 2017

This year I purchased onion plants for the first time. In the past, I’ve started onions from seed and have always been happy with the results. Since I’ve had a busy spring, I thought purchasing plants would save me time. Little did i know that the earthworms around here do not like onion plants from away. Every single morning I go out and 30-40% of the onion plants have been dug up, reburied, moved, or just are just slightly lifted from their spots. At first, I thought it was birds. Then I did some research and with observation, spotted the nightcrawlers digging up the onions. I thought about letting the chickens in the garden, but they dig holes and in general make such a mess I don’t want to do that.

My onion crop may be non-existant this year. For two days I’ve moved the dug up plants to different spots in the garden, those are getting dug up as well. It’s probably too late to direct seed onions, but I may pull all the plants and count the $40 a lesson learned. I may also just forgo onions this year, which will be very sad. It’s interesting that these plants are not liked by the worms where my homegrown seedlings are left alone (I have a few in the back in the same row as these plants, no unearthing of these). Makes you wonder what it is about these plants that the worms don’t like.

What strange pest problems do you have in the garden?

Oh Tom…

May 4th, 2017

One of things about having turkeys as livestock, is that it seems to attract the tom turkeys during spring mating season. We’ve been seeing this beautiful tom every so often. He’s the biggest, nicest wild turkey I’ve seen. On Monday we spent the entire day dancing for our turkey hens outside the electric fence. Of course our tom spent the day inside dancing right alongside him. He was too busy dancing to eat anything in the garden, which was the only reason I didn’t chase him off.





Amazingly, he was back the next morning as well, dancing away. Luckily we finally got him to move on. No bought this isn’t the last of him we will see.  Wild turkeys are such amazing birds (so are the domesticated ones we keep).

What sorts of wildlife you get to see in your back yard?

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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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