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Friday Favorite: Martha’s Farm

October 26th, 2012

This past week I got to spend some time touring Martha’s Farm in Ashland, Ohio. Martha has been my go-to place for chicken, turkey, eggs and vegetables for the past couple years.

Martha is a wonderful person, she’s friendly, kind and has a real passion for good healthy food and community. It’s a bonus that she’s from Ecuador so we can chat in Spanish sometimes when we get together.

If you live in the NE Ohio area, I highly recommend visiting Martha’s farm and getting your Thanksgiving turkey from her. Her smoked turkeys are to die for. I don’t even like turkey and I ordered an extra one for our freezer!

Martha is a Quechua Indian from Ecuador, so she’s fascinating to talk to. She’s had so many wonderful life experiences and loves to share them. I’m hoping to get over to the week after Thanksgiving to help her write down her story. Mr Chiots and I would also love to make a documentary about her.

This is what I love about local eating. One of my favorite things to do is to head out to the farms and get to know who’s growing the things I eat. There’s nothing better than finding someone who is as passionate as you about good quality food.

Do you have a favorite local farm?

Sweet Success

October 25th, 2012

Last year, my mom and I didn’t grow sweet potatoes. Since we had lost our entire crop to the voles in 2010, we decided to take the year off. This spring we optimistically planted a large row in the garden hoping for the best.

It was a hot summer, just what the sweet potatoes ordered. All summer we kept wondering what we’d find when we harvested our patch.

Low and behold, it was a banner year; our sweet potatoes produced like mad. Most of them were nice sized roots, with the occasional mammoth one. We also ended up with a small bucket of the tiny ones, which will become dog food.

We won’t be eating these beauties right away, they need cured for their sweetness to come out. Sweet potatoes like to be cured in warm temperatures (around 85) for about 2 weeks. We decided to try curing the sweet potatoes in my mom’s greenhouse where it’s warm and toasty and around 85 on most sunny days. Half of them may be covered with a towel to see if this helps raise the humidity a little since they appreciate a high humidity during curing. It should be interesting to roast them for Thanksgiving next month and compare.

That’s part of growing root vegetables, you never really know what you’re going to find at harvest time. Most of the time you will find a great harvest but every now and then it’s a big disappointment. This year we’re enjoying our sweet success!

Have you ever had a disappointing root vegetable harvest?

Back at the Old Homestead

October 24th, 2012

We’re back in Ohio this week for a job we booked last year. It’s not all work, we’ve been enjoying time with family and friends. Of course we had to go back to the old Chiot’s Run to mow the lawn, harvest potatoes, and check on everything.

By the looks of all my beets, dill and other crops, the deer have been enjoying our absence and taking advantage of the all you can eat organic vegetable smorgasbord.

This sweet little cat was seen lurking around the week before we left. She seems to have adopted the gardens as her own now that our cats are gone. She’s stealthy and quiet, but did rub on my legs and stop by a few times for a pet while I was out working. I wonder if she’s using the pet door in the garage?

If you remember, late last fall I planted some Jerusalem artichokes I got at the farmer’s market. They grew well this summer, though the deer kept nibbling them off. I decided to dig them up to see what lay beneath and was pleasantly surprised with a nice crop.

I’ll be cooking a few tonight for supper so we can all try them. The rest will be divided up between my garden and my mom’s for future crops. From what I’ve read they’re more digestible if they’re fermented, I might save a few and give that a try too.

How’s your garden progressing at this late stage in the year?

Duck, Duck, Duck….

October 23rd, 2012

A few weeks ago a friend posted a photo of her Muscovy duck that hatched a bunch of sweet little ducklings. I commented on her photo that I’d trade her some maple syrup for a few and she took me up on the offer. She said that she was actually going to send some from another clutch on my previous trip up to Maine but decided it might be too much.

On Sunday evening, the Chiot’s Run family grew by another 8 members. We picked up the ducklings and are keeping them in my mom’s garage (did I mention we were back in Ohio for a week for work?).

What type of ducklings did we get? Muscovies. I’ve been reading about this variety of duck for quite a while and had planned on adding a few. Getting some this early is a bonus. They’re champion pest controllers and their meat is supposed to be the best for eating as far as duck is concerned.

We’ll see how many of them end up being males and how many females. We’ll keep all the females and a male or two for breeding and most likely the other males will grace our table. It’s fun to finally be able to start realizing some of the dreams I’ve been dreaming for so long.

So, what new feathered or furred friend should we add to Chiot’s Run next?

Cultivate Simple 3: Debt

October 22nd, 2012

Andrew & Crystal’s Contact Information

Books of the Week

We forgot to mention these two documentaries on the show. Both are free for streaming for Amazon Prime members and on Netflix Streaming:


Find Chiot’s Run Everywhere

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Shop through these links and I get a few cents each time. It's not much, but it allows me to buy a new cookbook or new gardening book every couple months. I appreciate your support!


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.