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Lucky Me

May 4th, 2016

In Ohio, I had a HUGE rain barrel system that I loved. It was made with seven 55-gallon drums all linked together. On Monday, my name came up at the local winery so I could get a few used barrels.
wine barrels for rain barrels 2
These barrels are made with French oak, they should last for quite a while. I’m thinking of preserving them with a little jojoba to make them last even longer.
wine barrels for rain barrels 1
These will hopefully be made into lovely rain catchment devices. I’m planning on putting one of each side of my greenhouse when it gets build. I can’t wait to have lovely rain water for my seedlings and plants once again.

Do you have a rain barrel in your garden?

A New Favorite Tool

May 3rd, 2016

A few months ago I purchased a four pack of these thermometers with probes. I needed them so I could put the probe in the low tunnel and the thermometer outside, that way I’d be able to monitor the temperature difference. They quickly became one of my new favorites tools and I’m so happy I got four of them.
There’s on under the grow light, with the probe monitoring temperature directly under the grow light and the other the temperature outside of its light. There’s another one on the back porch where I keep seedlings. It lets me know if the porch is warm enough to protect seedlings or if I need to bring them indoors for the night. The third is used with the low tunnel in the garden. I have a fourth that is not in use yet, I may give it as a gift so someone else can share the love of one of my new favorite things!

Have you discovered any new great tools for gardening recently?

More Reusing

May 2nd, 2016

I’ve been needing a new compost area since we moved here, a big compost area. I’ve made a few make shift piles here and there, but this past week I finally started knocking something together with pallets. These are kiln dried pallets, so no worries about chemicals, I know the products that came on these, where it came from and where they’ve been.
pallet compost pile
Normally, I’m not a fan of pallet items, but I quite like the look of this composter. I added two pallets across the back and one on each side. I still have to add some bracing, but after that it will be in business. There’s so much garden waste produced around here that I might have to build another one next month. I’ll share more photos when I have it completed.

Do you compost? What does your composter look like?

Friday Favorite: Repurposing

April 29th, 2016

I’m a big fan of reusing and repurposing items. I like being able to invest a little bit of time while making something new from something that would be discarded or recycled. Mr Chiots and I have been roasting our own coffee for many years (see here for more about that), it comes in 20lb in cloth bags. When we use up a bag I turn it into a coffee sack towel for the kitchen.
coffee sack towels 1
I love that we produce much less waste by purchasing coffee this way. We go through about 3 pounds of coffee a week, so we get a 20 lb bag every 8 months or so.
coffee sack towels 2
Our green coffee beans come from Sweet Maria’s, which is a fantastic resource if you’re wanting to get into coffee roasting. Just think, you too could be on your way to having coffee sack towels in your kitchen. They make great kitchen towels too!

What are you repurposing in your home or in the garden?

The Last Snow?

April 27th, 2016

When we lived in Ohio, there was always at least one snow in April. So when we have snow in April here in Maine, it’s really not anything out of the ordinary.
snow in april 2
snow on daffodil
Snow on spring bulbs
I appreciate it for the little boost of nitrogen it gives to the growing plants. I appreciate it for its beauty. I appreciate it for the day of rest that comes along with its stillness.

When do you typically get the last snow in your area?

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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.