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So Long

January 4th, 2017

Yesterday my grandpa passed away. He was a nature lover, an outdoorsman, a hunter, a fisherman, a lover of trees, and a gardener. I remember many trips into the woods with him teaching us how to identify trees by their bark and their leaves. I remember him peeling apples with his pocket knife after plucking them from the tree. Of course this was the same pocket knife he used to clean fish, simply wiping in on his sock before putting it back in his pocket.
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He’s been in declining health for quite a while. It’s sad for him to be gone, but we’re thankful he’s once again able to wander through the trees doing what he loves.

Seeds, Seeds, Seeds

January 3rd, 2017

It’s that time of the year when I’m looking through all my seeds and making my orders for this summer. Some seeds I keep from year to year, if they have a loner shelf life, others need ordered fresh each season. Onions, leeks, lettuce, and spinach are among the ones that need ordered yearly for proper germination.
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I used to wait until after I was finished with my taxes or order seeds, now I order them first thing in January. A few years I wasn’t able to get the varieties of onion seeds I wanted because they were sold out by the end of January. That means seed buying in now a first of the year activity for me. I’m still making up my list, figuring out what my favorites were from last year and what new things I want to grow in 2017. Exciting times indeed!

When do you typically order seeds?

Friday Favorite: Wood Heat

December 30th, 2016

‘Tis the season for heating the house, around here that means firewood. Every couple days we carry in wood, stacking a little by the stove in the kitchen and a little in the entryway.
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Wood heat a warm heat, probably because it’s a radiant type heat. There’s nothing better than sitting by the woodstove on a cold winter evening circling seeds to order in my catalogs.

Have you ever experienced wood heat?

Verta Kloster

December 29th, 2016

As you can imagine, I’m still going through photos from our trip to Sweden. We didn’t plan a ton of activities while we were there, we enjoy winging it while we are on vacation. Stopping when we see something interesting, as was the case when we read about Vreta Kloster. Part of the foundations here are around a thousand years old – WOW! Vreta Abbey was a house of Benedictine nuns until 1162. It burnt down and was rebuilt hundreds of years ago, but as it aged some of it fell into disrepair. Some of the ruins have been repaired and preserved as is. Some of them have been turned into pergolas with walkways. It’s quite stunning!
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It was quite a gem of a place to discover on our drive from Stocklholm to Jönköping. The perfect stop to get out and stretch our legs while enjoying a piece of history. It’s always amazing to see things that are so much older than we can find here in this country.

Do you like to plan out your entire vacation or wing it and find things along the way?

The Orchid

December 28th, 2016

My grandpa’s second wife gave my mom and orchid a year or two ago. She’d had it for a long time, but no longer wanted to take care of it. My mom tried splitting it and thought she had killed it. Then she noticed that all three starts were producing new growth.
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When I came home from visiting her at Thanksgiving, she sent one of them home with me. After a little research, I put it under a grow light upstairs. Amazingly, within a week it started to produce buds. One fell off, but the other one is just starting to open up.
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I’ve never grown orchids before, so this is completely new for me. I read that they like little water and lots of light. So far I guess I’m doing OK since it’s blooming.

Do you have any new houseplants this winter?

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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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