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Cultivate Simple 47: Sounds of the Run

September 30th, 2013

This week on the podcast we are doing something a bit different. Join us as we take you on an audio tour of sort around the Run.

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Quote of the Day: Joe Eck & Wayne Winterrowd

September 29th, 2013

We know, however, that if we were forced to it, we would abandon all the parts of the ornamental garden before we surrendered the little patch that feeds us most of the year. Giving up the vegetable garden would mean that we would cease to eat. We would continue to put food in our mouths, we suppose, though certainly we can both imagine states of loss and depression so grave as to make even that minimal effort at survival pointless. But at this time of our lives, the ingestion of food merely for the purpose of survival is not what we mean by eating. To be nourished directly from a garden for years and year, to become accustomed not only to the tastes but also to the labors and rituals it offers, the small festivals, makes even the fanciest gourmet market seem thin. Corn is not the only crop that, eaten as soon after harvest a possible, surprises even memory with what it can be. Carrots taste both sweeter and of the earth when eaten just pulled, their flavor rusty with minerals. Peas need no butter, no cooking even. Baby potatoes the size of marbles can be bought in no market, golden purslane and orach in only a few. In the door of no market that we know of can ripening tomatoes be smelled as we smell them in August when the garden gate swings open. Artichokes which we grow here with great effort, are tender and sweet, without the ferrous taste and fibrous chew that mark store-bought ones. From each plant we may coax two or three apple sized buds before frosts come to remind us where we live. From two long rows of fava beans we can pick at most only two or three company sized servings. From as many rows of butter beans, sadly less.

Joe Eck & Wayne Winterrowd in Living Seasonally: The Kitchen Garden and the Table at North Hill

potager
I grabbed this book to read on my trip to Cincinnati this weekend. It’s my all time favorite book and I try to read it every year. At this time of the year, I’m always considering my vegetable garden and how much it have provided for us throughout the past year and for the coming months ahead.
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As I put most of my garden to bed for the cold winter months, I’m reminded of how many different vegetables I grew. It really is amazing how little space you need to grow a lot of vegetables. My small potager behind the house is only 25×25 feet and yet it provided most of the fresh vegetables that we ate all summer long. From it I harvested: peas, beans, fava beans, chard, strawberries, asparagus, tomatoes, leeks, beets, peppers, herbs, celeriac, celery, broccoli, cabbage, flowers, carrots, arugula, radicchio, kale, chicory, lettuce, and a few other edibles.

Friday Favorite: Yearly Traditions

September 28th, 2013

Almost 20 years ago I went away to college and met up with five lovely ladies. We instantly became friends, we were so close that we had a get together in the summer even when we were still in school.
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Each year we meet, sometimes at one of our houses, sometimes we rent a cabin somewhere. It’s not every year that everyone can attend, some years there have only been three of us that have been able to make it. This year there will be five of us in attendance.
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Even though I moved far away to Maine (the rest of the girls live in Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky), I’ll be headed to Cincinnati today for this annual event. I’m really looking forward to spending time with these old friends of mine! We will have a great time laughing a lot, eating great food, and catching up.

What’s the longest lasting friendship you have?

Sweet Potatoes

September 27th, 2013

This week has also found me digging some of my sweet potatoes. There are so many, it will take me a while to get them all out of the ground. Luckily, there is only a little vole damage on them. Next year I must remember to plan castor beans in the garden, they seem to do a fabulous job keeping those pesky critters away.
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The piggies are loving the sweet potato vines, I love that they take something I’d usually compost and turn it into bacon and ham. Not only that, it saves me on their feed bill as well. They will also eat most of the sweet potato tubers that were half eaten by voles!

Do you grow sweet potatoes?

Pesky Wireworms

September 26th, 2013

I’ve been harvesting my potatoes little by little as I have time and nice weather. There is a light at the end of the tunnel and I have potatoes coming out my ears. Luckily, all the animals love them. There are a decent number of culls this year, the voles were particularly fond of the big main crop type potatoes. Most likely this is partly due to the fact that they’re in the ground longer and later. There are also a decent number of potatoes with wireworm damage, which is always annoying.
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Wireworms affect crops more when there are grassy weeds in the garden or in an area that was sod the previous year. I’ve been very good about keeping the grassy weeds pulled, which means my wireworm population will decline in the coming years. I’m also planning on putting the chickens into the garden after all the potatoes are out of the ground to scratch around and eat any that they can find. Luckily any potatoes with wireworm or vole damage can still be fed to the animals, they’ll no doubt enjoy feasting on potatoes for the coming week.

Have you ever dealt with wireworms in your potato crop?

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About

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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