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Friday Favorite: Garlic Chives

August 11th, 2017

A few years ago I heard about garlic chives and purchased a small plant at a local nursery and planted it in the garden. It wasn’t happy in that spot and languished for the next few years, my guess is that the quack grass in the area was providing too much competition. Last summer, I finally decided it needed moved to the main vegetable garden to see if it would perk up and look better. If it continued to languish it would head to the compost pile. After a year in this new spot it is thriving and is stunning!

It has probably quadrupled in size and it is blooming profusely. The golf ball sized white blooms are a favorite for the honeybees. Garlic chives make a great addition to the mid/late season garden. So often this is the time when things are starting to wane and fall flowers haven’t picked up yet. This plant would be great in a mixed border or a mass planting. Now that this beauty has taken off, I’m going to propagate it to add it around the garden. The potager could definitely use some shorter, round flowers this time of year. I’m thinking this will pair beautifully with my Russian tarragon.

What plants are you loving in the garden right now?

Pickling up a Storm (or at least lots of veggies)

August 10th, 2017

Over the past week or two I’ve been pickling all sorts of things from the garden. At the moment, I have six different things in various stages in the pickling process. So far all the recipes are from the book, The Joy of Pickling by Linda Ziedrich. I’m making a few favorites and trying a few new and interesting things, like pickling nasturtium seeds and Iranian pickled onions with mint.


So far I’ve made:
Lower East Side Full Sour Dills (page 45)
Dutch Lunch Spears (page 91)
Cornichons a Cru (page 97)
Olive Oil Pickles (page 98)
Pickled Nasturtium Pods (page 165)
Sweet Gherkin Pickles (page 230)
Shallots or Onions Pickled with Mint (page 291)

Still on my list to make this summer:
Zucchini Relish (page 314)
Short Brined Pickled Peppers (page 136)
Pickled Fennel with Orange (page 274)
Pickled Jerusalem Artichoke (page 131)


This is a great book to have in your cookbook library if you have a garden and are interested in pickling/preserving. Pretty much anything you can think of pickling is in this book. I purchased this book years ago and it’s always on my kitchen table this time of year. I’ve made loads of recipes from it and have so many more I’d like to try.

What are you pickling this summer?

Harvesting Onions

August 9th, 2017

I finally got my internet back up and running, the technician said that pretty much every modem in our town was zapped by the big storm. After furiously catching up on work, I’m back to being able to post to the blog. The good thing about having minimal internet, is that it gave me time to get my onions harvested, which needed done…..last week. Storage onions should be given minimal water in the weeks leading up the harvest, this will help them store longer and better. I always try to harvest them early if a lot of rain is in the forecast. We had rain last weekend, a half an inch. So not tons given the dryness of the soil, but still more than I like for them to get. Ideally I prefer to harvest them after a long, hot dry week (which we had last week).

Even though the conditions weren’t ideal for harvest, they will store fine enough. Most likely they won’t last until next April, but they will last long enough to be used up. I should weigh my storage onions one of these years. It always seems like there are way too many of them to weigh. It would be nice to know how much I end up growing each year.

What are you harvesting in the garden this week?

Lonicera ‘Goldflame’

August 7th, 2017

Two weeks ago I went to Fieldstone Garden and spotted this lonicera ‘Goldflame’ blooming on their trellis.

I’m in need a few climbers in the garden, especially ones like this that provide some winter interest. So I purchased this beautiful ‘Goldflame’ lonicera.

I can’t wait to for it to start blooming like this, the pollinators will love it just as much as I do. Now I just need to figure out where is the perfect spot. On a side note, a big storm took out our internet on Saturday day, so if my posting is spotty this week, it’s because my cell signal is not that great at my house.

What’s your favorite climber for the garden?

A Project on the List

August 3rd, 2017

I have a whole host of old bee hive boxes in the top of the garage. They’re old, they were infested with wax moths, mice, and other insects. We don’t need them for hives, so we have been trying to figure out what to do with them. A few of them are going to be turned into broody houses for ducks and chickens. Last week and idea hit me, turn them into native pollinator houses. I remember seeing this lovely one when we were in Sweden last fall.

I also spotted this one on a garden tour a few weeks ago.

I’m going to divide the bee boxes into four sections then fill each with a different material. This is actually going to be a project that a friend and I are doing with her daughters. We’re collecting pine cones, sticks, and other items to fill the sections with. Hopefully we will be able to create beautiful homes for native pollinating insects.

Do you have any garden projects lined up for the coming weeks?

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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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