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Finishing up the Sugaring Season

March 29th, 2018

It’s finally getting reliably warm here in Maine, it looks like spring is actually on the way. With the nights not dipping below freezing consistently, the maple sap is slowing and some of the trees have already stopped.

That means I can finally finish up the sugaring, scrub up all the pots and collections jars, and hang up my sugaring apron for the year. Our total syrup for the year was a little over 3 gallons. Not bad considering I only put in a few taps. It was LONG season, I tapped the trees on Valentine’s day. We’ve already been enjoying the syrup on pancakes and in our tea.

What’s your favorite way to enjoy real maple syrup?

Getting into Full Swing

March 28th, 2018

Seed starting is starting to get into full swing. This past weekend, all the peppers were started. I started almost an entire flat, 31 cells in all, featuring 12 varieties.

I like to grow a wide variety of peppers. This year I’m adding peppers to make canned green chiles and to dry for making mole. I’m always excited about trying new varieties, this year is no exception!

What kinds of peppers are you planning on growing this year?

Soaking it Up

March 26th, 2018

A few years ago we got a new little tri-color cat, we named her Littles. She’s a quirky cat, tiny, but what she lacks in size she makes up for in personality and fiestiness. One of her loves: the grow lights. When I start seed flats in the spring she’s a constant fixture one top of the flats under the lights. In fact, I had to buy stronger domes for my seed flats because she was smashing the seedlings.

She’s doubly warm, because these flats are on top of a heating mat. It’s like her own personal tanning bed. She’ll even wedge herself between the light and the flat if I have them super close.

Thankfully, as soon as I take the the covers off she quits laying on them, otherwise she’s smash the seedlings. It makes me chuckle every time I seed her on the lights.

What funny things are you pets doing this week?

Pickled Eggs

March 22nd, 2018

I’ve always loved pickled eggs, but until now have really only made/eaten the ones made in pickled beet juice. A week or so ago, we finished off a jar of Dutch Lunch Spears (recipe from The Joy of Pickling). The empty jar was sitting on the counter and I’ve been fishing out the onions to eat on my salads. I was regretting giving the brine to the chickens, as I always buy organic white wine vinegar for my pickling.

Then I noticed the glut of eggs on the counter and decided to pickle them in the leftover pickle brine. This brine is quite perfect for eggs, because it’s neither too sweet nor too sour. It gives the eggs the taste of egg salad. This week they’ve become one of my favorite afternoon snacks.

Are you a fan of pickled eggs?

Quote of the Day: Patsy Washington

March 21st, 2018

“I think you’re avoiding me, Mrs. Randloph,” William said, bareheaded, shielding his eyes against the sun.

“I think I’m harvesting the garden, Mr Short,” I said from beneath the shadow of my straw hat, fretting that he should come up on me in my housedress, my hands covered in dirt. A Virginia gentleman would’ve pretended not to see the lady of the house hard at work–even if the garden was her sweet escape from the demands of everyone inside the house; a Virginia gentleman would’ve passed by without a word and waiting to address me in polite company.

from America’s First Daughter: A Novel




I started this book last week and am absolutely loving it. It’s especially interesting to me since I’ve read a lot about Thomas Jefferson and have visited Monticello. The book is written from his oldest daughter’s perspective and give a fascinating view, not only about the revolution, but about life in general in those times from a women’s perspective.

Since I visited Monticello, as I read, I can see the different rooms, furniture, and the gardens as they are mentioned.

Have you read any good books lately?

Seeds and Sundries
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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 moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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