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Fall Peas

October 9th, 2014

My fall peas are just reaching the point where they’re starting to fill out the pods. Truth be told I should have planted them a few weeks earlier, but I couldn’t since the garlic wasn’t ready to be harvested yet.
fall peas 1
When it comes to fall/winter gardening, the cool weather isn’t quite as big of a deal as the reduced daylight hours. Things are much slower to mature since they’re getting 3-5 fewer hours of sunlight. That’s definitely something to remember when sowing for a second harvest.
fall peas 2
I’m crossing my fingers that they’ll survive long enough to produce a decent crop for the freezer.

Do you have any fall/winter crops that are ready to harvest?

Gardening Goals

October 8th, 2014

I read a lot of books about gardening, most of my reading on the topic happens in the winter. Last year I purchased Salad Leaves For All Seasons: Organic Growing from Pot to Plot and read through it. I recently pulled it off my bookshelf to read again. This spring I decided that growing greens throughout the year was going to be my gardening goal.
Roxy Lettuce 1
This book is a fantastic guide for this process, with loads of information and recommendations. Of course I’ll need a winter structure of some sort, I designed a low tunnel/greenhouse/coldframe made with old sliding glass doors that we have collected. Eventually I’ll have a proper greenhouse, but that won’t happen for quite a while. Low tunnels are OK, but I find that they freeze solid to the ground and harvesting in the dead of winter is pretty much impossible.
My winter will be spend reading and researching, dreaming and planning, and developing a plan to eat greens from my garden 24 months out of the year. I’ll save more money if I grow greens than if I grow my own broccoli or peppers, so I’ll be allocating prime garden space to achieve my goal.

What gardening goals do you have for next season? 

Not Ready

October 7th, 2014

Usually I’m quite ready for the cold weather to come, this year I’m not quite there. While I am looking forward to fires, soups, and lots of needlework, I’m not quite ready for the warmth of the sun to leave. I’m not quite ready to trade my flip flops for wool socks. I’m not quite ready to have frosty fingers when I do my chores. I’m not quite ready for the short days.
warm toes
Lucky for me the afternoons are still sunny and fairly warm, warm enough to sit in a chair by the potager at noon without a sweater on. I’m soaking up the last little bit of vitamin D that I can, hopefully it lasts me through the winter.

Are you ready for the next season?

It’s Been a LONG Time

October 6th, 2014

Way back in August of 1994 I met five girls when I went to college in Cincinnati. Little did I know that twenty years later we would still be getting together at least once a year to catch up. We had hoped to plan a longer trip, maybe somewhere fun, but with kids, and dogs, and farms, and life that didn’t end up happening. We still had a great time, where we are doesn’t matter as much as being together.
Super 6 Reunion
We are hoping to do something fun in the summer of 2016 when we are all 40 (or almost there). We discussed options this trip, hopefully we can settle on a fun location, it might be in Maine!
super six reunion 2
Mr Chiots and I were talking about how different our lives are now, if we met today we might not all end up becoming friends. I’m thankful I met these lovely ladies so long ago, there’s something very special about friendships that stand the test of time.

Quote of the Day: Shauna Niequist

October 5th, 2014

“I don’t know what season you are in these days, what’s broken down and what’s beautiful in your life this season. I don’t know if this is a season of sweetness or one of sadness. But I’m learning that neither last forever. There will, I’m sure be something that invades this current loveliness. That’s how life is. It won’t be sweet forever. But it won’t be bitter forever either. If everywhere you look these days it’s wintery, desolate, lonely, practice believing in springtime. It always, always comes, even though on days like today it’s nearly impossible to imagine, ground frozen, trees bare, and spiky. New life will spring from this same ground. This season will end, and something entirely new will follow it.”

Shauna Niequiest in Bittersweet: Thoughts on Change, Grace, and Learning the Hard Way
winter 2
Sunny winter morning 3
the first spring blooms 5
When I read this book this past summer this quote really resonated with me. We often want our lives to be always sweet, without realizing that the bitterness is what allows us to savor the sweetness. If your life is sweet right now, enjoy it, relish it, savor it. If your life is bitter right now, look ahead to the sweetness that will come and try to grow from the bitterness that you’re experiencing now.

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Tropical Traditions

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.