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Did Somebody Say Bacon?

January 24th, 2015

I finally got all the bacon in the freezer this week. It certainly is a lot of work to cure and smoke so much bacon. I figured we ended up with around 40 pounds of bacon per pig. I smoked it in two batches using clippings from our apple tree out front. I used the recipe from The River Cottage Meat Book because it was our favorite last year.
bacon
This year our pigs were a different breed. Mary breeds for specific characteristics in the meat and you can really tell. She did a great job. Our bacon was much meatier than it was last year. Looks like we won’t be running out of bacon any time soon! One of my favorite ways to enjoy bacon is on a salad, with avocados and eggs – mmmm.

What’s your favorite thing to enjoy with bacon: eggs, pancakes, french toast, burgers?

Friday Favorite: My Office Art

January 23rd, 2015

Last week I finally got around to finishing up the art installation behind my desk in the office. I must say I LOVE IT!!! It is my most favorite part of the house right now!
office wall 1
I love being able to see a few of my photos finally printed out and on display. I printed off a few quotes and inked some on kraft paper as well. The metal garden sing I purchased while in Seattle last year was also added, I thought it went well with the display. The best part is that I can change it as I want to since the photos are hung up with these Metal Hinge Clips. I love it so much though I doubt I’ll be changing it any time soon.
office wall 2
It gives me great delight to have the room painted an almost finished. This weekend I need to spend time organizing a little more and putting up a curtain over the closet which houses all my office supplies. I am very affected by my surroundings and having spaces that are neat, tidy, and pleasing helps keep me going. I quickly descend into despair when there is too much clutter, this is most likely an introvert/hsp thing that I’ll always deal with. I’m thankful that the room I spend many hours a day in is finally peaceful and calming.

Are you affected by your surroundings? Do you find you need certain things to maintain a sense of well-being and peace of mind? 

So Helpful

January 22nd, 2015

Dexter is so helpful when it comes to the new afghan I’ve been working on. He’s pretty much claimed it as his own. If I have it out while working on it he immediately settles in on it for a nap.
Dexter 1
Dexter 2
I’m just about finished up with this project, which is good because I can’t wait to start on another. There are a few hats I want to make because it’s still winter and I need another warm hat or two. No doubt Big D will be happy when I’m finished with this blanket because he can sleep on it all the time.

Any fun crafty projects on your to-do list?

Beautiful Blooms

January 21st, 2015

If you remember I purchased a variety of dwarf tropical plants this summer to add to my houseplants collection. They’ve all done very well so far and I’m pleased with their performance. Since winter is the dry season in the tropics, I let them dry out well between waterings. I noticed this past weekend that the avocado tree is blooming!
Day Avocado tree 1
Day Avocado tree 2
Most likely it will not produce any fruit this go around, from what I have read it needs to be about three feet tall before it will produce fruit. My tiny tree is only about 28 inches tall or so. If you’d like to read up on growing edible houseplants, check out Growing Tasty Tropical Plants in Any Home, Anywhere: (like lemons, limes, citrons, grapefruit, kumquats, sunquats, tahitian oranges, barbados cherries, … black pepper, cinnamon, vanilla, and more), it’s a great resource.
dwarf banana plant
dwarf papaya plant

My dwarf banana is putting off suckers, these will be taken off and gifted to friends. The papaya is also doing very well, it’s putting on lots of new growth. The mango seems to be the slowest growing of them all, but I’m OK with that. They have certainly been a joy to have around this year. Here’s hoping for homegrown tropical fruit here in Maine!

Do you have any tropicals that live in the house?

Where Have You Been All My Life?

January 20th, 2015

Last week I bought myself a little pruning saw. It’s nothing big, in fact, it’s super lightweight and slides easily into my back pocket. I have no idea how I have lived without one of these for the past 38 years. I got it from Amazon for those wondering. For some reason it won’t let me link directly to the page with this product. But search for Silky POCKETBOY Fine Teeth.
pruning saw 3
It cuts through large sapling, branches, small twigs and pretty much anything with great ease. I was blown away by how quickly it cut branches from the apple tree.
pruning saw 2
This will come in very handy because I’m planning on harvesting saplings that need thinned from an area out back. They will be used for garden supports of various shapes and sizes. I’m planning on making panels for my peas and tepees for my pole beans.
pruning saw 1
Several people were asking in the comments how long the blade was, so I snapped this photo so you can clearly see the size of the saw and blade when extended.
Silky Pocket Pruner
I also love that it comes with this handy plastic carrier. This tool will probably always be in my pocket when I’m working in the garden, I have no idea how I have made do without it up till now.

What’s a garden tool you would never want to live without? Have you discovered any new garden tools recently?

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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!

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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